Garbage collection

David Brown <>
Fri Aug 27 21:33:26 CEST 1999


>>>>> On Fri, 27 Aug 1999 13:15:39 -0500 (CDT), James Hague <> said:

> 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?

Correct.  Boehm also has the (possibly serious) drawback that it is
conservative.  Since pointers and integers are not tagged, integers
that look like pointers will keep items from being collected.  I would
guess that Boehm would probably not perform as well as the existing GC
in the Erlang runtime, since it always has to scan blocks for more
pointers.  We know out types and only have to descend objects that
might contain pointers. 

Try a web search for "real time garbage".  There are a lot of papers
about algorithms and optimizations for real time.  ACM also has some
nice articles in their digital library.

Dave




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