On 04.02.2016 14:25, Victor Stinner wrote:
> Thanks for your feedback, you are asking good questions :-)
> 2016-02-04 13:54 GMT+01:00 M.-A. Lemburg <m...@egenix.com>:
>>> There are 536 calls to the functions PyMem_Malloc(), PyMem_Realloc()
>>> and PyMem_Free().
>>> I would prefer to modify a single place having to replace 536 calls :-/
>> You have a point there, but I don't think it'll work out
>> that easily, since we are using such calls to e.g. pass
>> dynamically allocated buffers to code in extensions (which then
>> have to free the buffers again).
> Ah, interesting. But I'm not sure that we delegate the responsability
> of freeing the memory to external libraries. Usually, it's more the
> opposite: a library gives us an allocated memory block, and we have to
> free it. No?

Sometimes, yes, but we also do allocations for e.g.
parsing values in Python argument tuples (e.g. using
"es" or "et"):


We do document to use PyMem_Free() on those; not sure whether
everyone does this though.

> I checked if we call directly malloc() to pass the buffer to a
> library, but I failed to find such case.
> Again, in debug mode, calling free() on a memory block allocated by
> PyMem_Malloc() will likely crash. Since we run the Python test suite
> with a Python compiled in debug mode, we would already have detected
> such bug, no?

The Python test suite doesn't test Python C extensions,
so it's not surprising that it passes :-)

> See also my old issue http://bugs.python.org/issue18203 which replaced
> almost all direct calls to malloc() with PyMem_Malloc() or
> PyMem_RawMalloc().
>> Good question. I guess developers simply thought of PyObject_Malloc()
>> being for PyObjects,
> Yeah, I also understood that, but in practice, it looks like
> PyMem_Malloc() is slower than so using it makes the code less
> efficient than it can be.
> Instead of teaching developers that well, in fact, PyObject_Malloc()
> is unrelated to object programming, I think that it's simpler to
> modify PyMem_Malloc() to reuse pymalloc ;-)

Perhaps if you add some guards somewhere :-)

Seriously, this may work if C extensions use the APIs
consistently, but in order to tell, we'd need to check
few. I know that I switched over all mx Extensions to
use PyObject_*() instead of PyMem_*() or native malloc()
several years ago and have not run into any issues.

I guess the main question then is whether pymalloc is good enough
for general memory allocation needs; and the answer may well be

BTW: Tuning pymalloc for commonly used object sizes is
another area where Python could gain better performance,
i.e. reserve more / pre-allocate space for often used block
sizes. pymalloc will also only work well for small blocks
(up to 512 bytes). Everything else is routed to the
system malloc().

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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