Destructor never called ???

Aahz aahz at
Fri Sep 20 00:33:32 EDT 2002

In article <4e8lou018f9uosl5p9mb0tt6691mfivamj at>,
Tim Roberts  <timr at> wrote:
>aahz at (Aahz) wrote:
>>In article <tp70ou0r0j11as6enhpsaqul4oqa3mlu6t at>,
>>Tim Roberts  <timr at> wrote:
>>>However, Python is a garbage-collected system.  Unlike in COM, an object is
>>>NOT destroyed as soon as its reference count goes to 0.  Your object will
>>>only be destroyed if the garbage collector happens to run, and decides that
>>>it might be a convenient time to actually free up the space your object
>>Wrong.  CPython uses reference counting backed by GC.
>Well, then, what was all the fuss about deterministic desctructors in the
>newsgroup last year or so?  Has this changed, or am I just remembering this
>entirely wrong?

There are several different issues.  First of all, __del__ does not get
called if an object is destroyed by GC (GC gets used to clean up cyclic
garbage).  Secondly, Jython does not use refcounting; it's pure GC, just
like Java.  Therefore, if you want to write portable applications, you
should not rely on refcounting.

Finally, there's a stylistic issue in programming.  Some people believe
that the "explicit is better than implicit" design goal requires
cleaning up after oneself.  Actually, it's unfair to say that it's
"just" a stylistic issue -- it's certainly possible that calling out to
libraries requires that one issue explicit close() calls.
Aahz (aahz at           <*>

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