Commit 74934dcc authored by Dmitry Antipov's avatar Dmitry Antipov
Browse files

* internals.texi (Garbage Collection): Update descriptions

of vectorlike_header, garbage-collect and gc-cons-threshold.
(Object Internals): Explain Lisp_Object layout and the basics
of an internal type system.
(Buffer Internals): Update description of struct buffer.
parent 1232d6c2
2012-11-15 Dmitry Antipov <dmantipov@yandex.ru>
* internals.texi (Garbage Collection): Update descriptions
of vectorlike_header, garbage-collect and gc-cons-threshold.
(Object Internals): Explain Lisp_Object layout and the basics
of an internal type system.
(Buffer Internals): Update description of struct buffer.
2012-11-13 Glenn Morris <rgm@gnu.org>
* variables.texi (Adding Generalized Variables):
......
......@@ -226,12 +226,11 @@ of 8k bytes, and small vectors are packed into blocks of 4k bytes).
Beyond the basic vector, a lot of objects like window, buffer, and
frame are managed as if they were vectors. The corresponding C data
structures include the @code{struct vectorlike_header} field whose
@code{next} field points to the next object in the chain:
@code{header.next.buffer} points to the next buffer (which could be
a killed buffer), and @code{header.next.vector} points to the next
vector in a free list. If a vector is small (smaller than or equal to
@code{VBLOCK_BYTES_MAX} bytes, see @file{alloc.c}), then
@code{header.next.nbytes} contains the vector size in bytes.
@code{size} member contains the subtype enumerated by @code{enum pvec_type}
and an information about how many @code{Lisp_Object} fields this structure
contains and what the size of the rest data is. This information is
needed to calculate the memory footprint of an object, and used
by the vector allocation code while iterating over the vector blocks.
@cindex garbage collection
It is quite common to use some storage for a while, then release it
......@@ -284,88 +283,147 @@ the amount of space in use. (Garbage collection can also occur
spontaneously if you use more than @code{gc-cons-threshold} bytes of
Lisp data since the previous garbage collection.)
@code{garbage-collect} returns a list containing the following
information:
@code{garbage-collect} returns a list with information on amount of space in
use, where each entry has the form @samp{(@var{name} @var{size} @var{used})}
or @samp{(@var{name} @var{size} @var{used} @var{free})}. In the entry,
@var{name} is a symbol describing the kind of objects this entry represents,
@var{size} is the number of bytes used by each one, @var{used} is the number
of those objects that were found live in the heap, and optional @var{free} is
the number of those objects that are not live but that Emacs keeps around for
future allocations. So an overall result is:
@example
@group
((@var{used-conses} . @var{free-conses})
(@var{used-syms} . @var{free-syms})
@end group
(@var{used-miscs} . @var{free-miscs})
@var{used-string-chars}
@var{used-vector-slots}
(@var{used-floats} . @var{free-floats})
(@var{used-intervals} . @var{free-intervals})
(@var{used-strings} . @var{free-strings}))
((@code{conses} @var{cons-size} @var{used-conse} @var{free-conses})
(@code{symbols} @var{symbol-size} @var{used-symbols} @var{free-symbols})
(@code{miscs} @var{misc-size} @var{used-miscs} @var{free-miscs})
(@code{strings} @var{string-size} @var{used-strings} @var{free-strings})
(@code{string-bytes} @var{byte-size} @var{used-bytes})
(@code{vectors} @var{vector-size} @var{used-vectors})
(@code{vector-slots} @var{slot-size} @var{used-slots} @var{free-slots})
(@code{floats} @var{float-size} @var{used-floats} @var{free-floats})
(@code{intervals} @var{interval-size} @var{used-intervals} @var{free-intervals})
(@code{buffers} @var{buffer-size} @var{used-buffers})
(@code{heap} @var{unit-size} @var{total-size} @var{free-size}))
@end example
Here is an example:
@example
@group
(garbage-collect)
@result{} ((106886 . 13184) (9769 . 0)
(7731 . 4651) 347543 121628
(31 . 94) (1273 . 168)
(25474 . 3569))
@end group
@result{} ((conses 16 49126 8058) (symbols 48 14607 0)
(miscs 40 34 56) (strings 32 2942 2607)
(string-bytes 1 78607) (vectors 16 7247)
(vector-slots 8 341609 29474) (floats 8 71 102)
(intervals 56 27 26) (buffers 944 8)
(heap 1024 11715 2678))
@end example
Here is a table explaining each element:
Below is a table explaining each element. Note that last @code{heap} entry
is optional and present only if an underlying @code{malloc} implementation
provides @code{mallinfo} function.
@table @var
@item cons-size
Internal size of a cons cell, i.e.@: @code{sizeof (struct Lisp_Cons)}.
@item used-conses
The number of cons cells in use.
@item free-conses
The number of cons cells for which space has been obtained from the
operating system, but that are not currently being used.
The number of cons cells for which space has been obtained from
the operating system, but that are not currently being used.
@item used-syms
@item symbol-size
Internal size of a symbol, i.e.@: @code{sizeof (struct Lisp_Symbol)}.
@item used-symbols
The number of symbols in use.
@item free-syms
The number of symbols for which space has been obtained from the
operating system, but that are not currently being used.
@item free-symbols
The number of symbols for which space has been obtained from
the operating system, but that are not currently being used.
@item misc-size
Internal size of a miscellaneous entity, i.e.@:
@code{sizeof (union Lisp_Misc)}, which is a size of the
largest type enumerated in @code{enum Lisp_Misc_Type}.
@item used-miscs
The number of miscellaneous objects in use. These include markers and
overlays, plus certain objects not visible to users.
The number of miscellaneous objects in use. These include markers
and overlays, plus certain objects not visible to users.
@item free-miscs
The number of miscellaneous objects for which space has been obtained
from the operating system, but that are not currently being used.
@item used-string-chars
The total size of all strings, in characters.
@item string-size
Internal size of a string header, i.e.@: @code{sizeof (struct Lisp_String)}.
@item used-strings
The number of string headers in use.
@item free-strings
The number of string headers for which space has been obtained
from the operating system, but that are not currently being used.
@item byte-size
This is used for convenience and equals to @code{sizeof (char)}.
@item used-bytes
The total size of all string data in bytes.
@item vector-size
Internal size of a vector header, i.e.@: @code{sizeof (struct Lisp_Vector)}.
@item used-vector-slots
The total number of elements of existing vectors.
@item used-vectors
The number of vector headers allocated from the vector blocks.
@item slot-size
Internal size of a vector slot, always equal to @code{sizeof (Lisp_Object)}.
@item used-slots
The number of slots in all used vectors.
@item free-slots
The number of free slots in all vector blocks.
@item float-size
Internal size of a float object, i.e.@: @code{sizeof (struct Lisp_Float)}.
(Do not confuse it with the native platform @code{float} or @code{double}.)
@item used-floats
The number of floats in use.
@item free-floats
The number of floats for which space has been obtained from the
operating system, but that are not currently being used.
The number of floats for which space has been obtained from
the operating system, but that are not currently being used.
@item interval-size
Internal size of an interval object, i.e.@: @code{sizeof (struct interval)}.
@item used-intervals
The number of intervals in use. Intervals are an internal
data structure used for representing text properties.
The number of intervals in use.
@item free-intervals
The number of intervals for which space has been obtained
from the operating system, but that are not currently being used.
The number of intervals for which space has been obtained from
the operating system, but that are not currently being used.
@item used-strings
The number of strings in use.
@item buffer-size
Internal size of a buffer, i.e.@: @code{sizeof (struct buffer)}.
(Do not confuse with the value returned by @code{buffer-size} function.)
@item free-strings
The number of string headers for which the space was obtained from the
operating system, but which are currently not in use. (A string
object consists of a header and the storage for the string text
itself; the latter is only allocated when the string is created.)
@item used-buffers
The number of buffer objects in use. This includes killed buffers
invisible to users, i.e.@: all buffers in @code{all_buffers} list.
