[PD] symbol anxiety

Frank Barknecht fbar at footils.org
Tue Feb 24 10:07:35 CET 2009

Mathieu Bouchard hat gesagt: // Mathieu Bouchard wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Feb 2009, Phil Stone wrote:
>> Oh!  Very good.  I didn't realize that an identical symbol would get  
>> re-used.  For completeness' sake, I will make a new [ps-stopwatch] that 
>> does not leak (and is plain vanilla, to boot).
> Yes, it's re-used, which sort of goes with the fact that it doesn't get 
> de-allocated, but that is also because it's less trouble (for pd itself) 
> to have eternal symbols than mortal symbols.
> But the re-use also goes with the fact that it's easier and faster to  
> compare two symbol addresses (t_symbol *) than two string contents, and  
> if pd _ensures_ re-use, then two identical addresses _mean_ two identical 
> strings.
> But all this pd symbol concept comes essentially as-is from 1961 LISP. It 
> was then adopted by LOGO and Smalltalk in addition to all of the LISP  
> variants, and then by Ruby, and then the Ruby guys figured out that in 
> the end, a symbol type could be pretty useless if you had a good enough 
> string type, so they almost merged them. Most other languages just have 
> had a string type and improved on that instead of having symbol-vs-string 
> or just symbols. All this to say I'm in favour of replacing symbols with  
> strings (while still calling them "symbols" just because).

Is there a difference between symbols and immutable strings like Lua
or Java have them?

 Frank Barknecht            Do You RjDj.me?          _ ______footils.org__

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