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digitalmars.D - Keeping references to dynamic arrays

reply brad <brad_member pathlink.com> writes:
Hi guys, I've just started playing with D again.  I'm having a little 
trouble getting my head around Dynamic arrays, especially when the GC 
gets involved.
My basic usage scenario is this, I have multiple classes that want to 
reference the same large dynamic array.  From the small test cases I've 
written, if the array is resized and needs to be realloc'd to a 
different place then they don't keep their reference.
So...
int [] a1;
a1.length = 1;
int [] a2 = a1;
a1.length = 300; // or someother value that moves the array
a2[0] = 5;
a1[0] = 1;
// this is the point where I really want a1[0] == a2[0]
Is there a way to do this?  It seems to me that this is quite a subtle 
area, and may possibly introduce bugs.
From what I can tell it has the following effects (maybe)
- It is never safe to pass C a dynamic array if the library is going 
to keep that array around.  (Note, are there any restrictions on what 
the GC can do with arrays, ie is it free to move arrays at will for heap 
compation?)
- Even if the C library isn't going to keep the array around, 
multi-threaded D apps may have bugs due to.
1. int [] a2 = a1[0...4]
2. -- another thread resizes a1 & causes a move
3. a2[0] = 5 // ie, expecting a2 to be an alias of a1

- Does this mean that to have arrays that do allow resizing and move 
correctly, we need to wrap the array in a class?

It just feels to me like you don't really know where you stand with D 
dynamic arrays.  You can't trust to alias them with a pointer, or with 
an array slice.  The only real way to know you are writing to element x 
in the array is to dereference the original array at position x.  My 
intuitive way that I thought this would work was that all slices or 
dynamic array assignments would essentially act like a reference to the 
actual array, in much the same way as assigning objects is by reference. 
To my point of view this would be much more intuitive and consistant 
than the current way I think it works.

Could I please be enlightened on how all this actually works - rather 
than how I think it may work?  :)

Cheers
Brad
Jul 23 2004
next sibling parent reply Russ Lewis <spamhole-2001-07-16 deming-os.org> writes:
You cat keep pointers to dynamic arrays just like anything else.  I 
always get mixed up with the syntax, so I looked it up on 
http://digitalmars.com/d/arrays.html.  It says that a pointer to a 
dynamic array looks like this:
   int[]* e;

You have two choices how to allocate the array.  You can declare it 
once, and then assign pointers to it:
   int[] a;
   int[]* b = &a;
   int[]* c = &a;
   int[]* d = &a;

Or you should be able to allocate it with new.  I'm not 100% sure of the 
syntax, though.  I would try this and see if it works:
   int[]* e = new int[];
   e.length = 1;
   e.length = 300;

brad wrote:
 Hi guys, I've just started playing with D again.  I'm having a little 
 trouble getting my head around Dynamic arrays, especially when the GC 
 gets involved.
 My basic usage scenario is this, I have multiple classes that want to 
 reference the same large dynamic array.  From the small test cases I've 
 written, if the array is resized and needs to be realloc'd to a 
 different place then they don't keep their reference.
 So...
 int [] a1;
 a1.length = 1;
 int [] a2 = a1;
 a1.length = 300; // or someother value that moves the array
 a2[0] = 5;
 a1[0] = 1;
 // this is the point where I really want a1[0] == a2[0]
 Is there a way to do this?  It seems to me that this is quite a subtle 
 area, and may possibly introduce bugs.
 From what I can tell it has the following effects (maybe)
 - It is never safe to pass C a dynamic array if the library is going 
 to keep that array around.  (Note, are there any restrictions on what 
 the GC can do with arrays, ie is it free to move arrays at will for heap 
 compation?)
 - Even if the C library isn't going to keep the array around, 
 multi-threaded D apps may have bugs due to.
 1. int [] a2 = a1[0...4]
 2. -- another thread resizes a1 & causes a move
 3. a2[0] = 5 // ie, expecting a2 to be an alias of a1
 
 - Does this mean that to have arrays that do allow resizing and move 
 correctly, we need to wrap the array in a class?
 
 It just feels to me like you don't really know where you stand with D 
 dynamic arrays.  You can't trust to alias them with a pointer, or with 
 an array slice.  The only real way to know you are writing to element x 
 in the array is to dereference the original array at position x.  My 
 intuitive way that I thought this would work was that all slices or 
 dynamic array assignments would essentially act like a reference to the 
 actual array, in much the same way as assigning objects is by reference. 
 To my point of view this would be much more intuitive and consistant 
 than the current way I think it works.
 
