[Python-Dev] millions of tuples

Ian Kjos ikjos@email.uophx.edu
Tue, 30 Apr 2002 15:05:34 -0500

Two things spoken by Guido:

> But millions of tuples are not uncommon.  They're probably the only
> thing to worry about here.

> Unfortunately, the visit API doesn't make it easy to watch this[*]; a
> tuple calls visit() on its items but learns nothing except whether it
> failed.  (I've never seen a visit() implementation that could fail, so
> I'm not sure even why the return code exists.)

* "this" is the number of tracked objects visited during a GC scan, as
described by MvL

If visit() does something sensible (like traversing a directed, potentially
cyclic graph), then the only way it could fail is to not return. No doubt
there is a clear record of who calls this function.

Why not we change the semantics of visit() in this case to provide the
required information? Make visit() return a non-negative integer for "number
of tracked objects seen". If someone can find a good reason for error codes,
then there is the negative half of the integer number line. (/me is going
out on a limb and hypothesizing that visit() is in C for all relevant