1978 called, wants its garbage collectors back
Posted Sep 4, 2008 9:51 UTC (Thu) by rwmj
Parent article: The Kernel Hacker's Bookshelf: UNIX Internals
Properly written garbage collectors don't cause "unpredictable system-wide performance
slowdowns during garbage collection" any more.
Since the 1980s people have understood how to limit the amount of work done
by running the garbage collector in "slices". It is also now well-understood how
to write efficient concurrent garbage collectors (well-suited to the multicore
systems of today). We also now know how to trade off performance vs
wasted memory in garbage collection. Some of the most advanced garbage
collectors can make real time guarantees.
Given that the Linux kernel is doing a lot of reference counting, which
is the worst performing, most wasteful form of garbage collection there is,
perhaps it is time to look again at doing real GC.
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