How to save RAM in D programs (on zero initialized buffers)

Marco Leise Marco.Leise at
Tue Feb 7 21:18:46 PST 2012

Am 08.02.2012, 04:37 Uhr, schrieb Manfred Nowak <svv1999 at>:

> Marco Leise wrote:
>> I'm not aware of any caveats, are there any?
> The tests only cover a very small fraction of an unknown data
> structure: the allocation phase.
> Of course one can want to make a bad design running faster. Especially
> if one need to allocate 0.5 TB main memory and can allocate this in 1
> second instead of 98 seconds.
> But neglecting
> 1) the time for building a usable data structure of 0.5 TB main memory,
> 2) the time for quering this data structure for some element,
> 3) the time for inserting some element into this data structure,
> 4) the time for deleting some element from this data structure and
> 5) the amortized times of the actions in 3) and 4)
> is at least not in accordance with engineering principles.
> -manfred

I meant caveats with calloc vs. other allocators. I don't want to discuss  
the design of compression algorithms, that allocate a fixed sized buffer  
in advance. I am porting one of those to D and of the many data structures  
it allocates with calloc, there are some that may not be fully filled when  
the program exits. Yet, the user notices a start-up delay in the D version  
for the memory allocation and initialization as well as an instant jump to  
the maximum memory use. The C++ version starts instantly and maps memory  
pages on demand.
The algorithm relies on some of the buffers being zeroed out, so there is  
really no alternative to calloc.

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