Destructors and Deterministic Memory Management

Georg Wrede georg.wrede at
Tue May 5 04:10:32 PDT 2009

Sean Kelly wrote:
> dsimcha wrote:
>> Two closely related topics here:
>> 1.  It is often nice to be able to create a single object that works 
>> with both
>> GC and deterministic memory management.  The idea is that, if delete 
>> is called
>> manually, all sub-objects would be freed deterministically, but the 
>> object
>> could still safely be GC'd.  Since the destructor called by the GC can't
>> reference sub-objects, would it be feasible to have two destructors 
>> for each
>> class, one that is called when delete is invoked manually and another 
>> that is
>> called by the GC?
> You can do this today with both Druntime on D 2.0 and Tango on D 1.0, 
> though it isn't the most performant approach.  The code would look 
> something like this:
> import core.runtime;
> interface Disposable
> {
>     void dispose();
> }
> bool handler( Object o )
> {
>     auto d = cast(Disposable) o;
>     if( d !is null )
>     {
>         d.dispose();
>         return false;
>     }
>     return true;
> }
> static this()
> {
>     Runtime.collectHandler = &handler;
> }
> If you return false from your collectHandler then the runtime won't call 
> the object's dtor.

Err, if one has an object that needs deterministic destruction, then one 
calls it (with say myDelete()) to have it release its resources. Until 
then, of course, it shouldn't get collected. But in any case it won't, 
because we obviously have a handler to it because we still haven't 
decided to destruct it. So I assume there's something I don't understand 

After we're done with destructing (as in having called myDelete()), then 
we "delete the object", or let it go out of scope. Then it becomes 
eligible for disposal. So, what's the relevance of Disposable here?

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