Python 2.0

Martijn Faassen faassen at
Wed Jun 2 11:14:00 CEST 1999

Yukihiro Matsumoto wrote:
> Some languages use both.  Ref counting for usual basis, real GC for
> full clean up.  How about adding real GC to Python 2.0, co-working
> with ref counting?

This sounds like an interesting idea; I believe I saw references to
garbage collecting schemes that help clean up circular references caused
by referencing counting. I forget where, though. :)

I agree with the general principle that for Python 2, garbage collecting
should be taken a good look at. I suppose the two main issues are:

* The predictability of reference counting is nice in the simple case.
In the complex case, you get into a mess of circular references too
easily, though.

* In the complex case, garbage collecting is nice as it cleans up
circular references. There are unwanted side-effects of its
unpredictability, though; a possible leaking of resources (files which
aren't closed), and some difficulties interfacing with C.

In that light combining the two schemes might be very interesting.

Repeatingly yours,


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