GC and Threading

Bix strabixbox at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 5 22:39:20 UTC 2015

Matthew Mondor writes:

> On Sun, 25 Oct 2015 09:28:03 +0100
> Bix <strabixbox at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> just two quick question:
>> Can you point me out where to look in the source code to understand
>> those aspect of ECL?
> If your OS supports real processes, you could fork() some processes
> dedicated for ECL, such that ECL's heap and gc wouldn't interfere with
> your application.  Alternatively, you could use separate ECL-based
> server daemons to which your application would connect.  ECL could then
> also either work non-threaded or threaded in that, or those processes,
> depending on your needs.
> However, you'd also then have to invoke ECL in an RPC manner from the
> main application.  An example is emacs+SLIME connecting to ECL+swank,
> which uses a simple s-exp based exchange protocol.  Other examples
> would be using JSON messages, SOAP/XMLRPC, HTTP/REST, FastCGI, CORBA,
> etc, and of course you could implement your own text or binary
> communication/memory-sharing protocol, using the most appropriate IPC
> method for your use-case...
I'm thinking about that possibilities but I really like to embed the
engine in the very same engine to share the structures.

> On the other hand, if you need ECL to have direct access to objects
> within your application's heap, you'd currently have no choice, your
> application would indeed dynamically link boehm-gc, and any thread
> calling into ECL would have to be "registered" with ECL (threads
> started by ECL itself are automatically registered).

I'm exploring that interesting possibility. I don't like that the GC
halt all the other thread but only the ones involved in the
embedding and calling of ECL. So I studying if it possible to register and
de-register a thread.
Given that my threads does not share anything I hope that I can have the
thread de-register himself when the ecl part is no more needed so
everything created by that thread can be collected.

Kind of:
1. Register my thread
2. Execute some lisp on ecl
3. Collect/copy he results
4. De-register

> It's also possible that your application might itself benefit from the
> GC; the library also remains friendly to code using explicit freeing.

Kindest Regards

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