- Hardcover: 404 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 16, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471941484
- ISBN-13: 978-0471941484
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Garbage Collection: Algorithms for Automatic Dynamic Memory Management 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
The memory storage requirements of complex programs are extremely difficult to manage correctly by hand. A single error may lead to indeterminate and inexplicable program crashes. Worse still, failures are often unrepeatable and may surface only long after the program has been delivered to the customer. The eradication of memory errors typically consumes a substantial amount of development time. And yet the answer is relatively easy - garbage collection; removing the clutter of memory management from module interfaces, which then frees the programmer to concentrate on the problem at hand rather than low-level book-keeping details. For this reason, most modern object-oriented languages such as Smalltalk, Eiffel, Java and Dylan, are supported by garbage collection. Garbage collecting, libraries are even available for such uncooperative languages as C and C++. This book considers how dynamic memory can be recycled automatically to guarantee error-free memory management. There is an abundant but disparate literature on the subject, largely confined to research papers. This book sets out to pool this experience in a single accessible and unified framework. Visit this book's companion Website for updates, revisions, online gc resources, bibliography and links to more gc sites 'Whatever else Java has accomplished, it has finally brought garbage collection into the mainstream. The efficiency and correctness of garbage collection algorithms is henceforth going to be of concern to hundreds of thousands of programmers; those who really care about this could do no better than to start with Garbage Collection: Algorithms for Automatic Dynamic Memory Management... the sort of comprehensive engineering manual that is so rare in computing.' Dr Dobb's Journal
About the Author
Richard is Professor of Computer Systems in the School of Computing at the University of Kent, Canterbury. He received a B.A. in Mathematics from Oxford University in 1976. He spent a few years teaching at school and college before returning to higher education at the University of Kent, where he has remained ever since, receiving an M.Sc. in Computer Science in 1989. In 1998 Richard co-founded the ACM/SIGPLAN International Symposium on Memory Management, of which he was the inaugural Programme Chair. He has published numerous papers on garbage collection, heap visualisation and electronic publishing, and he regularly sits on the programme committees of leading international conferences. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Software Practice and Experience (Wiley). He was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Glasgow in 2005 in recognition of his research and scholarship in dynamic memory management, and a Distinguished Scientist of the ACM in 2006.
Richard is the prime author of Garbage Collection: Algorithms for Automatic Dynamic Memory Management, Wiley, 1996. Garbage Collection is the process of automatically recycling unused memory. It is an essential component of all modern programming languages. Since its publication, the book has received huge acclaim:
- "The sort of comprehensive engineering manual that is so rare in computing", Gregory V. Wilson, Dr. Dobb's Journal, September, 1997.
- "I like the book because of its high standards of scholarship. I put it alongside Knuth's series", Mario Wolzko, Distinguished Engineer, Sun Microsystems Laboratories.
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Top customer reviews
While it has had a few minor updates from its original 1996 publication, I would have liked to see a much more extensive refresh. At the time it was published, garbage collection was not mainstream. Java was very new, so the examples, references, and studies refer almost exclusively to functional languages such as Lisp and ML (which require GC to be usable), and to antiquated hardware. Everything in the book is still as relevant now as it was in 1996 (meaning the final draft was probably submitted in 1995, if not earlier), but with Java and .NET in ascendance for over 10 years now, and 64-bit multicore processors with *megabytes* of L2 and even L3 cache now in mainstream personal computers, it would have been even better for me if there were more attention to concurrency now that it is the norm. I could probably count on one hand the number of times the x86 (let alone the x86-64) was mentioned. Scholarly publications on GC did not end in 1996 either.
In conclusion, this is a must-read if one is looking for a well-written, very solid basis in the options for algorithms for GC and the trade-offs of each. The authors spoiled me. They did such a great job laying out the results of so much research for me up to 1996, it just made me wish they could take me all the way to the cutting edge of variants and studies as nicely. The bright side, though, is that after reading this book, I have I've been able to understand anything I've found online since, be it scholarly papers, reference manuals, etc. on this topic, so it succeeded in what I wanted it to do when I ordered it.
I considered this book for my doctoral thesis. It is a dense technically oriented written book, but maybe the only one out there that covers garbage collection extensively with classic algorithms included.
I wished that the pseudo language used somewhat be improved to be more easily to understand. Most of the time it's really difficult to follow. Improvements would be welcome in this respect.
The first time I read the book, it seemed a bit repetitive, because the first two chapters provide the basic framework for the rest of the book. As a result, topics such as copying collection are discussed in at least two places. Upon reflection though, I think that there is no better way to organize the book, because there exists no straight path through all of the concepts the book covers.
Over the past eight years I have read portions of this book over and over as I've contemplated garbage collector designs for various software projects. I continue to be surprised at just how well this book meets my needs.