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Discussion on: C++ Programming: Arena Allocation

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Ashish Bailkeri Author • Edited on

If you look back, the article has removed some confusing language and it is no longer called "flexible". I understand that you say arena allocation pretty much useless, but the point is to talk about this kind of allocator, it's interesting to know that is not used in many places but it is still useful enough to learn about in an article which as you say, taught to "fledgling C programmers". I never explicitly state in the article that arena allocation vastly better or worse than other allocators I only list it's benefits and I technically give an example of use case in compilers. Many people I know who are also developing their language using compilers allocate large chunks using either pools of memory or arena allocation and I use it in my own compiler. Not to say that you don't see it too often, but I see it as a useful data structure to understand in C++ and to be able to understand it you need to get off the basics.

"But at this point you are selling, roller skates as a robust and flexible off-roading vehicle that everyone else is too dumb to use."

Is listing advantages really inflating the allocation system? Every allocation system has its advantages, and so does arena allocation no matter how useless you think it is, and it also has its disadvantages many of which you have listed.

The purpose of this article is to inform, not talk about whether it is better or worse to use practically. Learning arena allocation is important to understanding how allocators can work and is good for programmers getting into this space. I hope you understand that this article is not designed to misinform about the "wonders of arena allocation", however, it is designed to list some reasons to use this and how to implement this type of allocation.

If you have any further questions on this article, feel free to let me know.