(j3.2006) Finalization ordering question

Jim Xia jimxia
Wed Oct 24 15:15:07 EDT 2007

j3-bounces at j3-fortran.org wrote on 10/24/2007 02:38:05 PM:

> On Wednesday 24 October 2007 11:29, Jim Xia wrote:
> > Can you point out to me where in F2003 standard there is a reference 
to a
> > parent component as an array?
> Semantic issues asside, i.e., what "parent component of an entity that 
is an 
> array" means (Mike was also wondering this), I believe the intention 
here is 
> clear and in Interp would (should!) say: The parent component is 
finalized as 
> an array if an appropriate array finalizer exists.
> This is the only thing that makes sense.

Sorry to say I disagree here.  I don't find this approach as the "only 
thing" that makes sense.  In many cases, this approach is unnatural even 
with the argument of parent component(s) aside.

First, for any extended type that has array finalizer, it requires its 
parent type to have the finalizer of the same rank.  How often can you 
rely on this assumption for the finalization to be done correctly?

Another problem is you're dealing with a non-contiguious array here in 
calling the parent's finalizer.  Take Bill's example, X%T represents an 
array occupying non-contiguious spaces.  Calling X's rank-one finalizer is 
great if the final subroutine is expecting an assumed-shape, then you can 
construct a descriptor and pass it to the routine.  Well, what if the 
final subroutine is not expecting an assumed-shape, say assumed-size array 
instead, then you'll have make a copy of it and pass the address of the 
copy, and then copy back whatever is done to the original parent 
components.  This is a classic copy-in/copy-out problem you'll be dealing 
with.  I wouldn't count on a user to always use assumed-shape array in her 
array finalizer.

In overall the scalar approach is much neutral in these situations even 
though it can't take advantage in the assumed-shape array case.  In 
language design, I'd consider usability and safety first before 
considering performance issues.


Jim Xia

XL Fortran Compiler Testing
IBM Toronto Lab at 8200 Warden Ave.
Phone (905) 413-3444  Tie-line 969-3444
D2/NAH/8200 /MKM
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