[Python-Dev] Linus on garbage collection

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Fri May 6 19:15:33 CEST 2011

Mark Shannon writes:
 > Neal Becker wrote:
 > > http://gcc.gnu.org/ml/gcc/2002-08/msg00552.html
 > > 
 > Being famous does not necessarily make you right.

No, but being a genius sure helps you beat the odds.

 > OS kernels are pretty atypical software,
 > even if Linus is right about Linux, it doesn't apply to Python.

Well, actually he was writing about GCC....

 > I have empirical evidence, not opinion, that PyPy and my own HotPy
 > are a *lot* faster (x5 or better) on Unladen Swallow's gcbench benchmark 
 > (which stresses the memory management subsystem).

You're missing Linus's point, I think.  Linus did *not* claim that
it's impossible to write a fast *GC*.  He claimed that it's hard to
write a fast *program* that uses GC for memory management.  A
benchmark that stresses *only* the memory management system is
unlikely to impress him.

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