Converting between type and immutable with the same layout



I want to convert a mutable type to an immutable type with the same layout, with the immutable type not having a constructor. Is the code below a safe way to do so?

type MutableFoo

immutable ImmutableFoo

a = MutableFoo(C_NULL)
b = unsafe_load(reinterpret(Ptr{ImmutableFoo}, (pointer_from_objref(a))))


It’s possible (though shouldn’t happen in most cases) to have a free’d before the unsafe_load.


OK, so as long as a keeps referring to the original mutable it’s fine, right?


a is the original mutable? I just mean that unsafe_load(reinterpret(Ptr{ImmutableFoo}, (pointer_from_objref(a)))) does not guarantee that a will be valid when you read it.

a also doesn’t reference any other ojects. In fact, it can be bad if it does.


Yes, a is the original mutable, convention will be that this is the placeholder to prevent GC and it should be kept or the object (from C++ in this case) stored in the void pointer will be deleted by the finalizer attached to a. This is in fact an implementation detail for referencing C++ objects. Since MutableFoo and ImmutableFoo are both created using the C API, they have no constructor attached (and I couldn’t find a way to attach one from C) so this hack allows me to convert to the stack-allocated “reference type” without using ccall.


A simpler, more common solution is to define that
MutableFoo = Ref{ImmutableFoo}