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runrig (3385)


Just another perl hacker somewhere near Disneyland

I have this homenode [] of little consequence on Perl Monks [] that you probably have no interest in whatsoever.

I also have some modules [] on CPAN [] some of which are marginally [] more [] useful [] than others.

Journal of runrig (3385)

Tuesday March 10, 2009
12:34 PM

Blowing your stack on exit

[ #38627 ]
I seriously doubt you'll ever have to worry about this in "real" code, but some comments last night at a talk about "Garbage Collection" got me thinking. The comments were to the effect of how, once, some perl program had lots of data structures and took a "long time" to exit because it first had to clean up all the reference counts. So I tried to come up with a worst case, and threw this together to make a ref to a ref to a ref etc...and was surprised by the result. It didn't take all that long to exit when n was 1 million, but when I bumped it to 2 million, I got a core dump, not when trying to build the data structure, but when the program was exiting. Well, yeah, duh, I guess the reference (un)counting is recursive :-)

my $n = 2_000_000;

my $s = "hello";
my $t = deepref(\$s, $n);
print "Made ref: ";
my $p = scalar(<STDIN>);

sub deepref {
  my ($s,$n) = @_;
  my $r = \$s;
  for (1..$n) {
    my $t = $$r;
    $r = \\$t;
  return $r;

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