Feature #8976


file-scope freeze_string directive

Added by akr (Akira Tanaka) over 8 years ago. Updated over 6 years ago.

Target version:


Yesterday, we had a face-to-face developer meeting.
Several committers attended.
matz didn't attended, though. (This means this issue is not concluded.)

We believe we found a better way to freeze static string literals for
less GC pressure.
"static string literal" is a string literal without dynamic expression.

Currently, f-suffix, "..."f, is used to freeze a string literal to avoid
String object allocation.

There are several problems for f-suffix:

  • The notation is ugly.
  • Syntax error on Ruby 2.0.
    We cannot use the feature in version independent libraries.
    So, it is difficult to deploy.
  • Need to modify for each string literal.
    This is cumbersome.

The new way we found is a file-scope directive as follows

freeze_string: true

The above comment at top of a file changes semantics of
static string literals in the file.
The static string literals will be frozen and always returns same object.
(The semantics of dynamic string literals is not changed.)

This way has following benefits:

  • No ugly f-suffix.
  • No syntax error on older Ruby.
  • We need only a line for each file.

We can write version independent library using frozen static string literals as follows.

  • Use the directive at top of the file: # freeze_string: true
    Older Ruby ignore this as a comment.
  • Use "...".dup for strings to be modified.
    Older Ruby has small disadvantage: useless dup is called.

Note that the directive effects all static string literals regardless of
single quotes, double quotes, %q-string, %qq-string and here documents.
The reason that the directive is effective not only single quotes is
we want to use escape sequences such as \n in frozen string literals.

Also note that similar directive is already exist:

% ruby -w -e '
def m
-e:3: warning: mismatched indentations at 'end' with 'def' at 2
% ruby -w -e '# -*- warn_indent: false -*-
def m

The directive, warn_indent: false, disables "mismatched indentations" warning.

nobu implemented this feature in the meeting.
Please attach the patch, nobu.

Related issues 4 (0 open4 closed)

Related to Ruby master - Feature #8977: String#frozen that takes advantage of the deduping Closedmatz (Yukihiro Matsumoto)Actions
Related to Ruby master - Feature #8579: Frozen string syntaxClosedcharliesome (Charlie Somerville)06/29/2013Actions
Related to Ruby master - Feature #11473: Immutable String literal in Ruby 3Closedmatz (Yukihiro Matsumoto)Actions
Has duplicate Ruby master - Feature #9278: Magic comment "immutable: string" makes "literal".freeze the default for that fileClosedActions

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