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[Caml-list] Object-oriented access bottleneck
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Date: 2003-12-09 (13:53)
From: Nuutti Kotivuori <naked+caml@n...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Object-oriented access bottleneck
Olivier Andrieu wrote:
> What are you talking about ? The Obj module and in particular
> Obj.set_field is about modifying caml values (records, variants,
> tuples, whatever), not caml objects.

Yes, this is understood.

> Access to instance variable in objects is not inlined because you
> can't statically known in which slot is the variable. Ex:
> class foo = object val x = 0 end
> class bar = object val y = 1 inherit foo end
> In an object foo, x is in slot 0, but in an object bar, x is in slot
> 1. (Actually that's not 0 and 1 but 2 and 3 because the object
> stores other stuff in the first two slots).

Yes, quite so. But if we _do_ know the exact implementation of the
object, and we know in which order the variables in the object are, we
can *abuse* Obj.set_field to manipulate those values directly. So
that's about as close to the definition of unsafe as you can get.

As for your example about inheriting - there would have to be quite
some trickery to be done to be able to this working with
inheritance. In C++, with equivalent declarations, a typecast from bar
pointer to a foo pointer actually returns a different pointer value -
one that is at the start of class foo inside bar. This obviously
wouldn't work in OCaml, because of the block headers and all that.

-- Naked

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