[gclist] gclist is still alive but not very active

Brian Hurt brianh@risky.bit3.com
Wed, 5 Nov 1997 10:22:26 -0600 (CST)

On Wed, 5 Nov 1997, Simon Spero wrote:

> On Wed, 5 Nov 1997, John R Levine wrote:
> > The gclist mailing list hasn't had any posts for two months, although it has
> > over 400 subscribers.  Have we really solved all of the problems of GC? 
> Ok, here are two questions to chew on :-)
> 1: How do conservative garbage collectors for un-cooperative languages
> degrade over time when used in extremely long-lived server processes? 

I'm not an expert, but I play on the internet.  The biggest problem I can
see is "false references"- i.e. integers that look like pointers.  It's
unlikely that a short-lived program would get an integer value 0x78fc0bec
(to pick a number out of my hat).  The longer a program lives, the more 
likely it is to stash that number away somewhere, and thus disallow 
collection of that hunk of memory.

> 2: Why are there no commercial conservative garbage collectos for Linux? 

Probably for the same reason there are no commercial compilers for Linux-
it's not easy to create a better product than the freely available one,
and even if you did, you probably wouldn't sell many because the freely
available one is "good enough" (or, worse yet, you cause the freely 
available one to improve to compete with you).

"NT and security should never be used in the same breath."
                   - Winn Schwartau, EETimes #972, 22 September 1997 pp.96