[Python-Dev] Linus on garbage collection

Michael Foord fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk
Fri May 6 18:31:44 CEST 2011

On 06/05/2011 17:18, skip at pobox.com wrote:
>      Antoine>  Since we're sharing links, here's Matt Mackall's take:
>      Antoine>  http://www.selenic.com/pipermail/mercurial-devel/2011-May/031055.html
> > From that note:
>      1: You can't have meaningful destructors, because when destruction
>      happens is undefined. And going-out-of-scope destructors are extremely
>      useful. Python is already a rather broken in this regard, so feel free
>      to ignore this point.
> Given the presence of cyclic data I don't see how reference counting or
> garbage collection win.  Ignoring the fact that in a pure reference counted
> system you won't even consider cycles for reclmation, would both RC and GC
> have to punt because they can't tell which object's destructor to call
> first?

pypy and .NET choose to arbitrarily break cycles rather than leave 
objects unfinalised and memory unreclaimed. Not sure what Java does.

All the best,

Michael Foord

> Skip
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