 Could I please be enlightened on how all this actually works - rather 
 than how I think it may work?  :)
 
 Cheers
 Brad
 
 

Jul 23 2004
parent reply Brad Beveridge <brad.beveridge somewhere.com> writes:
I'd seen that, but got tripped up on the nasty syntax.
    int [] a1;
    a1.length = 1;
    a1[0] = 5;
    int []* a2;
    a2 = &a1;
    *a2[0] = 0;
    printf("%i %i\n", a1[0], *a2[0]);

This works as expected, but I think the *a2[0] syntax is a bit of a dog. 
Also, what about the whole "sometimes a=b is an alias, sometimes (when b is
resized), it is a copy?"

Cheers
Brad

Russ Lewis wrote:

 You cat keep pointers to dynamic arrays just like anything else.  I
 always get mixed up with the syntax, so I looked it up on
 http://digitalmars.com/d/arrays.html.  It says that a pointer to a
 dynamic array looks like this:
    int[]* e;
 
 You have two choices how to allocate the array.  You can declare it
 once, and then assign pointers to it:
    int[] a;
    int[]* b = &a;
    int[]* c = &a;
    int[]* d = &a;
 
 Or you should be able to allocate it with new.  I'm not 100% sure of the
 syntax, though.  I would try this and see if it works:
    int[]* e = new int[];
    e.length = 1;
    e.length = 300;
 
 brad wrote:
 Hi guys, I've just started playing with D again.  I'm having a little
 trouble getting my head around Dynamic arrays, especially when the GC
 gets involved.
 My basic usage scenario is this, I have multiple classes that want to
 reference the same large dynamic array.  From the small test cases I've
 written, if the array is resized and needs to be realloc'd to a
 different place then they don't keep their reference.
 So...
 int [] a1;
 a1.length = 1;
 int [] a2 = a1;
 a1.length = 300; // or someother value that moves the array
 a2[0] = 5;
 a1[0] = 1;
 // this is the point where I really want a1[0] == a2[0]
 Is there a way to do this?  It seems to me that this is quite a subtle
 area, and may possibly introduce bugs.
 From what I can tell it has the following effects (maybe)
 - It is never safe to pass C a dynamic array if the library is going
 to keep that array around.  (Note, are there any restrictions on what
 the GC can do with arrays, ie is it free to move arrays at will for heap
 compation?)
 - Even if the C library isn't going to keep the array around,
 multi-threaded D apps may have bugs due to.
 1. int [] a2 = a1[0...4]
 2. -- another thread resizes a1 & causes a move
 3. a2[0] = 5 // ie, expecting a2 to be an alias of a1
 
 - Does this mean that to have arrays that do allow resizing and move
 correctly, we need to wrap the array in a class?
 
 It just feels to me like you don't really know where you stand with D
 dynamic arrays.  You can't trust to alias them with a pointer, or with
 an array slice.  The only real way to know you are writing to element x
 in the array is to dereference the original array at position x.  My
 intuitive way that I thought this would work was that all slices or
 dynamic array assignments would essentially act like a reference to the
 actual array, in much the same way as assigning objects is by reference.
 To my point of view this would be much more intuitive and consistant
 than the current way I think it works.
 
 Could I please be enlightened on how all this actually works - rather
 than how I think it may work?  :)
 
 Cheers
 Brad
 


Jul 23 2004
parent reply Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
In article <cds4tg$2qrp$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Brad Beveridge says...
This works as expected, but I think the *a2[0] syntax is a bit of a dog. 
Also, what about the whole "sometimes a=b is an alias, sometimes (when b is
resized), it is a copy?"

Pretty standard Copy On Write behavior. I haven't decided if I really like it yet, but it is a good solution for most cases. Sean
Jul 23 2004
parent reply Brad Beveridge <brad.beveridge somewhere.com> writes:
But it isn't actually copy on write behaviour, because you can slice into an
array and use that slice as a window into the main array.
So what it really is, is copy on resize.  The rest of the time it is by
reference.
I've got no problems with copy on write, the thing that really irks me about
this is the inconsistancy of it all - sometimes slices and copies can be
used as methods to manipulate the main array, sometimes they can't.  And
the problem is that you can't nessecarily be sure what you are getting.

