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NSString Retain Count of 2147483647 Thomas Wetmore Wed Jun 24 08:01:24 2009

I know you're not supposed to use retain counts when debugging memory issues, but I have found it very (VERY) useful at times. While looking at retain counts of NSStrings I have found an oddity that I think I understand, but would like confirmation if possible.

When I use NSScanners to chop strings up, whenever I pull a one- character string out of a scanner that string has a retain count of 2147483647 (2**32 - 1). My guess is that there are pre-allocated, one- character strings for all (most?) characters that are given this maximum possible value of a retain count, the digital equivalent of infinity. Then these one-character strings can be released pretty much to one's heart's content but never deallocated unless there is an incredible bug, in which case I'm guessing that another such one- character string would be allocated to replace it.

Can anyone confirm this suspicion?


Tom Wetmore, curious Xcoder
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