@item unit-size
The unit of heap space measurement, always equal to 1024 bytes.
@item total-size
Total heap size, in @var{unit-size} units.
@item free-size
Heap space which is not currently used, in @var{unit-size} units.
@end table
If there was overflow in pure space (@pxref{Pure Storage}),
......@@ -388,23 +446,25 @@ careful writing them.
@defopt gc-cons-threshold
The value of this variable is the number of bytes of storage that must
be allocated for Lisp objects after one garbage collection in order to
trigger another garbage collection. A cons cell counts as eight bytes,
a string as one byte per character plus a few bytes of overhead, and so
on; space allocated to the contents of buffers does not count. Note
that the subsequent garbage collection does not happen immediately when
the threshold is exhausted, but only the next time the Lisp evaluator is
called.
The initial threshold value is 800,000. If you specify a larger
value, garbage collection will happen less often. This reduces the
amount of time spent garbage collecting, but increases total memory use.
You may want to do this when running a program that creates lots of
Lisp data.
You can make collections more frequent by specifying a smaller value,
down to 10,000. A value less than 10,000 will remain in effect only
until the subsequent garbage collection, at which time
@code{garbage-collect} will set the threshold back to 10,000.
trigger another garbage collection. You can use the result returned by
@code{garbage-collect} to get an information about size of the particular
object type; space allocated to the contents of buffers does not count.
Note that the subsequent garbage collection does not happen immediately
when the threshold is exhausted, but only the next time the Lisp interpreter
is called.
The initial threshold value is @code{GC_DEFAULT_THRESHOLD}, defined in
@file{alloc.c}. Since it's defined in @code{word_size} units, the value
is 400,000 for the default 32-bit configuration and 800,000 for the 64-bit
one. If you specify a larger value, garbage collection will happen less
often. This reduces the amount of time spent garbage collecting, but
increases total memory use. You may want to do this when running a program
that creates lots of Lisp data.
You can make collections more frequent by specifying a smaller value, down
to 1/10th of @code{GC_DEFAULT_THRESHOLD}. A value less than this minimum
will remain in effect only until the subsequent garbage collection, at which
time @code{garbage-collect} will set the threshold back to the minimum.
@end defopt
@defopt gc-cons-percentage
......@@ -639,7 +699,12 @@ in the file @file{lisp.h}.) If the primitive has no upper limit on
the number of Lisp arguments, it must have exactly two C arguments:
the first is the number of Lisp arguments, and the second is the
address of a block containing their values. These have types
@code{int} and @w{@code{Lisp_Object *}} respectively.
@code{int} and @w{@code{Lisp_Object *}} respectively. Since
@code{Lisp_Object} can hold any Lisp object of any data type, you
can determine the actual data type only at run time; so if you want
a primitive to accept only a certain type of argument, you must check
the type explicitly using a suitable predicate (@pxref{Type Predicates}).
@cindex type checking internals
@cindex @code{GCPRO} and @code{UNGCPRO}
@cindex protect C variables from garbage collection
......@@ -820,23 +885,70 @@ knows about it.
@section Object Internals
@cindex object internals
@c FIXME Is this still true? Does --with-wide-int affect anything?
GNU Emacs Lisp manipulates many different types of data. The actual
data are stored in a heap and the only access that programs have to it
is through pointers. Each pointer is 32 bits wide on 32-bit machines,
and 64 bits wide on 64-bit machines; three of these bits are used for
the tag that identifies the object's type, and the remainder are used
to address the object.
Because Lisp objects are represented as tagged pointers, it is always
possible to determine the Lisp data type of any object. The C data type
@code{Lisp_Object} can hold any Lisp object of any data type. Ordinary
variables have type @code{Lisp_Object}, which means they can hold any
type of Lisp value; you can determine the actual data type only at run
time. The same is true for function arguments; if you want a function
to accept only a certain type of argument, you must check the type
explicitly using a suitable predicate (@pxref{Type Predicates}).
