Re: libc and free()
The way I dealt with this at Pixar is that I made an allocator that we
could use in parallel to malloc(), and was capable of un-mapping memory
to release it to the OS. We used this allocator for images, and left
the smaller stuff to malloc(). We keep the memory in the heap while the
program is active, and when the program is idle we call a function that
removes free pages from the heap and un-maps them.
You've actually probably seen a lot of films that were retouched using
this allocator (and other stuff we wrote). It was used to do
rig-removal on a few dozen live-action films - cables and harnesses
were painted out of the scene when actors fell or flied, etc.
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