[Openmcl-devel] watched objects
R. Matthew Emerson
rme at clozure.com
Mon Sep 28 11:18:27 EDT 2009
There's an experimental new debugging feature in the trunk that allows
certain lisp objects to be "watched".
When a write takes place to a watched object, a condition of type
write-to-watched-object is signaled, and you get a break loop. You
can then get a backtrace, etc., to see what happened. There's a
restart that will unwatch the object and let you proceed. You can't
(yet) say "allow just this one write to happen, but keep the object
watched." To continue, you have to unwatch.
The functions CCL::WATCH and CCL::UNWATCH are the interface to this.
? (defvar *a* (make-array 3))
? (watch *a*)
? (setf (aref *a* 2) 'foo)
> Error: Write to watched object #<SIMPLE-VECTOR 3> at address
#xD5018 (uvector index 2).
> While executing: ASET, in process listener(1).
> Type :POP to abort, :R for a list of available restarts.
> Type :? for other options.
Calling WATCH with no arguments will return a list of objects being
To a reasonable approximation, heap-allocated objects in CCL are
either UVECTORs or CONSes. You can watch either kind of object, but
there are some restrictions.
Basically everything that isn't cons cell is a uvector (this includes
all sorts of arrays, functions, symbols, hash-tables, bignums, etc.).
For vectors, there's a one-to-one correspondence between the uvector
indicies and the vector indicies.
For more complicated objects (other arrays, hash tables, etc.), simply
saying, e.g., (watch *my-2d-array*) won't do what you probably want:
you'd need to watch the actual data vector, which is one element of
the uvector that represents the 2d array.
Although you can watch cons cells, you can watch only indivdual cons
cells. This means if you say something like (watch (list 3 4 5)),
you'll end up watching only the first cons (3 . (4 5)) instead of the
whole chain of cons cells.
The way watching objects is currently implemented is fairly simple
(and simple-minded); getting rid of these limitations would probably
involve writing most of a copying GC.
Anyway, if you want, try it out and let me know how it works (or more
importantly, if it doesn't). It is only implemented on x86 for now.
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