Busy Developer’s Guide to Garbage Collection

Speaker: Ted Neward

Garbage collection, or “automatic memory management” as it’s more formally (and correctly) known, is a subject often spoken of in hushed whispers among those who do not have Masters’ degrees in Computer Science. It is the stuff of legends, a part of the arcane “black arts” that only those who work on the virtual machine really understand. Actually, it’s not all that hard to understand at all, and in this presentation, we’re going to take a language-agnostic view of how GC works, some of the more popular algorithms, and how some of the popular virtual machines (the JVM and the CLR being the two biggies) work. We’ll talk about what the implications of automatic memory management are, how its approach can trip up developers, and some of the various mechanisms different platforms have provided over the years to try and address the shortcomings.

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