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7.20 Implementation notes

The profiler works by setting the unix profiling signal ITIMER_PROF to go off after the interval you define in the call to statprof-reset. When the signal fires, a sampling routine is run which looks at the current procedure that’s executing, and then crawls up the stack, and for each procedure encountered, increments that procedure’s sample count. Note that if a procedure is encountered multiple times on a given stack, it is only counted once. After the sampling is complete, the profiler resets profiling timer to fire again after the appropriate interval.

Meanwhile, the profiler keeps track, via get-internal-run-time, how much CPU time (system and user – which is also what ITIMER_PROF tracks), has elapsed while code has been executing within a statprof-start/stop block.

The profiler also tries to avoid counting or timing its own code as much as possible.

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