Why Garbage Collectors Should Avoid the Use of Reference Counts

I made a comment in one my posts some time ago that I thought SPITBOL was superior to Python in that it contains a compacting mark-sweep garbage collector with recognition of sediments.

Python uses reference counts to detect unreachable memory. SPITBOL was written in the 1960’s, so the use of compacting garbage collectors was a well known technology when Python was created in the 1980’s.

For example, I one wrote a small Python program that ran in quadratic time due to the use of reference counts.

A user commented that they thought this was a snide remark, and that the use of reference counts was perfectly fine.

I just downloaded Remarkable, a markdown editor and viewer, written in Python.

I just used it to process a markdown format file, and got the following error message:


java version "1.7.0_121"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (IcedTea 2.6.8) (7u121-2.6.8-1ubuntu0.14.04.3)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 24.121-b00, mixed mode)
 Warning: g_object_ref: assertion 'object->ref_count > 0' failed
 Warning: g_object_unref: assertion 'object->ref_count > 0' failed
*Spellchecking not enabled.
*To enable spellchecking install pygtkspellcheck




As a young child one of my favorite comic strips was Snuffy Smith.


Snuffy often ended a conversation by saying, “‘Nuff Said.'”

Well, this is for the snide commenter:









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