Garbage collection

David Gould <>
Fri Aug 27 20:55:44 CEST 1999


On Fri, Aug 27, 1999 at 01:15:39PM -0500, James Hague wrote:
> Isn't the goal of the Boehm collector to work with systems that otherwise
> don't "understand" garbage collection on a fundamental level?  What's the
> purpose of such a collector in a language where all datatypes are already
> tagged?

Yes, the Boehm collector is a conservative collector intended to work 
without type information. However, it can use type information if it is
available, and the lack of type information is not so much a hindrance as
one might suppose. The advantage of the Boehm collector is maturity of
development and wide use.

There is also an open question as to whether a copying collector as apparently
Erlang uses is better or worse than a mark-sweep collector on modern cache
intensive hardware. 

For a good discussion of this check out http://reality.sgi.com/boehm/gc.html.

-dg


-- 
David Gould                       510.628.3783 or 510.305.9468 
Informix Software                       300 Lakeside Drive  Oakland, CA 94612
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