What I think would make everything consistant is
 1 - Slicing and assignment are always windows into the same array, ie 
   int [] dyn;
   int [] dyn2;
   dyn2 = dyn;
   dyn.length = 45;
   int [] slice = dyn[0..2];
  All of the above point to the same dynamic array (dyn), and do so even if
dyn is resized and needs to be moved and reallocated.  If dyn is resized to
be smaller than one of its slices then accessing that slice causes an out
of bounds exception.
 2 - To get a copy of an array use the explicit .dup property.

I guess the thing that bugs me the most is that class objects in D behave
with reference behaviour all the time, and the GC is free to move them as
it likes - which is essentially what is going on here.  But dynamic array
assignment of the type above behaves in a completely different manner.  And
the manner is a bit random.
Imagine what would happen if you had a thread resizing a dynamic array, and
another thread trying to keep track of it?

Cheers
Brad

<code>

void printa(char[] name, int [] a)
{
    printf("%.*s : ", name);
    foreach (int i; a)
    {
        printf ("%i ", i);
    }
    printf("\n");
}

int main(char [][] a)
{
    int [] dyn;
    dyn.length = 4;
    for (int i = 0; i < dyn.length; i++)
        dyn[i] = i;

    printa("dyn", dyn);

    int [] slice;
    slice = dyn[1..3];
    printa("slice", slice);
    slice[0] = 50;

    printa("dyn", dyn);
    printa("slice", slice);

    return 0;
}
</code>
Sean Kelly wrote:

 In article <cds4tg$2qrp$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Brad Beveridge says...
This works as expected, but I think the *a2[0] syntax is a bit of a dog.
Also, what about the whole "sometimes a=b is an alias, sometimes (when b
is resized), it is a copy?"

Pretty standard Copy On Write behavior. I haven't decided if I really like it yet, but it is a good solution for most cases. Sean

Jul 23 2004
next sibling parent reply J Anderson <REMOVEanderson badmama.com.au> writes:
I think D arrays should be as efficient as possible.  Copy on write 
would make it not so.   If you need such high-level functionality it 
should be part of the standard lib, not D itself.

Brad Beveridge wrote:

But it isn't actually copy on write behaviour, because you can slice into an
array and use that slice as a window into the main array.
So what it really is, is copy on resize.  The rest of the time it is by
reference.
I've got no problems with copy on write, the thing that really irks me about
this is the inconsistancy of it all - sometimes slices and copies can be
used as methods to manipulate the main array, sometimes they can't.  And
the problem is that you can't nessecarily be sure what you are getting.

What I think would make everything consistant is
 1 - Slicing and assignment are always windows into the same array, ie 
   int [] dyn;
   int [] dyn2;
   dyn2 = dyn;
   dyn.length = 45;
   int [] slice = dyn[0..2];
  All of the above point to the same dynamic array (dyn), and do so even if
dyn is resized and needs to be moved and reallocated.  If dyn is resized to
be smaller than one of its slices then accessing that slice causes an out
of bounds exception.
 2 - To get a copy of an array use the explicit .dup property.

I guess the thing that bugs me the most is that class objects in D behave
with reference behaviour all the time, and the GC is free to move them as
it likes - which is essentially what is going on here.  But dynamic array
assignment of the type above behaves in a completely different manner.  And
the manner is a bit random.
Imagine what would happen if you had a thread resizing a dynamic array, and
another thread trying to keep track of it?

Cheers
Brad

<code>

void printa(char[] name, int [] a)
{
    printf("%.*s : ", name);
    foreach (int i; a)
    {
        printf ("%i ", i);
    }
    printf("\n");
}

int main(char [][] a)
{
    int [] dyn;
    dyn.length = 4;
    for (int i = 0; i < dyn.length; i++)
        dyn[i] = i;

    printa("dyn", dyn);

    int [] slice;
    slice = dyn[1..3];
    printa("slice", slice);
    slice[0] = 50;

    printa("dyn", dyn);
    printa("slice", slice);

    return 0;
}
</code>
Sean Kelly wrote:

  

In article <cds4tg$2qrp$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Brad Beveridge says...
    

This works as expected, but I think the *a2[0] syntax is a bit of a dog.
Also, what about the whole "sometimes a=b is an alias, sometimes (when b
is resized), it is a copy?"
      

like it yet, but it is a good solution for most cases. Sean


-- -Anderson: http://badmama.com.au/~anderson/
Jul 23 2004
parent reply Brad Beveridge <brad.beveridge somewhere.com> writes:
I'm not advocating copy on write, I agree that behaviour like that is
perhaps too inefficient to be part of the language.
All I am saying is that if I do
int [] orig;
int [] other;
other = orig;
orig.length = 20;

Then other and orig will always point to the same array, no matter if the
array needs to be moved in order to satisfy the realloc.
This already (I think) happens with D object references, the GC is free to
move the location of the object memory, but all references are updated. 
Why not the same with arrays?  Who cards where the physical memory is, as
long as the handles to the array that I hold are correct.

