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Re^3: Trouble getting size of list returned from sub

by ColonelPanic (Friar)
on Nov 26, 2012 at 12:25 UTC ( #1005629=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Trouble getting size of list returned from sub
in thread Trouble getting size of list returned from sub

Actually, it is not a scoping issue. By that logic, this should also save memory:

sub get_size { my @a = big_list(); return scalar @a } my $size = get_size();

However, in a simple test, that uses the same memory as a global array that does the same thing.

Perl, generally speaking, does not release memory back to the OS unless your system is running out of memory. The memory from lexical variables can be claimed and reused by Perl, but it doesn't go back to the OS.

All of the other methods created an array in addition to what was copied on the stack. map only creates an array of 1s in addition to what was copied on the stack; thus it uses less memory (unless your original data is no bigger than integers, of course) (and yes, this was not always true in older versions of Perl).



When's the last time you used duct tape on a duct? --Larry Wall


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Re^4: Trouble getting size of list returned from sub
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 26, 2012 at 15:24 UTC

    Actually, it is not a scoping issue

    Sure it is

    By that logic, this should also save memory:

    No, you're copying the list, same as map used to do, even in void context, instead of merely aliasing it -- @_ is alias until you copy it, but you figured that out yourself in Re: Trouble getting size of list returned from sub

      Sure it is

      I responded to your earlier claim that memory from lexical variables is returned to the OS, based on both a statement from the Perl FAQ and evidence from testing. So, simply continuing to assert your previous position without any new argument is not going to cut it. I would be happy to learn how I am wrong on this, but if I am wrong please explain why.

      No, you're copying the list...

      This appears to be a response to the subroutine solution I posted below. Again, the evidence from testing seems clear enough--it uses less memory than the solutions that explicitly or implicitly make a copy of the array. In this case, my assumption was that the list returned from the first function call is left on the stack and used as the arguments for the second function call. @_ then refers directly to the stack, and thus no new copy is made. Again, I would be happy to be proved wrong on this.

      Note: I'm assuming you're the same Anonymous Monk as the previous one here. My apologies to both of you if that is incorrect.



      When's the last time you used duct tape on a duct? --Larry Wall

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