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practical functional programming
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Date: 2000-11-13 (08:08)
From: Ken Wakita <wakita@i...>
Subject: Re: practical functional programming

A circumstance where reference counting outperforms modern trace-based
collectors is where memory access cost is much higher than the
conventional memory system and thus memory access required for tracing
is much higher than the cost for counter maintenance.  One such example
is distributed environment.  Another maybe systems with very, very slow
memory such as file systems, persistent object systems, and PDAs.  I am
curious if there are other circumstances using conventional memory
system where reference counting is faster.

Ken Wakita
Tokyo Institute of Technology

John Max Skaller wrote:
> Stephan Houben wrote:
> > Reference counting is a (bad) substitute for real garbage collection, such as
> > O'Caml has. No need for refcounting, since we have GC.
>         I can't quite agree with that: reference counting is
> a _different_ technique with different properties. In the right
> circumstances it is faster than garbage collection, and permits
> synchronous, well ordered finalisation. But it is only appropriate
> where the 'skeleton' of the data structure is heirarchical, whereas
> garbage collection works in general.
> --
> John (Max) Skaller,
> 10/1 Toxteth Rd Glebe NSW 2037 Australia voice: 61-2-9660-0850
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