Brad

 
 I think D arrays should be as efficient as possible.  Copy on write
 would make it not so.   If you need such high-level functionality it
 should be part of the standard lib, not D itself.
 
 Brad Beveridge wrote:
 
But it isn't actually copy on write behaviour, because you can slice into
an array and use that slice as a window into the main array.
So what it really is, is copy on resize.  The rest of the time it is by
reference.
I've got no problems with copy on write, the thing that really irks me
about this is the inconsistancy of it all - sometimes slices and copies
can be
used as methods to manipulate the main array, sometimes they can't.  And
the problem is that you can't nessecarily be sure what you are getting.

What I think would make everything consistant is
 1 - Slicing and assignment are always windows into the same array, ie
   int [] dyn;
   int [] dyn2;
   dyn2 = dyn;
   dyn.length = 45;
   int [] slice = dyn[0..2];
  All of the above point to the same dynamic array (dyn), and do so even
  if
dyn is resized and needs to be moved and reallocated.  If dyn is resized
to be smaller than one of its slices then accessing that slice causes an
out of bounds exception.
 2 - To get a copy of an array use the explicit .dup property.

I guess the thing that bugs me the most is that class objects in D behave
with reference behaviour all the time, and the GC is free to move them as
it likes - which is essentially what is going on here.  But dynamic array
assignment of the type above behaves in a completely different manner. 
And the manner is a bit random.
Imagine what would happen if you had a thread resizing a dynamic array,
and another thread trying to keep track of it?

Cheers
Brad

<code>

void printa(char[] name, int [] a)
{
    printf("%.*s : ", name);
    foreach (int i; a)
    {
        printf ("%i ", i);
    }
    printf("\n");
}

int main(char [][] a)
{
    int [] dyn;
    dyn.length = 4;
    for (int i = 0; i < dyn.length; i++)
        dyn[i] = i;

    printa("dyn", dyn);

    int [] slice;
    slice = dyn[1..3];
    printa("slice", slice);
    slice[0] = 50;

    printa("dyn", dyn);
    printa("slice", slice);

    return 0;
}
</code>
Sean Kelly wrote:

  

In article <cds4tg$2qrp$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Brad Beveridge says...
    

This works as expected, but I think the *a2[0] syntax is a bit of a dog.
Also, what about the whole "sometimes a=b is an alias, sometimes (when b
is resized), it is a copy?"
      

like it yet, but it is a good solution for most cases. Sean



Jul 23 2004
next sibling parent reply J Anderson <REMOVEanderson badmama.com.au> writes:
Brad Beveridge wrote:

I'm not advocating copy on write, I agree that behaviour like that is
perhaps too inefficient to be part of the language.
All I am saying is that if I do
int [] orig;
int [] other;
other = orig;
orig.length = 20;

Then other and orig will always point to the same array, no matter if the
array needs to be moved in order to satisfy the realloc.
This already (I think) happens with D object references, the GC is free to
move the location of the object memory, but all references are updated. 
Why not the same with arrays?  Who cards where the physical memory is, as
long as the handles to the array that I hold are correct.

Brad
  

need to keep track of which arrays are which. If you wrap the array in a class then you'd have no problems. -- -Anderson: http://badmama.com.au/~anderson/
Jul 23 2004
parent reply Brad Beveridge <brad.beveridge somewhere.com> writes:
Wrapping a dynamic array with something as simple as 
class Darray(T)
{
    T [] data;
}

lets you do 
Darray!(int) a = new Darray!(int);
Darray!(int) b = a;

Which works as expected, ie, resizing 'a' still gives leaves you with a.data
== b.data.

OK, so there is a work around.  It is debatable if this is more or less ugly
than the pointer to array syntax. (int [] *a, then using *a[0])
Can somebody please explain the rational for the current system?  As I see
it, the current system has no pros, only cons.  Ie currently:
 - Assignment of dynamic arrays is ambiguous, int [] a = b may be either a
reference to "b", or if a gets resized then b may be a copy.
 - The behaviour is inconsistant with the rest of D, where classes are
always by reference, unless explicitly copied.

