Pascal Bourguignon <pjb@...> writes:
> Christophe Rhodes writes:
>> Pascal Bourguignon <pjb@...> writes:
>> > In particular, what type uncertainty is there in being a
>> > (VECTOR (ARRAY BASE-CHAR)) ?
>> There are two kinds of type uncertainty in that type, both of them
>> fairly fundamental (i.e. common to all CL implementations).
>> The first is that it is uncertain whether an object of type
>> (VECTOR (ARRAY BASE-CHAR)) is a SIMPLE-ARRAY or not. Knowing that an
>> object is definitely a simple-array can lead to significant
>> performance improvements; unfortunately, there is no way of
>> expressing, currently, "I am aware that I may pay a price for the
>> genericity of having this code work on all vectors, not just simple
>> arrays of rank 1". So some implementations shut up about it, others
>> don't. (Maybe we should at default compilation settings, I don't
> To see why this behavior is obnoxious, try to compile this:
> (defun test-a (stuff)
> (declare (type t stuff))
> ((simple-vector-p stuff) (aref (the simple-vector stuff) 0))
> ((vectorp stuff) (aref (the vector stuff) 0))
> (t nil)))
> It looks like sbcl is incapable of (or at least, can't bear) working
> with anything else than simple arrays.
This is an unfair test of sbcl's type engine, because SIMPLE-VECTOR
means (SIMPLE-ARRAY T (*)), while VECTOR means (ARRAY * (*)). Thus,
there are simple array types that are not caught by the first clause.
However, it turns out that even a properly adjusted test
(defun test-a (stuff)
((typep stuff 'simple-vector) (aref stuff 0))
((typep stuff '(array t (*))) (aref stuff 0))
raises efficiency notes, when really it shouldn't [because in the
second branch STUFF should be known to be
(AND (ARRAY T (*)) (NOT SIMPLE-VECTOR))], but isn't.
> Well, why stop here? Since it's much more efficient to do additions
> with fixnums, why not issue notices when we use floating point
> And why not when you use a string (even a simple-string) issue a
> notice remembering that it would be much more efficient to avoid those
> long arrays and just use fixnums. After all, strings can't be stored
> in registers while fixnum can.
Good point. Thank you for this suggestion; I'll be implementing it as
soon as possible.
In all seriousness, the diagnostics that sbcl emits come from a
hodgepodge of heuristics that have accumulated over time. Some of
them are no longer appropriate at all; others are less important than
they once were. I think what there is a need for, really, is some way
of selectively ignoring the diagnostics; this would solve not only
this specific problem that you are having, but also similar problems
> It seems to me that the solution is simple: just believe what the
> programmer writes!
This might be one of those solutions that is simple in conception but
tricky in execution. I don't know; I haven't looked at it.
>> The second is significantly worse: since the
>> UPGRADED-ARRAY-ELEMENT-TYPE of (ARRAY BASE-CHAR) is T, the declaration
>> (VECTOR (ARRAY BASE-CHAR)) means _precisely_ the same as the
>> declaration (VECTOR T). In other words, as mandated by ANSI, you can
>> store absolutely anything in that vector, not just arrays of type
>> BASE-CHAR. Given this, the compiler is unable to infer how to do the
>> second dereference [in (AREF (AREF ...) ...)], because the result of
>> the first AREF could be anything.
> I understand that UPGRADED-ARRAY-ELEMENT-TYPE is implementation
> dependant, but why does sbcl upgrade a (ARRAY BASE-CHAR) to T and not
> to (ARRAY BASE-CHAR) ?
Because the implementation does not provide a representation of arrays
specialized to holding arrays of BASE-CHAR.
As an example: consider the type (SINGLE-FLOAT 0.0 1.0). If you ask
sbcl to create an array :ELEMENT-TYPE '(SINGLE-FLOAT 0.0 1.0), it will
give you back an array specialized to hold general SINGLE-FLOATs, the
layout of which looks something like this in memory:
[ header | length | element0 | element1 | element2 ]
where the element<n>s are unboxed single floats (i.e. they don't have
any header; they are just the bare IEEE single float in bits). This
is what is meant by a specialized array on some type.
You might wish to consider what you would need to do to provide a
specialization of array to hold objects of type (ARRAY BASE-CHAR).
> Is there a declaration I could add to specify that all the elements of
> my array are of type (ARRAY BASE-CHAR) ?
> Would adding THE (ARRAY CHARACTER *) in the right places do?
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