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[Caml-list] OCaml Speed for Block Convolutions
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Date: 2001-06-07 (01:50)
From: Hugo Herbelin <Hugo.Herbelin@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] OCaml Speed for Block Convolutions

William Chesters wrote:
> Hugo Herbelin writes:
>  > Assume more generally that you can modify any local variable as in the
>  > (standard) following example:
>  > 
>  > let fact (mutable n) =
>  >   let mutable r = 1 in
>  >   while n > 0 do
>  >      r <- r * n;
>  >      n <- n - 1
>  >   done;
>  >   r
> This doesn't actually make life much easier for the compiler.  On
> 32-bit machines [see other thread!], `r' must be a reference (in the
> C++ sense) to a heap object---64-bit float, plus header.  In general
> it is not safe to overwrite the float value in the heap, if it's
> possible that other variables have been assigned to it. (unless floats
> are assigned by value not by reference, but in that case you get heap
> allocation at the time of assignment ...).  

  To be boxed or not is not a property of the language but of the
implementation. This means that the semantics for such a "x <- e"
for boxed values (may be floats) can only be the same as for unboxed
values, that is "assignment by value".

  This means that "x <- e", compared to "x.contents <- e", wouldn't
avoid the heap allocation inherent to the boxing of floats, but would
just avoid the initial allocation of an extra ref block and the
subsequent indirections to set/get the value (assuming the cell is not
already cached in a register what perhaps the compiler is able to do).


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