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Re: Objective-C and Smalltalk; speed of message send

From: Stefan Urbanek
Subject: Re: Objective-C and Smalltalk; speed of message send
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 23:31:31 +0200

On 2004-08-19 18:23:33 +0200 Leigh Smith <address@hidden> wrote:


I'm surprised that automatic garbage collection would be found (or perhaps is just assumed?) to be faster than reference counting.

Do you have any comparisons or pointers to some already done? It can be quite 


More importantly, it's possible to read the code and understand what the hell is going on! Good design is the key (and reference counting does not really compromise that design, in my experience) and the dynamic OO of ObjC aids that design process. Ditto Smalltalk, I certainly wouldn't mind GC, but for real-time work I'd want some control over it, perhaps just hinting impending reuse. Having looked at the audio code of Squeak (not recently), the higher level design is great, but then the connection to the C means big design compromises which miss the opportunity to propagate future design optimisations.

Is it possible to use several GC techniques in a single application? Or use 
something like GC zones with different GC methods, where one can use 
ref.counting or suspend collection for time critical parts of threads.

Stefan Urbanek

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you 
- Mahatma Gandhi

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