[swift-evolution] What about garbage collection?

Félix Cloutier felixcca at yahoo.ca
Mon Feb 8 13:56:42 CST 2016

Has there been a garbage collection thread so far? I understand that reference counting vs. garbage collection can be a heated debate, but it might be relevant to have it.

It seems to me that the two principal upsides of reference counting are that destruction is (essentially) deterministic and performance is more easily predicted. However, it comes with many downsides:

object references are expensive to update
object references cannot be atomically updated
heap fragmentation
the closure capture syntax uses up an unreasonable amount of mindshare just because of [weak self]

Since Swift doesn't expose memory management operations outside of `autoreleasepool`, it seems to me that you could just drop in a garbage collector instead of reference counting and it would work (for most purposes).

Has a GC been considered at all?


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