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Re: reference initialization
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Date: 2000-05-22 (16:13)
From: Pierre Weis <Pierre.Weis@i...>
Subject: Re: reference initialization
> Pierre Weis wrote:
> > 
> > Finally I think I've done the ``Further work part'' I mentioned for
> > vector initialization!
> > let initialize n x0 f =
> x0 is both a problem and unnecesary: it is hard to pick
> a sensible x0 sometimes, and it is not necessary, since
> Obj.magic can be used internally: there is no loss of
> safety, since the code checks all usage, and such a magic
> value cannot be accessed.
> John (Max) Skaller at OTT [Open Telecommications Ltd]
> mailto:maxs@in.ot.com.au      -- at work
> mailto:skaller@maxtal.com.au  -- at home

You're right, getting rid of this x0 would be better. Still, I don't
understand how you can manage to write the f function if you cannot
figure out at least one random value of the type of the elements of
the vector you want f to initialize. Also, I don't like to use Obj.magic
to create an heterogeneous vector, even if I can prove that no Caml
program can observe it: it breaks some invariants that the runtime
system, the memory manager, or the debugger could observe.

However, since we know that the function f gives plenty of suitable initial
values: in particular at the first call to the set function.

So, adding a test to detect this case we can initialize the vector
properly, without using Obj.magic.

exception Not_yet_initialized of int;;
exception Already_initialized of int;;
exception Never_initialized of int;;

let initialize n f =
 if n = 0 then [||] else
 let init_v = Array.make n false in
 let v = ref [||] in
 let get i = if init_v.(i) then !v.(i) else raise (Not_yet_initialized i) in
 let set i ei =
   if !v = [||] then v := Array.make n ei;
   if not init_v.(i) then (!v.(i) <- ei; init_v.(i) <- true) else
   raise (Already_initialized i) in
 (f get set : unit);
 for i = 0 to n - 1 do if not init_v.(i) then raise (Never_initialized i) done;

val initialize :
 int -> ((int -> 'a) -> (int -> 'a -> unit) -> unit) -> 'a array
 [initialize n f] returns a fresh array of length [n],
 with elements initialized by function [f].
 All the elements of the new array must be assigned once and only
 once by the function [f]. [f] received two functions as arguments,
 one to access elements of the new array, and the other to set the
 elements of the new array. [f] can access to element [i] of the new
 array provided [f] has already properly initialized element [i].
 Raise [Not_yet_initialized i] if element [i] is accessed before being
 Raise [Already_initialized i] if element [i] is assigned twice.
 Raise [Never_initialized i] if element [i] has never been assigned at
 the end of initialization.
 [Array.initialize n f] uses [2 n] words of heap space.

Thanks for your simulating remark.

Pierre Weis

INRIA, Projet Cristal, Pierre.Weis@inria.fr, http://cristal.inria.fr/~weis/