Python 2.0

Graham Matthews graham at
Fri Jun 4 13:04:42 EDT 1999

Hisao Suzuki (suzuki611 at wrote: : 
> Anyway, as you
> say, I'd think that we need an actual experience.
Graham Matthews <graham at> writes:
> But people do have experience with GC. Sure that experience is
> not in Python, but why do you believe that GC in Python will be
> radically different to GC in any other language?
Jeremy Hylton (jeremy at wrote:
: I think the problem is that the people who have experience
: implementing garbage collection are not the people who advocating
: adding it to Python.  It's one thing to have used languages with
: garbage collectors or to have read books and papers about them; it's
: quite another thing to have done the implementation.  The gap between
: theory and practice is greater in practice than in theory.

I am completely confused by this statement. The two people that have
been advocating GC the hardest are myself and the author of Ruby. Since
Ruby has GC the author has clearly implemented a collector. As for myself
I have implemented 3 collectors, one of which is used in a system that
is used by quite a few people worldwide. So I am not sure where your
comment is coming from?

Jeremy Hylton (jeremy at wrote:
: So go for it.  Many of us would love to look at some rough, but
: running code.  Just make sure it is portable enough to run on all the
: platforms that Python runs on, and make sure it has minimal impact on
: C extension modules.  I doubt that it's impossible, but I expect that
: it's hard.

I have no plans to implement a GC for Python. I have already implemented
enough standard collectors for one lifetime. Besides which someone far
more intimate with the implementation details of Python would take less
time. That's not a cop out. I just don't have the time.

                    One day in a nuclear age 
                  They may understand our rage
              We build machines that we can't control
              And bury the waste in a great big hole

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