2008/9/24 Matthew Armstrong <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
>>>>I don't know if this is enough to get what you want, but you can
> Try the opposite approach, make a.b be a Lua reference, so that when a
> is collected/deleted, you don't automatically delete its b sub-object.
> So if I do that, I'm back to the point where b leaks. Now, if I could
> somehow make it so that b collects when there are no references to b _and_
> there are no references to 'a', then I'd be ok. But I don't know how I'd go
> about doing that ...
simply put the corresponding b inside the environment of a when a is
created. This prevents collecting b if a is accessible.
However I suspect you need also to make sure that a is not collected
if there is a reference to its member b somewhere inside lua. This
calls for a being in the env of b. The collector can take care of
loops, but you'd have to make sure that if you collect a then b
becomes invalid (i.e. you cannot do any more operations that read
This seems complex because I guess the classes are not actually so simple.
My approach would be overriding the __index for that class so that
access to b copies the value. Something like this at the beginning of
local mt = getmetatable(a)
local oi = mt.__index
local i = function (t, k)
if k=='b' then
return my_copy(oi(t,'b') -- or t.b:copy() if you make it a member
mt.__index = i
If the metatable is shared (as is usually done) you have to do this
only once per type.
hope this helps,
> On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 5:54 AM, Jerome Vuarand <email@example.com>
>> 2008/9/23 Matthew Armstrong <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
>> > Adding a copy (or clone) method is entirely doable (I've actually done
>> > so
>> > already). The problem is, we have a rather large code base that depends
>> > on
>> > this type of code already:
>> > b = a.b
>> > Right now, a is never reclaimed, so we have a (bad) leak. If I fix the
>> > leak
>> > so 'a' is reclaimed, it will cause crashes all over the place, because b
>> > becomes invalid after collection.
>> > It would be very difficult to track down all these cases and replace a.b
>> > with a.b:clone(), or whatever. That's why I want to override the
>> > behavior
>> > and have it "just work".
>> Try the opposite approach, make a.b be a Lua reference, so that when a
>> is collected/deleted, you don't automatically delete its b sub-object.