[self-interest] simplicity

Ian Woollard junkmail at wolfkeeper.plus.com
Mon Jun 28 19:55:38 UTC 2004

Michael Latta wrote:

> If I can paraphrase your position:
> Reference counting is more deterministic when releasing resources that 
> have semantics beyond bits in memory.
> I would agree with that statement.

More generally, I would argue that Smalltalk/Java/Self rely on the 
programmer for deterministic resource release.

> I think you are really arguing for the programer to have more control 
> over the systemic decisions made by the VM developer (GC vs. Ref 
> Counts, heap vs. stack allocation, etc).

I think you're very much overgeneralising. I was merely suggesting 
specific mechanisms.

> I would agree with that in theory.  In practice having too many knobs 
> (look at J2EE) is also a problem.

I quite like Java, although I'm not entirely happy with it, in my 
experience, the C syntax impacts productivity and significantly 
increases software size. But compared with C++ it's a dream.

> This seems to again suggest some type of Aspect type system to apply 
> flexible design decisions throughout a system is of interest, and a VM 
> that allowed more control over the operation of the application.


> Any design decision made by the VM limits the application's 
> flexibility and ability to address design issues.

Not necessarily, although it may make the expression more or less 
difficult, and the performance higher or lower.

> Michael

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