[gclist] Prior work?

Henry G. Baker hbaker@netcom.com
Wed, 9 Feb 2000 10:10:40 -0800 (PST)

>    rather than using a generic scan function that
>    interprets tags at runtime, statically emit a specialized scan function
>    based on the static type info known at compile time. I'm wondering what 
>    the performance tradesoffs are.
> There was a paper about the SmallEiffel system at ISMM'98 (Compiler
> Support to Customize the Mark and Sweep Algorithm, Dominique Colnet,
> Philippe Coucaud and Olivier Zendra) that had good results both in
> memory footprint and GC time.  It has some interesting references,
> too.
> People have tried this from time to time, particularly where tags are
> not an option, like C++.  Look for "tagless" or "tag-free" collection.
> Basically, it sounds good if you have the type info.  Should be faster
> than interpreting the tags.  Make sure you control the recursion,
> though.
> -- 
> Pekka P. Pirinen
> Adaptive Memory Management Group, Harlequin Limited

I have effectively used this scheme in C++, but the idea is much, much
older.  I think it may go back to the very first OO+GC languages, and
I think that Stefan Arnborg may have invented it.

Henry Baker
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