[long, well thought out article on GC in ObjC snipped]
You, know, for the first time in umpteen years of working with
ObjC I am actually convinced by an argument in favour of AGC!
The one thing which keeps comming to mind, however, is "how do we get
there from here" ? For myself I just use raw Objective C under Unix,
(as I assume a lot of people on this list do?) - but the majority of
writing ObjC out there are doing so on Apple style systems. Anyone who
survived through the change to reference counting when NXObjects
NSObjects really isn't going to want to see another sesimic shift in
the way memory allocation is handled. It was painful enough last time
Or are you suggesting that "retain" and "release" simply become methods
which do nothing on those systems and we leave it all up to the GC
That would definitely be the best solution. However, I can imagine that
implementing such a solution so that it completely gets rid of the
overhead associated with reference counting including the message
dispatch overhead for -retain, -release and -autorelease, without
adding new overhead, would be, well, not easy.
Anyway, all this is pure theory. If anyone ever wants to see AGC
support in ObjC, then the best way to achieve that goal is by filing an
enhancement request against ObjC in Apple's radar. If enough of us do
this, it may happen some day.
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