Provided by: tcl8.4-doc_8.4.19-4ubuntu3_all bug

NAME

       Tcl_Preserve,  Tcl_Release,  Tcl_EventuallyFree  -  avoid freeing storage while it's being
       used

SYNOPSIS

       #include <tcl.h>

       Tcl_Preserve(clientData)

       Tcl_Release(clientData)

       Tcl_EventuallyFree(clientData, freeProc)

ARGUMENTS

       ClientData     clientData   (in)      Token  describing   structure   to   be   freed   or
                                             reallocated.    Usually  a  pointer  to  memory  for
                                             structure.

       Tcl_FreeProc   *freeProc    (in)      Procedure to invoke to free clientData.
_________________________________________________________________

DESCRIPTION

       These three procedures help implement a simple  reference  count  mechanism  for  managing
       storage.   They are designed to solve a problem having to do with widget deletion, but are
       also useful in many other situations.  When a widget is deleted, its  widget  record  (the
       structure  holding  information  specific  to  the widget) must be returned to the storage
       allocator.  However, it's possible that the widget record is in active use by one  of  the
       procedures on the stack at the time of the deletion.  This can happen, for example, if the
       command associated with a button widget causes the button to be  destroyed:   an  X  event
       causes an event-handling C procedure in the button to be invoked, which in turn causes the
       button's associated Tcl command to be executed, which in turn  causes  the  button  to  be
       deleted,   which   in   turn  causes  the  button's  widget  record  to  be  de-allocated.
       Unfortunately, when the Tcl command returns, the button's  event-handling  procedure  will
       need to reference the button's widget record.  Because of this, the widget record must not
       be freed as part of the deletion, but must be retained until the event-handling  procedure
       has finished with it.  In other situations where the widget is deleted, it may be possible
       to free the widget record immediately.

       Tcl_Preserve and Tcl_Release implement short-term reference counts  for  their  clientData
       argument.   The  clientData  argument  identifies  an  object  and usually consists of the
       address of a structure.  The reference counts guarantee that an object will not  be  freed
       until  each  call to Tcl_Preserve for the object has been matched by calls to Tcl_Release.
       There may be any number of unmatched Tcl_Preserve calls in effect at once.

       Tcl_EventuallyFree is invoked to free up its clientData argument.  It  checks  to  see  if
       there  are  unmatched  Tcl_Preserve calls for the object.  If not, then Tcl_EventuallyFree
       calls freeProc immediately.  Otherwise Tcl_EventuallyFree records the fact that clientData
       needs eventually to be freed.  When all calls to Tcl_Preserve have been matched with calls
       to Tcl_Release then freeProc will be called by Tcl_Release to do the cleanup.

       All the work of freeing the object  is  carried  out  by  freeProc.   FreeProc  must  have
       arguments and result that match the type Tcl_FreeProc:
              typedef void Tcl_FreeProc(char *blockPtr);
       The  blockPtr  argument  to  freeProc  will  be  the  same  as  the clientData argument to
       Tcl_EventuallyFree.  The type of blockPtr (char *) is  different  than  the  type  of  the
       clientData  argument  to  Tcl_EventuallyFree  for historical reasons, but the value is the
       same.

       When the clientData  argument  to  Tcl_EventuallyFree  refers  to  storage  allocated  and
       returned  by  a  prior call to Tcl_Alloc, ckalloc, or another function of the Tcl library,
       then the freeProc argument should be given the special value of TCL_DYNAMIC.

       This mechanism can be used to solve the problem described above  by  placing  Tcl_Preserve
       and  Tcl_Release calls around actions that may cause undesired storage re-allocation.  The
       mechanism is intended only for short-term use (i.e. while procedures are  pending  on  the
       stack);   it will not work efficiently as a mechanism for long-term reference counts.  The
       implementation does not depend in any way on the internal structure of the  objects  being
       freed;  it keeps the reference counts in a separate structure.

SEE ALSO

       Tcl_Interp, Tcl_Alloc

KEYWORDS

       free, reference count, storage