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What you describe is not what happens. You have a subroutine which triggers some action at a distance, namely, cleaning out a hash. You also seem to be quite confused when talking about references and what they reference, as you name them "pointers" and talk about "addresses". If you mean by "address" what you get when you print a reference (HASH(DEADBEEF)), then that is somewhat like a memory address, but you're better off treating it as a unique number identifying this particular hash.

Perl has no processes running asynchronously to your program. There is no "garbage collection" process, and memory allocated to Perl data structures is only released when there is nothing more (in Perl space) referencing it. So you have a logic error in your program that has nothing to do with memory management at that level.

Now, what could help us help you better was if you can show the relevant code that cleans out the hash contents and how you call it. Maybe it is something like this:

sub foo { my %some_hash = @_; }; foo( %another_hash );

Here, changes to %some_hash will never show up in %another_hash.

But maybe you are passing around nested references like this:

sub foo { my %some_hash = @_; }; my %another_hash = ( a_deeper_hash => { a => 1, }, another_deeper_hash => { b => 2, }, ); foo( %another_hash );

Now, changes made to $some_hash{ a_deeper_hash } will change $another_hash{ a_deeper_hash }, as the copy of the hash is a shallow copy.

My advice is this vague because you steadfastly refuse to show even what you see, the concrete debug messages and the code producing them, not to mention the code relevant to this. I understand that it's a tough task to remove more and more parts from a program that fails from time to time until you get to the input that makes it fail, but the only approach I know to accomplish is to reduce the input data until you find a dataset that always triggers the behaviour and then to start removing parts of the code, keeping only those parts that reproduce the error.

In reply to Re^3: Postpone garbage collection during a child process run? by Corion
in thread Postpone garbage collection during a child process run? by flexvault

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