There are multiple reasons to do this. One big reason is the license:
talloc is LGPLv3+, which forces mpv to be licensed as GPLv3+.
Another one is that our talloc copy contains modifications, which makes
it essentially incompatible with upstream talloc (in particular, our
version aborts on out of memory conditions - well, it wasn't my idea).
Updating from upstream is also a bit involved - the talloc source is
not really organized in a way to allow copying it into projects (and
this isn't an intended use-case).
Finally, talloc is kind of big and bloated. The replacement halves the
amount of code - mainly because we didn't use all talloc features. It's
even more extreme if you compare upstream talloc (~4700 lines) and the
new allocator without talloc compat (~900 lines).
The replacement provides all features we need. It also doesn't clash
with talloc. (The talloc compatibility wrapper uses macros to avoid
introducing linker-level symbols which could clash with libtalloc.)
It also tries to lower the overhead (only 4 words opposed to 10 words
in talloc for leaf nodes in release mode). Debugging features like leak
reporting can be enabled at compile time and add somewhat more overhead.
Though I'm not sure whether the overhead reduction was actually
successful: allocations with children need an "extra" header, which adds
plenty of overhead, and it turns out that almost half of all allocations
have children. Maybe the implementation could be simplified and the
extra header removed - even then, overhead would be lower than talloc's.
Currently, debugging features can be entirely deactivated by defining
NDEBUG - I'm not sure if anything defines this directly yet, though.
Unlike in talloc, the leak reporting stuff is thread-safe. (That's also
why it's far less elegant, and requires extra list pointers.)
Comes with a compatibility layer, so no changes to mpv source code
are needed. The idea is that we will pretend to be using talloc for
a while, so that we can revert to our old talloc implementation at
any time for debugging purposes.
Some inspiration was taken from Mesa's ralloc:
This is another talloc replacement, but lacks some features we need
(getting size of an allocation, debugging features, being able to
access children in the dtor).
There's some information in ta/README what will happen next and how the
transition is expected to progress.