[Python-Dev] Billions of gc's

Aahz aahz@pythoncraft.com
Mon, 29 Apr 2002 22:56:52 -0400

On Mon, Apr 29, 2002, Barry A. Warsaw wrote:
> Isn't this a case of "knowing your application"?  IOW, you're doing
> something that the gc isn't well-tuned to handle, by default.  That's
> why we expose the its operation through the gc module -- so you can
> take explicit steps for the hotspots in your application.
> Not to say we can't improve the tuning, but it'll never be perfect, so
> just try to make it good enough for the most common types of
> programs.  Then document situations where it might not do so well.

My take is that programs with a million live objects and no cycles are
common enough that gc should be designed to handle that smoothly.  I
don't think that a programmer casually writing such applications (say,
processing information from a database) should be expected to understand
gc well enough to tune it.

Having read the entire discussion so far, and *NOT* being any kind of gc
expert, I would say that Tim's adaptive solution makes the most sense to
me.  For years, we told people with cyclic data to figure out how to fix
the problem themselves; now that we have gc available, I don't think we
should punish everyone else.
Aahz (aahz@pythoncraft.com)           <*>         http://www.pythoncraft.com/

"I used to have a .sig but I found it impossible to please everyone..."  --SFJ