Experts-Exchange was bad. Really, really bad. StackOverflow is much better. But. That’s not saying much. It’s still pretty bad. I try to avoid it when I can.
However, I recently got stuck–something weird was going on with Blocks and memory management. So I posted this question. It’s quite a detailed question. The question itself is sort of unimportant to my point, so I will summarize it:
- I am experiencing a crash
- The crash is memory-related, and I am debugging it by peering into the internals of the Objective-C memory manager
- I have whittled it down to a very small test case sprinkled with memory-management-debug-code that is of course not production-ready that indicates the problem clearly and repeatedly
- The behavior I am observing seems to run against what the documentation says should happen
Here is a summary of the response I received (4 votes):
- “The absolute retainCount… is meaningless” (which has nothing to do with what I am doing, I am comparing retainCount deltas). This sentence was taken from another answer where it was in fact helpful, but it was applied incorrectly here.
- A one-sentence woefully inadequate summary of the memory management rules, which (hopefully) I already know. If I didn’t, I certainly would not have been enlightened about them by reading that sentence.
- “Are you actually observing a crash? Or are you just shooting blindly from the hip and thinking that it might crash?”
- [Actual answer to the question]
- Admonition to never look inside the memory management internals, presumably because I cannot possibly understand the magic of autorelease pools or deferred execution, topics which I am not in the least bit confused about, and even if I was, could be easily explained by pointing to the relevant documentation
- An “application” of the memory management rules that sounds correct at first reading but is in fact dangerously wrong
- A “correction” to the application by a commenter who “improves” it but still leaves the statement dangerously incorrect.
Perhaps 10% of the answer was actually on-topic to the question. I have to extract this relevant information from a minefield of condescending or (worse) misleading information.
I don’t mean to attack the answerer. By all accounts he is a really nice guy and even authoritative in the field! But whenever I ask questions on SO, I seem to get answers like this.
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