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Friday, March 14, 2008

Malloc Fix-Up Takes 3.5 Days

I was reading Joel on Software:

"The nature of malloc is that it has a long linked list of available blocks of memory called the free chain. When you call malloc, it walks the linked list looking for a block of memory that is big enough for your request. Then it cuts that block into two blocks -- one the size you asked for, the other with the extra bytes, and gives you the block you asked for, and puts the leftover block (if any) back into the linked list. When you call free, it adds the block you freed onto the free chain. Eventually, the free chain gets chopped up into little pieces and you ask for a big piece and there are no big pieces available the size you want. So malloc calls a timeout and starts rummaging around the free chain, sorting things out, and merging adjacent small free blocks into larger blocks. This takes 3 1/2 days."

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000319.html

Call me simple but exaggeration as a device in humor nails me some times...

Happy Friday

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