git clone ''

(ql:quickload :fast-io)


Now with static-vectors support!

(deftype octet '(unsigned-byte 8))
(deftype octet-vector '(simple-array octet (*)))

Fast-io is about improving performance to octet-vectors and octet streams (though primarily the former, while wrapping the latter). Imagine we're creating messages for the network. If we try and fill an octet-vector with 50 bytes, 50000 times, here are the results (SBCL 1.0.57):

vector-push-extend: flexi-streams: fast-io:
Time: 0.767s 2.545s 0.090s
Bytes consed: 104,778,352 274,452,768 18,373,904

(See t/benchmarks.lisp for the exact code used.)

It should be surprising that it takes a nontrivial effort to achieve relatively decent performance to octet-vectors, but probably isn't. However, fast-io provides a relatively straightforward interface for reading and writing either a stream or a vector:

;;; Write a byte or sequence, optionally to a stream:

(with-fast-output (buffer [STREAM | :vector | :static])
  (fast-write-byte BYTE buffer))

(with-fast-output (buffer [STREAM | :vector | :static])
  (fast-write-sequence OCTET-VECTOR buffer [START [END]]))

;;; Read from a vector or stream:

(with-fast-input (buffer VECTOR [STREAM])
  (fast-read-byte buffer))

(with-fast-input (buffer VECTOR [STREAM])
  (let ((vec (make-octet-vector N)))
    (fast-read-sequence vec buffer [START [END]])))

Multi-byte and Endianness

Fast-io provides a host of read and write functions for big- and little-endian reads. See the Dictionary below.

Static Vectors

You may now specify :static instead of a stream to WITH-OUTPUT-BUFFER. This returns an octet-vector created with static-vectors, which means that passing the buffered data directly to a foreign function is now that much more efficient:

(let ((data (with-fast-output (buffer :static)
              (buffer-some-data buffer))))
  (foreign-send (static-vectors:static-vector-pointer data))
  (static-vectors:free-static-vector data))

Note that the restriction for manually freeing the result remains. This avoids multiple inefficient (i.e., byte-by-byte) copies to foreign memory.


Obviously, the above API isn't built around Lisp streams, or even gray-streams. However, fast-io provides a small wrapper using trivial-gray-streams, and supports {WRITE,READ}-SEQUENCE:

(let ((stream (make-instance 'fast-io:fast-output-stream)))
  (write-sequence (fast-io:octets-from '(1 2 3 4)) stream))

Both fast-input-stream and fast-output-stream support backing a stream, much like using the plain fast-io buffers. However, using the gray-streams interface is a 3-4x as slow as using the buffers alone. Simple benchmarks show the gray-streams interface writing 1M 50-byte vectors in about 1.7s, whereas simply using buffers is about 0.8s. Consing remains similar between the two.



Most functions operate on or require octet-vectors, i.e.,

(deftype octet () '(unsigned-byte 8))
(deftype octet-vector '(simple-array octet (*)))

Which is exactly what is defined and exported from fast-io. Also:


Reading and Writing

For multi-byte reads and writes requiring endianness, fast-io provides functions in the following forms: