On 13 May 2014 21:46, Jorge Acereda MaciĆ” <jacer...@gmail.com> wrote:
> ..[snip]..
> Am I missing something? alloca() just adds an offset to the stack pointer:

This whole thread is fascinating :-) and while following up some of
this dialogue with my own furious Googling I found a Stack Exchange
Q&A which has great answers and comments, many defending alloca(),
most however explaining why it (and VLAs) are apparently a bad idea
for anything other than guaranteed *small* chunks:

 
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1018853/why-is-alloca-not-considered-good-practice

at one point it links to another useful statement about them:

 http://compilers.iecc.com/comparch/article/91-12-079

One comment caused me to eventually stumble on Memory Pools:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_pools

which seems like it might be one of the best compromises for what you
are discussing (in terms of speed vs. safety/predictability). I am no
C-guru, so I'll just throw that in there in case it's useful. Ignore
it if it isn't.
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