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[Emacs-diffs] master 1acc0cc 1/2: Improve doc of GC thresholds

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: [Emacs-diffs] master 1acc0cc 1/2: Improve doc of GC thresholds
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2019 13:56:17 -0400 (EDT)

branch: master
commit 1acc0cc9aaf25c808a60cf09cf8a4d1c653c3aa9
Author: Paul Eggert <address@hidden>
Commit: Paul Eggert <address@hidden>

    Improve doc of GC thresholds
    * doc/lispref/internals.texi (Garbage Collection), etc/NEWS:
    Warn that control over GC is only approximate.
 doc/lispref/internals.texi | 13 ++++++++++---
 etc/NEWS                   |  7 +++++++
 2 files changed, 17 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)

diff --git a/doc/lispref/internals.texi b/doc/lispref/internals.texi
index f85c266..c52999e 100644
--- a/doc/lispref/internals.texi
+++ b/doc/lispref/internals.texi
@@ -533,9 +533,6 @@ be allocated for Lisp objects after one garbage collection 
in order to
 trigger another garbage collection.  You can use the result returned by
 @code{garbage-collect} to get an information about size of the particular
 object type; space allocated to the contents of buffers does not count.
-Note that the subsequent garbage collection does not happen immediately
-when the threshold is exhausted, but only the next time the Lisp interpreter
-is called.
 The initial threshold value is @code{GC_DEFAULT_THRESHOLD}, defined in
 @file{alloc.c}.  Since it's defined in @code{word_size} units, the value
@@ -562,6 +559,16 @@ increases.  Thus, it can be desirable to do them less 
frequently in
 @end defopt
+  Control over the garbage collector via @code{gc-cons-threshold} and
+@code{gc-cons-percentage} is only approximate.  Although Emacs checks
+for threshold exhaustion regularly, for efficiency reasons it does not
+do so immediately after every change to the heap or to
+@code{gc-cons-threshold} or @code{gc-cons-percentage}, so exhausting
+the threshold does not immediately trigger garbage collection.  Also,
+for efficency in threshold calculations Emacs approximates the heap
+size, which counts the bytes used by currently-accessible objects in
+the heap.
   The value returned by @code{garbage-collect} describes the amount of
 memory used by Lisp data, broken down by data type.  By contrast, the
 function @code{memory-limit} provides information on the total amount of
diff --git a/etc/NEWS b/etc/NEWS
index 94c98a7..252c6bf 100644
--- a/etc/NEWS
+++ b/etc/NEWS
@@ -2430,6 +2430,13 @@ remote systems, which support this check.
 ** 'memory-limit' now returns a better estimate of memory consumption.
+** When interpreting 'gc-cons-percentage', Emacs now estimates the
+heap size more often and (we hope) more accurately.  E.g., formerly
+(progn (let ((gc-cons-percentage 0.8)) BODY1) BODY2) continued to use
+the 0.8 value during BODY2 until the next garbage collection, but that
+is no longer true.  Applications may need to re-tune their GC tricks.
 ** New macro 'combine-change-calls' arranges to call the change hooks
 ('before-change-functions' and 'after-change-functions') just once
 each around a sequence of lisp forms, given a region.  This is

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