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Re: gc in GNUstep (Was: soname of gc variant of gnustep-base)

From: Richard Frith-Macdonald
Subject: Re: gc in GNUstep (Was: soname of gc variant of gnustep-base)
Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 08:23:10 +0100

On Monday, May 13, 2002, at 07:26 PM, Ovidiu Predescu wrote:


What is the status for garbage collection support in gstep-base today?

Pretty much what I wrote a couple of years ago ... which was pre-alpha
and somewhat buggy (and didn't support distributed objects at all).
When I implemented basic GC support I got no response ...
absolutely nobody actually wanted to use it at the time (and while I like the idea, I certainly don't need it myself), so I stopped work on it and have not paid much attention to it since ... so it has almost certainly deteriorated
rather than improved since then.

The GNU Objective-C runtime, libFoundation and gstep-db have support
for Boehm's conservative garbage collector for a long time now. It
should be possible to follow the same approach to add support in the
base and GUI libraries as well.

It's basically there in base, but not done at all for gui/back.

I don't think there is any point trying to implement it in the other libraries
until it's *very* reliable in the base library.

I'm happy/eager to spend time checking and applying patches and fixes to base, but I don't want to spend development time on it myself given the previous lack
of response.

If someone else actually gets most of the base library to a reliably
working state, I'll volunteer to implement GC for distributed objects
(one of the trickiest areas), but probably not otherwise.

I think it would definitely help a lot if automatic garbage collection
works out of the box with all the GNUstep libraries.

I agree that this would be nice.

PS. Nicola knows much more about the make package ... but it used to work. Probably it still does, but you had to build all the libraries you were going to use as gc libraries (for my purposes, that was only libobjc and gnustep-base), and I think that Nicolas concerns are mostly to do with how the make system can ensure it doesn't link non-gc code with gc code - an important issue if/when
we start to routinely use gc.

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