[webkit-dev] size_t vs unsigned in WTF::Vector API ?

Chris Dumez cdumez at apple.com
Wed Nov 19 12:20:10 PST 2014

Hi all,

I recently started updating the WTF::Vector API to use unsigned types instead of size_t [1][2], because:
- WTF::Vector is already using unsigned type for size/capacity internally to save memory on 64-bit, causing a mismatch between the API and the internal representation [3]
- Some reviewers have asked me to use unsigned for loop counters iterating over vectors (which looks unsafe as the Vector API, e.g. size(), returns a size_t).
- I heard from Joseph that this type mismatch is forcing us (and other projects using WTF) to disable some build time warnings
- The few people I talked to before making that change said we should do it

However, Alexey recently raised concerns about this change. it doesn't "strike him as the right direction. 4Gb is not much, and we should have more of WebKit work with the right data types, not less.”.
I did not initially realize that this change was controversial, but now that it seems it is, I thought I would raise the question on webkit-dev to see what people think about this.

Chris Dumez - Apple Inc.
Cupertino, CA

[1] http://trac.webkit.org/changeset/176275 <http://trac.webkit.org/changeset/176275>
[2] http://trac.webkit.org/changeset/176293 <http://trac.webkit.org/changeset/176293>
[3] http://trac.webkit.org/changeset/148891 <http://trac.webkit.org/changeset/148891>
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