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Re^2: Avoiding memory loss...

by dave_the_m (Parson)
on Dec 27, 2012 at 23:29 UTC ( #1010594=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Avoiding memory loss...
in thread Avoiding memory loss...

but nothing actually happens until the garbage-collector makes its midnight run
No, perl doesn't use a garbage collector. Items are freed immediately when their ref count goes to zero.

Dave.


Comment on Re^2: Avoiding memory loss...
Re^3: Avoiding memory loss...
by LanX (Canon) on Dec 27, 2012 at 23:39 UTC
    > No, perl doesn't use a garbage collector.

    most probably a problem of fuzzy terminology¹, perldoc talks about "garbage collection":

     Perl uses a fast and simple, reference-based garbage collection system

    see perlobj#Two-Phased-Garbage-Collection

    But as opposed to mark-and-sweep Perl's runtime approach is very simple an efficient.

    OTOH it can't handle circular references.

    And even if mark-and-sweep was used, IIRC Python does it and is still very performant. ²

    Cheers Rolf

    UPDATES:

    ¹) from perlglossary

    garbage collection A misnamed feature--it should be called, "expecting your mo +ther to pick up after you". Strictly speaking, Perl doesn’t do thi +s, but it relies on a reference-counting mechanism to keep things +tidy. However, we rarely speak strictly and will often refer to t +he reference-counting scheme as a form of garbage collection. + (If it’s any comfort, when your interpreter exits, a "real" gar +bage collector runs to make sure everything is cleaned up if you +’ve been messy with circular references and such.)

    ²) more complicated: "While Python uses the traditional reference counting implementation, it also offers a cycle detector that works to detect reference cycles."

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