References: CLtL p. 156, 159
Related issues: PROCLAIM-INLINE-WHERE
Edit History: 21 Sept. 88 V1 by David Gray
27 Oct. 88 V2 by David Gray - new proposal
9 Nov. 88 V3 by David Gray - expanded problem
description and discussion sections.
30 Dec. 88 V4 by Sandra Loosemore -- suggestions from Pitman
The proposal PROCLAIM-INLINE-WHERE:BEFORE (which was accepted by X3J13
on 10/12/88) clarifies the use of INLINE proclamations, but there
remains a similar problem with the use of a local (DECLARE (INLINE
...)): how can the compiler expand the function inline if it didn't
know that the necessary information should have been saved when the
function was compiled?
Note that an INLINE proclamation does two things:
(1) It tells the compiler to do extra things when it sees the
function -definition-, to make it possible to code the function
(2) It tells the compiler to code -calls- to the function inline.
In order for local INLINE declarations to be useful, we need part 1
without part 2.
Clarify that to define a function FOO which is not INLINE by default
but for which (DECLARE (INLINE FOO)) will make FOO be locally inlined,
the proper definition sequence is:
(PROCLAIM '(INLINE foo))
(DEFUN foo ...)
(PROCLAIM '(NOTINLINE foo))
The INLINE proclamation preceding the DEFUN ensures that compiler will
save the information necessary for inline expansion, and the NOTINLINE
proclamation following the DEFUN prevents it from being expanded
Note that while implementations are never required to perform inline
expansion of function calls, many implementations that do support
inline expansion will not be able to respond to local INLINE requests
if this technique is not followed.
Local INLINE declarations are of little use without some way of
alerting the compiler to the possibility of inline expansion before
the function is compiled. This seems the simplest solution since it
just clarifies existing practice instead of adding a new feature to
A compiler could use some heuristic to save the definitions of functions
that are short enough to look like good candidates for inline expansion,
but then the user is never sure what to expect. It is possible that a
compiler could simply save all definitions (assuming availability
of adequate storage space) but we shouldn't require that.
Given the following input to COMPILE-FILE, does F1 get expanded inline
in F2, and does F3 get expanded inline in F4?
(defun f1 (a) (+ a 100))
(defun f2 (b) (declare (inline f1)) (f1 b))
(proclaim '(inline f3))
(defun f3 (a) (+ a 100))
(proclaim '(notinline f3))
(defun f4 (b) (f3 b)) ;F3 is not inline.
(defun f5 (c) (declare (inline f3)) (f3 c)) ;F3 is locally inline.
(defun f6 (c) (f3 c)) ;The local effect is not
In the example above, using Symbolics, Lucid, or Explorer, F1 is not
expanded in F2, but F3 is expanded in F5.
Cost to implementors:
None, since this is a clarification in accordance with current
Cost to users:
Users will be able to use (DECLARE (INLINE ...)) with greater assurance
that it will really do something.
Costs of Non-Adoption:
Users will not know how to reliably request inline expansion on a
local basis. This technique is not obvious, and even the need
for it likely to be apparent only to people who understand something
about how the compiler does inline expansion.
Version 1 of this issue included proposal
ALLOW-LOCAL-INLINE:PROCLAIM-ALLOW-INLINE to make an addition to the
(PROCLAIM '(ALLOW-INLINE foo))
This was met with a lack of enthusiasm since it was pointed out that
the same effect could be obtained by using a combination of INLINE and
This is may not be completely true, however, since people's thinking
about NOTINLINE has evolved in the direction of a declaration that
tells the compiler "assume nothing about this function". Thus, a
NOTINLINE proclamation might suppress some optimizations that would
have occurred if there had never been an INLINE and NOTINLINE.
Ideally, it would be nice to have multiple levels of control instead
of just INLINE or NOTINLINE -- something like:
* always inline
* maybe inline (let the compiler decide)
* just save the definition for possible local inline
* never inline
Pitman has said that he generally approves of the direction of this
proposal, but he has also expressed concerns about how the persistance
of INLINE proclamations may cause confusion when functions are redefined
in an incremental development environment.