@cindex type checking internals
Emacs Lisp provides a rich set of the data types. Some of them, like cons
cells, integers and stirngs, are common to nearly all Lisp dialects. Some
others, like markers and buffers, are quite special and needed to provide
the basic support to write editor commands in Lisp. To implement such
a variety of object types and provide an efficient way to pass objects between
the subsystems of an interpreter, there is a set of C data structures and
a special type to represent the pointers to all of them, which is known as
@dfn{tagged pointer}.
In C, the tagged pointer is an object of type @code{Lisp_Object}. Any
initialized variable of such a type always holds the value of one of the
following basic data types: integer, symbol, string, cons cell, float,
vectorlike or miscellaneous object. Each of these data types has the
corresponding tag value. All tags are enumerated by @code{enum Lisp_Type}
and placed into a 3-bit bitfield of the @code{Lisp_Object}. The rest of the
bits is the value itself. Integer values are immediate, i.e.@: directly
represented by those @dfn{value bits}, and all other objects are represented
by the C pointers to a corresponding object allocated from the heap. Width
of the @code{Lisp_Object} is platform- and configuration-dependent: usually
it's equal to the width of an underlying platform pointer (i.e.@: 32-bit on
a 32-bit machine and 64-bit on a 64-bit one), but also there is a special
configuration where @code{Lisp_Object} is 64-bit but all pointers are 32-bit.
The latter trick was designed to overcome the limited range of values for
Lisp integers on a 32-bit system by using 64-bit @code{long long} type for
@code{Lisp_Object}.
The following C data structures are defined in @file{lisp.h} to represent
the basic data types beyond integers:
@table @code
@item struct Lisp_Cons
Cons cell, an object used to construct lists.
@item struct Lisp_String
String, the basic object to represent a sequence of characters.
@item struct Lisp_Vector
Array, a fixed-size set of Lisp objects which may be accessed by an index.
@item struct Lisp_Symbol
Symbol, the unique-named entity commonly used as an identifier.
@item struct Lisp_Float
Floating point value.
@item union Lisp_Misc
Miscellaneous kinds of objects which don't fit into any of the above.
@end table
These types are the first-class citizens of an internal type system.
Since the tag space is limited, all other types are the subtypes of either
@code{Lisp_Vectorlike} or @code{Lisp_Misc}. Vector subtypes are enumerated
by @code{enum pvec_type}, and nearly all complex objects like windows, buffers,
frames, and processes fall into this category. The rest of special types,
including markers and overlays, are enumerated by @code{enum Lisp_Misc_Type}
and form the set of subtypes of @code{Lisp_Misc}.
Below there is a description of a few subtypes of @code{Lisp_Vectorlike}.
Buffer object represents the text to display and edit. Window is the part
of display structure which shows the buffer or used as a container to
recursively place other windows on the same frame. (Do not confuse Emacs Lisp
window object with the window as an entity managed by the user interface
system like X; in Emacs terminology, the latter is called frame.) Finally,
process object is used to manage the subprocesses.
@menu
* Buffer Internals:: Components of a buffer structure.
......@@ -912,12 +1024,8 @@ Some of the fields of @code{struct buffer} are:
@table @code
@item header
A @code{struct vectorlike_header} structure where @code{header.next}
points to the next buffer, in the chain of all buffers (including
killed buffers). This chain is used only for garbage collection, in
order to collect killed buffers properly. Note that vectors, and most
kinds of objects allocated as vectors, are all on one chain, but
buffers are on a separate chain of their own.
A header of type @code{struct vectorlike_header} is common to all
vectorlike objects.
@item own_text
A @code{struct buffer_text} structure that ordinarily holds the buffer
......@@ -928,6 +1036,11 @@ A pointer to the @code{buffer_text} structure for this buffer. In an
ordinary buffer, this is the @code{own_text} field above. In an
indirect buffer, this is the @code{own_text} field of the base buffer.
@item next
A pointer to the next buffer, in the chain of all buffers, including
killed buffers. This chain is used only for allocation and garbage
collection, in order to collect killed buffers properly.
@item pt
@itemx pt_byte
The character and byte positions of point in a buffer.
......
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