[swift-evolution] What about garbage collection?

Craig Cruden ccruden at novafore.com
Wed Feb 10 03:08:53 CST 2016

> - arguments regarding energy efficiency, memory efficiency, or more generally hardware limitations seem to me rather short-sighted, as in “640 KB or RAM should be enough for all times to come” (original design decision by IBM for the PC). Is Swift a language designed for todays hardware? Or is it supposed to outlast it a wee bit?

For the foreseeable future - energy efficiency is a very real and important factor.  Battery technology (as compared to other technology) is not moving quickly, so being efficient is important.  (and one of the items that is listed as a plus for iDevices over the competion)  The focus of the language (even though open sourced) is primarily focused on a programming language for “desktop” and iDevices.  A majority of the computers sold by Apple rely on battery (laptops, iDevices, etc.).  

The java type GC has a big advantage is that incompetent programmers don’t have to worry about memory management (and they make up a majority of programmers).  And yes, I have seen cases where someone wrote a server (microsoft based) component that had so many cylindrical references that people assumed would just clean up — that to make it work they had to write another monitor application to watch for the application memory usage growing above a certain size based on memory leaks then force a “reboot” of it :p

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