Monthly Archives: October 2011

One thing that’s great about many modern package managers like npm is that they make it really easy to install software from source repositories, not just from packages. Fortunately, it’s really easy to build a (very simple) version of this on top of Racket’s raco link command. Thus, the raco git tool. Here’s how to use it:

% raco git --github offby1 rudybot

And that’s all you need to do to install rudybot, everyone’s favorite IRC bot. Now there’s a Racket collection set up called rudybot, and you can do things like:

% racket -t rudybot/loop

To install raco git, do the following:

% git clone
% raco link raco-git
% raco setup raco-git

Recently, Matthew Flatt added programmatic logging of garbage collection events in Racket.  Based on this, I’ve built a tool for summarizing the GC behavior of Racket programs.  Here’s an example of how to use it:

 % racket -l gcstats -u my-program.rkt

This says to first require the gcstats module before running my-program.rkt. When you do this you’ll get a big printout after your program runs; below the fold, we’ll take a look at each line in detail.

    39,703,916 bytes allocated in the heap
    28,890,688 bytes collected by GC
    17,083,432 bytes max heap size
    16,604,120 bytes max slop
    28,229,632 bytes peak total memory use

Generation 0:       5 collections,       32ms,    31.71ms elapsed
Generation 1:       0 collections,        0ms,        0ms elapsed

INIT  time       256 ms
MUT   time       132 ms (    129.98 ms elapsed)
GC    time        32 ms (     31.71 ms elapsed)
TOTAL time       420 ms (    417.69 ms elapsed)

%GC time       19.51%   ( 19.61% elapsed)

Alloc rate     300,787,242 bytes per MUT second

To install, follow the instructions on the GitHub page.

Right now, the tool is preliminary, but useful. There are a few limitations:

  1. There are a few GCs before the tool starts — it can’t report anything about them.
  2.  If you have multiple places, it will only report information from the initial place. Fixing this will require  more information from Racket.
  3. The current architecture keeps too much info around during the run of the program.  I hope to fix that soon.

Hopefully, this gives people some better information about how the Racket GC behaves.  The output formatting and information gathered is inspired by similar output from the GHC runtime system. Read More