Re: New C++ garbage collector

James Kanze <>
Mon, 1 Nov 2010 05:23:40 -0700 (PDT)
On Oct 28, 3:13 pm, (Yannick Tremblay) wrote:

In article
James Kanze <> wrote:

On Oct 26, 7:12 pm, Leigh Johnston <> wrote:

On 26/10/2010 18:58, Tiib wrote:


I replied else-thread that certain resources (of which memory can be
considered one) may be suitable for non-deterministic releasing. C++
and RAII is superiour to C++ and garbage collection; this is my opinion
of course and (hopefully) the opinion of others here too.

And C++ with RAII *and* garbage collection is superior to
either. Why limit your options? (If all you have is a hammer,
everything looks like a nail. It's best to have many different
tools in your toolbox, so you can use the most appropriate.)

The problem is that garbage collection essentially breaks RAII.

That is completely false; the two are completely orthogonal.

With RAII, all resources are treated the same regardless of if
they are memory or file handle or sockets or whatever.

Which isn't necessarily an advantage.

Designing with RAII, your destructor will take care of closing
files or freeing memory, everything works fine. RAII is
absolutely reliable. As long as all resources are owned by
objects and all objects are destroyed, no resources will ever
be leaked. Once you introduce GC, you are in trouble because
you can't rely on the destructor being run for all objects
anymore. It depends, sometimes the destructor will be run,
sometimes the finalise will be run, depends, who knows.

No. You know when the destructor will run, and when it won't.

The result, IMO, is that the great "benefit" of GC which is to reduce
programming complexity by not having to worry about memory management
is totally trumped by the newly introduced complexity which is having
to implement finalise methods and having to worry about leaking
non-memory-only resources due to the destructor not being called.

Actual experience shows otherwise.

James Kanze

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