How far can stack [LIFO] solve do automatic garbage collection and prevent memory leak ?

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Sun Aug 22 07:57:28 CEST 2010

Oh, I am sooooo going to regret getting sucked into this tarpit... oh 

On Sat, 21 Aug 2010 09:58:18 -0700, Hugh Aguilar wrote:

> The
> following is a pretty good example, in which Alex mixes big pseudo-
> intellectual words such as "scintilla" with gutter language such as
> "turd" in an ungrammatical mish-mash

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Besides, scintilla isn't a "big pseudo-intellectual" word. It might seem 
so to those whose vocabulary (that's another big word, like "patronizing" 
and "fatuousness") is lacking, but it's really quite a simple word. It 
means "a spark", hence "scintillating", as in "he thinks he's quite the 
scintillating wit, and he's half right". It also means "an iota, a 
smidgen, a scarcely detectable amount", and if anyone can't see the 
connection between a spark and a smidgen, there's probably no hope for 

Nothing intellectual about it, let alone pseudo-intellectual, except that 
it comes from Latin. But then so do well more half the words in the 
English language.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to hear why overuse of the return stack is a 
big reason why people use GCC rather than Forth. (Why GCC? What about 
other C compilers?) Me, in my ignorance, I thought it was because C was 
invented and popularised by the same universities which went on to teach 
it to millions of programmers, and is firmly in the poplar and familiar 
Algol family of languages, while Forth barely made any impression on 
those universities, and looks like line-noise and reads like Yoda. (And 
I'm saying that as somebody who *likes* Forth and wishes he had more use 
for it.) In my experience, the average C programmer wouldn't recognise a 
return stack if it poked him in the eye.


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