I would argue that the following should be true:
int [] a; // create a reference to a length 0 dynamic array;
int [] b; // as above
a = b; // point a to the same underlying array as b - ie, just as object
assignment sematics work
a.length = 100; // resize the array that a (and b) points to
b[0] = 50; // set element 0 of b to 50, a[0] == b[0]

So a and b reference the same underlying array.  This way the dynamic array
semantics are identical to the object reference semantics, and we remove
the ambiguity that the current system has.
You may argue that having to update all the references to the underlying
array may be expensive, however:
 1 - This already happens for object references if the GC moves the object,
and nobody complains
 2 - Updating the references is probably not overly significant compared to
resizing the array.

Thoughts?

Cheers
Brad

J Anderson wrote:

 Right-t-o then.  I guess even that could be inefficient because then you
 need to keep track of which arrays are which.  If you wrap the array in
 a class then you'd have no problems.

Jul 24 2004
parent J Anderson <REMOVEanderson badmama.com.au> writes:
Brad Beveridge wrote:

Wrapping a dynamic array with something as simple as 
class Darray(T)
{
    T [] data;
}

lets you do 
Darray!(int) a = new Darray!(int);
Darray!(int) b = a;

Which works as expected, ie, resizing 'a' still gives leaves you with a.data
== b.data.
  

Obviously you would make the data private and use operators and methods to deal with the array.
OK, so there is a work around.  It is debatable if this is more or less ugly
than the pointer to array syntax. (int [] *a, then using *a[0])
Can somebody please explain the rational for the current system?  As I see
it, the current system has no pros, only cons.  Ie currently:
 - Assignment of dynamic arrays is ambiguous, int [] a = b may be either a
reference to "b", or if a gets resized then b may be a copy.
 - The behaviour is inconsistant with the rest of D, where classes are
always by reference, unless explicitly copied.

I would argue that the following should be true:
int [] a; // create a reference to a length 0 dynamic array;
int [] b; // as above
a = b; // point a to the same underlying array as b - ie, just as object
assignment sematics work
a.length = 100; // resize the array that a (and b) points to
b[0] = 50; // set element 0 of b to 50, a[0] == b[0]

So a and b reference the same underlying array.  This way the dynamic array
semantics are identical to the object reference semantics, and we remove
the ambiguity that the current system has.
You may argue that having to update all the references to the underlying
array may be expensive, however:
 1 - This already happens for object references if the GC moves the object,
and nobody complains
 2 - Updating the references is probably not overly significant compared to
resizing the array.

Thoughts?

Cheers
Brad
  

If it was done the way you suggest, you need another level of indirection which requires more memory.
J Anderson wrote:

  

Right-t-o then.  I guess even that could be inefficient because then you
need to keep track of which arrays are which.  If you wrap the array in
a class then you'd have no problems.
    


-- -Anderson: http://badmama.com.au/~anderson/
Jul 24 2004
prev sibling parent reply Arcane Jill <Arcane_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <cdsvhu$hc9$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Brad Beveridge says...
I'm not advocating copy on write, I agree that behaviour like that is
perhaps too inefficient to be part of the language.
All I am saying is that if I do
int [] orig;
int [] other;
other = orig;
orig.length = 20;

Then other and orig will always point to the same array, no matter if the
array needs to be moved in order to satisfy the realloc.

Now here's the part that I don't understand - why would you want to have two variable names (orig and other in the above example) /in the same scope/ to be references to the same thing. If they're in the same scope, why not just refer to it by the same name consistently throughout. If they're in /different/ scope, then the keyword inout does just fine, doesn't it? # int [] orig; # f(orig); # //orig.length is now 20 # # void f(inout int[] other) # { # other.length = 20; # } Arcane Jill, probably talking rubbish again.
Jul 24 2004
parent J Anderson <REMOVEanderson badmama.com.au> writes:
Arcane Jill wrote:

In article <cdsvhu$hc9$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Brad Beveridge says...
  

I'm not advocating copy on write, I agree that behaviour like that is
perhaps too inefficient to be part of the language.
All I am saying is that if I do
int [] orig;
int [] other;
other = orig;
orig.length = 20;

Then other and orig will always point to the same array, no matter if the
array needs to be moved in order to satisfy the realloc.
    

