[gclist] Timeliness of finalization

Charles Fiterman cef@geodesic.com
Fri, 28 Mar 1997 15:26:47 -0600

>4) Timeliness of finalization. I haven't heard a reason for why finalizers must run within
>a small window of time after the last reference to them is dropped. Perhaps I missed it. The
>arguments I have heard describe the scarcity problem: you must finalize quickly to
>release a scarce resource. Are there any other latency issues?

You have just won the billion dollar lottery! A dollar a year for a billion years!

You have a list of a million items and it takes a complete collection cycle
to finalize the first item, then another to finalize the second. This is the
actual result of some collector finalization algorithms. If the finalizers
must be run for a correct program result the program is busted.

Finalizers must be "sure" to protect encapsulation. If they aren't "prompt"
they aren't "sure".

How small the window of time is a quality of implementation issue but a
bad enough quality of implementation is worthless. Just like that lottery
ticket, the faster they pay off the better. Or would you accept a penny a century?
Charles Fiterman		Geodesic Systems
414 North Orleans Suite 410	Phone 312 832 1221 x223
Chicago IL 60610-4418		FAX   312 832 1230

A computer language without garbage collection
  is like a city without garbage collection.