( Shared Substrings

Info Catalog ( Shared And Read Only Strings ( Read Only Strings
 36.1.1 Shared Substrings
 Whenever you extract a substring using `substring', the Scheme
 interpreter allocates a new string and copies data from the old string.
 This is expensive, but `substring' is so convenient for manipulating
 text that programmers use it often.
    Guile Scheme provides the concept of the "shared substring" to
 improve performance of many substring-related operations.  A shared
 substring is an object that mostly behaves just like an ordinary
 substring, except that it actually shares storage space with its parent
  -- Deprecated Scheme Procedure: make-shared-substring str [start [end]]
  -- Deprecated C Function: scm_make_shared_substring (str, start, end)
      Return a shared substring of STR.  The arguments are the same as
      for the `substring' function: the shared substring returned
      includes all of the text from STR between indexes START
      (inclusive) and END (exclusive).  If END is omitted, it defaults
      to the end of STR.  The shared substring returned by
      `make-shared-substring' occupies the same storage space as STR.
      (define foo "the quick brown fox")
      (define bar (make-shared-substring some-string 4 9))
      foo => "t h e   q u i c k   b r o w n   f o x"
      bar =========> |---------|
    The shared substring BAR is not given its own storage space.
 Instead, the Guile interpreter notes internally that BAR points to a
 portion of the memory allocated to FOO.  However, BAR behaves like an
 ordinary string in most respects: it may be used with string primitives
 like `string-length', `string-ref', `string=?'.  Guile makes the
 necessary translation between indices of BAR and indices of FOO
      (string-length? bar) => 5	; bar only extends from indices 4 to 9
      (string-ref bar 3)  => #\c	; same as (string-ref foo 7)
      (make-shared-substring bar 2)
        => "ick"			; can even make a shared substring!
    Because creating a shared substring does not require allocating new
 storage from the heap, it is a very fast operation.  However, because it
 shares memory with its parent string, a change to the contents of the
 parent string will implicitly change the contents of its shared
      (string-set! foo 7 #\r)
      bar => "quirk"
    Guile considers shared substrings to be immutable.  This is because
 programmers might not always be aware that a given string is really a
 shared substring, and might innocently try to mutate it without
 realizing that the change would affect its parent string.  (We are
 currently considering a "copy-on-write" strategy that would permit
 modifying shared substrings without affecting the parent string.)
    In general, shared substrings are useful in circumstances where it is
 important to divide a string into smaller portions, but you do not
 expect to change the contents of any of the strings involved.
Info Catalog ( Shared And Read Only Strings ( Read Only Strings
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