"Portable applications" should probably be "consistent/reliable applications", because the meaning is that "if it compiles & works on machine A, it compiles and works on machine B and does not mysteriously fail at runtime instead."
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SWI-Prolog's heap memory allocation is based on the malloc(3) library routines. SWI-Prolog provides the functions below as a wrapper around malloc(). Allocation errors in these functions trap SWI-Prolog's fatal-error handler, in which case PL_malloc() or PL_realloc() do not return.
Portable applications must use PL_free()
to release strings returned by PL_get_chars()
BUF_MALLOC argument. Portable applications may
use both PL_malloc()
and friends or malloc() and friends but should not mix these two sets of
functions on the same memory.