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Cincom Smalltalk Memory Management

March 20, 2012 18:07:14.082

Last talk of the day - memory management in Cincom Smalltalk. There have been changes in this area over the last couple of releases, which is good - I learned a fair bit about the old stuff (caveat: having said that, I only ever scratched the surface), and the new stuff makes it a bit more accessible. Andres Valloud is giving the talk - he's starting with some basic background on memory management in CST (eden, survivor spaces, all of that stuff - I'll refer you to the docs for a broad discussion of that).

What's been fixed since VW 7.7?

  • The way IGC (incremental garbage collector) handles aborted state - properly now.
  • Adjusted the default setting for the Growth Regime Bound (was 32 MB, now more sensible). Having that default led to much thrashing
  • Also moved the emergency threshold back from the raw upper bound, to allow for actual emergency handling
  • Changed growth increment default from old (1 MB) to something more reasonable
  • FixedSpace allocation has been fixed
  • Improved weak/ephemeron support
  • IGC improved - including the ability to turn IGC on and off
  • some protection for stack overflow
  • new switches for the VM on the command line - so you don't need to adjust the numbers and resave the image

The development team at Cincom has created a test suite for all of this stuff, which has already been a big help. They've added a tuner that will make suggestions for optimization.

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posted by James Robertson

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