Now here's the part that I don't understand - why would you want to have two variable names (orig and other in the above example) /in the same scope/ to be references to the same thing. If they're in the same scope, why not just refer to it by the same name consistently throughout. If they're in /different/ scope, then the keyword inout does just fine, doesn't it? # int [] orig; # f(orig); # //orig.length is now 20 # # void f(inout int[] other) # { # other.length = 20; # } Arcane Jill, probably talking rubbish again.

rest is right. I agree aliasing is a bad thing. -- -Anderson: http://badmama.com.au/~anderson/
Jul 24 2004
prev sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
In article <cdsrhf$ec6$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Brad Beveridge says...
But it isn't actually copy on write behaviour, because you can slice into an
array and use that slice as a window into the main array.
So what it really is, is copy on resize.  The rest of the time it is by
reference.
I've got no problems with copy on write, the thing that really irks me about
this is the inconsistancy of it all - sometimes slices and copies can be
used as methods to manipulate the main array, sometimes they can't.  And
the problem is that you can't nessecarily be sure what you are getting.

I don't know. Perhaps it's my experience with iterators and the STL, but I find the rules pretty straightforward. Sean
Jul 24 2004
prev sibling parent reply Derek <derek psyc.ward> writes:
On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 21:40:29 +0000 (UTC), brad wrote:

 Hi guys, I've just started playing with D again.  I'm having a little 
 trouble getting my head around Dynamic arrays, especially when the GC 
 gets involved.
 My basic usage scenario is this, I have multiple classes that want to 
 reference the same large dynamic array.  From the small test cases I've 
 written, if the array is resized and needs to be realloc'd to a 
 different place then they don't keep their reference.
 So...
 int [] a1;
 a1.length = 1;
 int [] a2 = a1;
 a1.length = 300; // or someother value that moves the array
 a2[0] = 5;
 a1[0] = 1;
 // this is the point where I really want a1[0] == a2[0]
 Is there a way to do this?  It seems to me that this is quite a subtle 
 area, and may possibly introduce bugs.
 From what I can tell it has the following effects (maybe)
 - It is never safe to pass C a dynamic array if the library is going 
 to keep that array around.  (Note, are there any restrictions on what 
 the GC can do with arrays, ie is it free to move arrays at will for heap 
 compation?)
 - Even if the C library isn't going to keep the array around, 
 multi-threaded D apps may have bugs due to.
 1. int [] a2 = a1[0...4]
 2. -- another thread resizes a1 & causes a move
 3. a2[0] = 5 // ie, expecting a2 to be an alias of a1
 
 - Does this mean that to have arrays that do allow resizing and move 
 correctly, we need to wrap the array in a class?
 
 It just feels to me like you don't really know where you stand with D 
 dynamic arrays.  You can't trust to alias them with a pointer, or with 
 an array slice.  The only real way to know you are writing to element x 
 in the array is to dereference the original array at position x.  My 
 intuitive way that I thought this would work was that all slices or 
 dynamic array assignments would essentially act like a reference to the 
 actual array, in much the same way as assigning objects is by reference. 
 To my point of view this would be much more intuitive and consistant 
 than the current way I think it works.
 
 Could I please be enlightened on how all this actually works - rather 
 than how I think it may work?  :)
 

You are thinking correctly. Unfortunately D does subtly change the semantics of slicing. Here is some code to prove it. <code> void pc(char[] x) { foreach(char c;x) { if (c != '\0') printf("%c", c); } } void main() { char[] a; char[] b; // Give it something to work with a = "1234567890"; // Set 'b' to point into a subset of 'a' b = a[2..7]; pc("a='" ~a~"' b='"~b~"'\n"); // Now prove it by chaging 'a' to see if 'b' also changes. a[5] = 'a'; pc("a='" ~a~"' b='"~b~"'\n"); // resize 'a' to force it to move. a.length=10000; pc("a='" ~a~"' b='"~b~"'\n"); // Change 'a' again to see if 'b' still changes. a[4] = 'a'; pc("a='" ~a~"' b='"~b~"'\n"); // Ahhh! But 'b' is no longer pointing into a subset of 'a'. } </code> -- Derek Melbourne, Australia
Jul 23 2004
parent Brad Beveridge <brad.beveridge somewhere.com> writes:
Derek wrote:
<snip>
 
 You are thinking correctly. Unfortunately D does subtly change the
 semantics of slicing. Here is some code to prove it.
 <code>
 

OK, well at least I "get" the way it works. However, I'm still not overly pleased that it works this way :) I am thinking that for the best consistancy I should probably roll my own template array (or does DTL have one?) that is always by reference, unless .dup is used - an preserves aliasing when resized. Does this sound possible? Cheers Brad
Jul 23 2004