[gclist] memory leaks and the Boehm collector

cd_smith@ou.edu cd_smith@ou.edu
Thu, 15 Jul 1999 15:56:28 -0500 (CDT)

On Thu, 15 Jul 1999, Hans Boehm wrote:
> My impression was that the same phenomenon occurred with the JDK 1.1 collector:
>  Its conservativism was often blamed for leaks, but I have yet to see a single
> case in which a leak was traced to the conservativism of the collector,
> although I have heard of complaints about about 1.1 memory use.  Does anybody
> know of such cases?  (I do hear about lots of the complaints about SGIs
> versions of the JDK, so this observation is based on a reasonable sample.)

No real-life ones, although it's not that hard to produce sample cases
where leaks like this happen, at least as of circa JDK 1.1.6.  One
particular situation that I remember (became a relatively large thread on
comp.lang.java.help about a year ago IIRC) involved building a linked list
and stepping the head pointer forward... apparently, the original head was
kept somewhere because GC would preserve the entire list.  Adding any sort
of real processing to the program (besides just adding a list element and
then head = head.next) eliminated the problem entirely, making it somewhat
irrelevant in the real world.

Chris Smith <cd_smith@ou.edu>