Patrick Dussud: Managing Garbage Collection

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Where do objects go when they aren't used anymore (and how to know that they are no longer useful to the executing code that created them)? Might seem like a silly question to most developers, but that's what Technical Fellow Patrick Dussud has been dealing with for most of his career. His special area of focus is implementing garbage collection (GC) in various programming languages and systems (from JScript to the CLR).

In this episode, we discuss with Patrick how GC concepts and implementations have evolved over the years, how the GC in the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) might be different from others, and how GC improvements in the future may need to change to deal with advancements in both software and hardware systems.

Patrick also has some interesting things to say about clowns.

This episode of Behind the Code is hosted by Robert Hess, Director in the Developer and Platform Evangelism Group. Although new to hosting Behind the Code, Robert is no stranger to hosting technical shows. For more than seven years, he hosted The .NET Show, a popular on-demand webcast that focused on providing architectural and programming information to developers around the world.

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      gaurav.net
      Awesome Awesome Awesome....
      Super Cool...
      Thx...
    • User profile image
      duncanmak
      Was there a section on LISP that got cut out from the final video? If so, could that be made available as well?
    • User profile image
      tomkirbygre​en
      Fantastic. I'm adding it to my personal C9 archive! Is there any chance we could have some interviews that specifically address (managed) runtime evolution? In particular I'd love to hear about the tighter integration of the DLR into the CLR and the thinking behind adding 'dynamic' to C#. Finally it would be great to hear from Don Box about 'D' or do we have to wait for PDC 2008 for that? Anyway keep the videos coming they are very much appreciated Smiley
    • User profile image
      Chadk
      Robert Hess as the Behind The Code Host? Bloody awesome!! Big Smile
    • User profile image
      earnshaw
      Having recently been required to extensively enhance some unmanaged C++ code, I feel the pain of not having the services of a garbage collector.  What were they thinking?  I know what they were thinking.  They were thinking how slowly programs would run when the garbage collector was running half the time.  But, nowadays, with 2GB or greater main memory commonly available and multiple CPU systems, the garbage collector is rightly in style.  And it saves many, many cycles in a programmer's brain.  It is simply too easy to lose track of a disused object.  Long running programs can end up having to be restarted simply to reclaim memory space.  I love my garbage collector.  Wouldn't be without.  I'm impressed that it works reliably and very greatful.
    • User profile image
      littleguru
      Chadk wrote:
      Robert Hess as the Behind The Code Host? Bloody awesome!!


      He is really doing a great job!
    • User profile image
      Robert Hess
      Glad you're enjoying the show! I know that I'm having fun hosting it.

      There were perhaps a few extra comments about Lisp that we cut from the filming, but we didn't go into details about Lisp as a language, although that would have been fun, especially since Lisp is one of the few languages I've never really had any dealings with. I understand that there are a couple of CLR implementations available.

      -Robert
    • User profile image
      duncanmak
      Robert Hess wrote:

      There were perhaps a few extra comments about Lisp that we cut from the filming, but we didn't go into details about Lisp as a language, although that would have been fun, especially since Lisp is one of the few languages I've never really had any dealings with. I understand that there are a couple of CLR implementations available.


      So would those moments be made available ever?
    • User profile image
      dcharles

      He's had interesting experiences! I can't imagine having written the program that the teacher uses to grade my classmates, that probably guranteed him an A+ !

    • User profile image
      Scorpion
      This is my first day at C9..already loving it Smiley
    • User profile image
      gogole
      In-the-know with the intricacies of garbage collection, i like it Smiley

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