[fpc-devel] Kit's development progress and research
J. Gareth Moreton
gareth at moreton-family.com
Thu May 28 23:45:22 CEST 2020
I've still got pure functions on my books, and I've been looking around
the node system that the compiler uses, especially pass 1. My main
forte, which is probably also my weakness because I like going on wild
goose chases, is looking for ways to optimise a process. One thing I've
noticed in the node pass is how often nodes are duplicated and
destroyed, often without actually changing their contents, just their
position in the tree. For example, with the 'pass_1' and 'simplify'
calls, things like "result := getcopy" in order to trigger another run
of the pass, since the original always gets destroyed if result is not nil.
One solution I've found, that I'm researching the effectiveness of, is
using a reference count system, and a method to mark a node as reused
(internally, just raises the reference count). There's still room for
improvement though, as I've only gained a 1% speed gain in the compiler
so far (while confirming that the compiled code doesn't change). There
are some hazards though, like when 'left' and 'right' are set to nil in
order to prevent them from being destroyed (because the current node is
due to be destroyed but is preserved due to a reference count greater
In the meantime, I've found and fixed a couple of memory leaks in the
form of commands like "right:=right.simplify(false);" - besides assuming
the result of 'simplify' is not nil, the original contents of 'right' is
never freed and gets leaked.
This'll be something I'll be writing a design and implementation spec
when I'm done, assuming I can get a worthwhile speed boost. More than
anything I'm looking for ways make sure pure functions are processed as
quickly as possible and improving compiler speed without sacrificing
Gareth aka. Kit
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