On Wed, 2015-08-19 at 10:45 -0400, Ken Giusti wrote:
> Nicely done Alan! 
> One point - I'm a little confused about your advice regarding 
> pn_object_decref: 
> > The proton C API has standard reference counting rules (but see [1] 
> > below)
> > * A pointer returned by a pn_ function is either borrowed by the 
> > caller, or
> > the caller owns a reference (the API doc says which.)
> > * The owner of a reference must call pn_object_decref() exactly 
> > once to
> > release it.
> Really?  What about those proton objects that have a pn_X_free() 
> method?  I believe the corresponding pn_X() allocation methods pass 
> back an owning reference to the object.  If a pn_X_free() exists (and 
> the user never calls pn_object_incref() on the object), shouldn't the 
> user use the pn_X_free() method instead?
> Maybe the doc should make that distinction, e.g.:
> * if an object of type pn_X_t has a corresponding pn_X_free() method, 
> call the pn_X_free() method to release your reference to the object.
> * otherwise, if you have called pn_object_incref() on the object, you 
> must call pn_object_decref() on the object to release your reference.

>From skimming the source, I believe pn_x_free looks at the refcount
itself and behaves like pn_object_decref without the

    if (--refcount=0) pn_x_free(me) 

So in theory they *should* work together. The proton lib has no way of
knowing whether the last thing to release an object will be an internal
decref or a pn_x_free from the user, so I sure *hope* they work

However I did want to make the point that you should EITHER use
refcounts only OR free only, not both. Even if it works today your code
or your head may explode later. IMO "normal" C code (including bindings
to languages without finalizers like Go) should use free only, bindings
to automated memory languages like python and soon C++ should use
refcounts only.

Of course the difference between theory and practice is that in theory 
they are the same and in practice they are different.

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