GC languages and domination
Posted Mar 12, 2007 11:04 UTC (Mon) by ekj
In reply to: GC languages and domination
Parent article: Short topics in memory management
1) The computers are now not doing real work for their users, instead they are doing busy work for the programers (on the users time).
Users are free to choose. If programs written in non-GCed languages where enough faster that this mattered to the users, they'd be perfectly free to use those programs then. For some kinds of programs this *is* the case. The inner loop of a FPS-game is probably better written with explicit memory-handling.
For other uses, this doesn't seem to be the case. Most web-apps are infact written in GCed languages. There is absolutely *nothing* stopping you from developing competing programs in say C, and if you're rigth, that the users really would prefer this, you'd make billions. I somehow think that'll fail to be the case though.
The thing you're missing is that computing-power really is cheap, and often cheap enough to be almost completely ignorable. The company I work for, for example, spend on the order of $1million/year on developing web-applications. The hardware for running all of this costs something like literally 5% of this, and that is *including* backups, sysadmin-stuff and the like.
Even if we could run the same stuff on a 486 if it was written in C, it wouldn't be worth it if that meant more than 3-4% extra development-time.
2) Doing it properly is often not that expensive for a good programer, who already has to manage other reasources.
Doing software-development "properly" is very expensive. So expensive that if you do custom-development it is going to completely -dwarf- the hardware-requirements in 95% of the cases.
Spending a year of work and $5000 of hardware for doing the same thing that could be done with 6 months of work and $10.000 of hardware is the completely unsustainable choice -- You save $5000 in hw and spend ten times that in extra development-costs.
If you can do in 12 months in C the same job that require 11 months in Python/Ruby/Php/whatever, then more power to you. Most people can't though, not even smart people.
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