Re: Sinkability considered harmful
- From: muppet <scott asofyet org>
- To: Tim Janik <timj imendio com>
- Cc: Federico Mena Quintero <federico ximian com>, GTK+ development mailing list <gtk-devel-list gnome org>
- Subject: Re: Sinkability considered harmful
- Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 09:22:25 -0500
On Jan 4, 2006, at 6:33 AM, Tim Janik wrote:
On Tue, 3 Jan 2006, Federico Mena Quintero wrote:
The "floating" flag was introduced in GtkObject to:
2. make things easier for language bindings.
this is not quite right. the floating flag is of no use to langauge
if it affects them, it makes things harder for LBs.
Actually (to throw a wrench in things), the floating flag *does* make
language bindings easier. The GtkObject wrapper can *always* do an
unconditional ref and sink; if it was floating, e.g., returned from a
constructor, the object is now owned by the wrapper, and if not, the
wrapper is just another owner. For non-floating objects, the binding
author must now distinguish constructors from other functions in
order to avoid leaking objects. Gtk2-Perl has seen a lot of
reference-count leaks related to GObject-returning functions that we
marked incorrectly (human error), but none related to GtkObject-
That said, the main impetus for the human error involved in marking
API functions has been the inconsistency of ownership for returned
objects, that is, violation of the Principle of Least Surprise. It's
not cool to have to look at the reference docs for every single
function to verify whether you need to unref the return value.
Someone's dog lost some poop in front of the Studio Theatre.
Unfortunately, this article has been slightly damaged since it was
neglectfully left on the sidewalk. It is available to its rightful
owner (or its owner's rightful owner) if they so desire to come and
scrape it off my shoe.
-- someplace on the internet
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