[fpc-pascal] reference-counted function results not initialized to nil

Karoly Balogh (Charlie/SGR) charlie at scenergy.dfmk.hu
Sun Jun 26 01:19:57 CEST 2016


On Sat, 25 Jun 2016, J├╝rgen Hestermann wrote:

> This has definitely changed with Free Pascal 3 as my programs suddenly
> did not work anymore and I had to add Setlength() all over my code.
> Before we could rely on that managed types where always initialized
> (well, that's the purpose of managed types, no?).

No. Local variables are not initialized by default. Managed type or not,
doesn't make a difference. Result is just another local variable in this
case. I think the compiler will even warn about using uninitialized local
variables, at least with -O3 and above (or when Data Flow Analysis is

> It took me quite a while to find out why my programs failed as I did not
> expect such a (hidden) change.

It wasn't an intentional change for sure. However, the generated code
might have changed (hopefully it became more optimal) which simply exposed
some of these issues within the compiled code.

Actually, such issues are much easier to notice on other architectures,
aside from i386, because of the different calling convention and register
layout they use. I spent the better part of the last 3 years fixing code
which was originally intended for i386, to get it working better on ARM
(and others), where I ran into this exact "result remains uninitialized"
issue, along with many other "my code is good, fix your compiler" issues,
where it turned out the code was basically working accidentally, and it
was built on false assumptions...


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