2013-12-27

in-mode param use cases

12.8: adda/oop/in-mode param use cases:
8.731: 9.812:
. in-mode parameters that are offering values
(vs pointers) don't need an is-constant bit,
since they are copies that the callee can operate on;
in-mode pointers could use an is-constant bit
for describing whether the target can be modified?
the compiler can enforce constancy
by ensuring that the in-mode pointer's components
are passed only to other in-mode param's .
8.748:
. the primary reason for
in-mode param's being pointers
is when the callee expects the value to be
a large data structure,
and is agreeing to treat the pointer's target
as read-only rather than a writable copy .
. but another reason for an in-mode pointer
is that the pointer's target
is under the control of a different process
that will be changing the value in real time .
. so the formal in-mode pointer
needs to declare whether it honors read-only;
if it doesn't and an actual parameter is read-only
there could be a copy-on-write mechanism
where if the callee's code branched to
a place where it wanted to modify the target,
then the pointer was replaced to point to
a local copy of the target .
9.817: conclusion:
. an actual param has several cases:
# is a value (not a pointer):
. the value is copied,
and the callee's local version is modifiable .
# is a ptr real-time modified:
. the callee is getting a newsfeed
so there is no local version to modify
and it is considered read-only by callee .
# is a ptr not real-time modified:
. if the callee decides to modify the local version
one is created on demand (copy ptr target on modify).