[TUHS] more about Brian...

Rob Pike robpike at gmail.com
Sun Feb 6 16:27:50 AEST 2022

I don't understand your disagreement. In what way is automatic memory
management harder, more unsafe, and less robust than hand-written memory
management using malloc and free?

You seem to think that garbage collection only exists in languages that
have a smell you don't like. Perhaps that's true, but it's been around for
60 or more years and a lot of important languages use it, while the
programmers that use those languages are often quite capable.

Using malloc and free might be a badge of honor to some, but it's also a
failure of automation.

This discussion should probably go to COFF, or perhaps I should just leave
the list. I am starting to feel uncomfortable here. Too much swagger.


On Sun, Feb 6, 2022 at 5:19 PM Ed Carp <erc at pobox.com> wrote:

> "it's a lot easier, safer, and robust to let the machine do the memory
> accounting"
> I disagree. "The machine" is, as you know, is in reality app code
> built on top of frameworks built on top of libraries built on top of
> more libraries built on top of malloc/free calls. While the automated
> testing tools are a lot better than they were when I started coding C
> back in 1985, we're still talking about a *lot* of complexity and a
> lot of layers of code, and programmers today know far less about
> things like boundary conditions, off-by-one bugs, and the like that
> bit us in the ass - hard - and so we learned to watch for those sorts
> of things.
> On 2/5/22, Rob Pike <robpike at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Be careful with your castigations. Yes, there is lots of old working
> code,
> > but keep in mind that that code has often not been as widely tested and
> > deployed as much of the software that runs today. The fact that it worked
> > well on old hardware doesn't mean it will be suitable for modern
> networked
> > remotely administered multicore machines pounded on by millions of
> people.
> >
> > And speaking of multicore, it's possible to write code using malloc/free
> > that doesn't leak when run concurrently, but it's a lot easier, safer,
> and
> > robust to let the machine do the memory accounting. And the fact that
> "kids
> > today" can't do it doesn't mean they are lazy or failures, it means they
> > grew up in a different time. And a lot of them are as capable as you all,
> > just in a different environment.
> >
> > Lately this list has a lot of attitude and prejudice pretending to be
> > wisdom and superiority.
> >
> > -rob
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Feb 6, 2022 at 12:11 PM Will Senn <will.senn at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> On 2/5/22 6:56 PM, Larry McVoy wrote:
> >>
> >> On Fri, Feb 04, 2022 at 09:28:10PM +0100, Hellwig Geisse wrote:
> >>
> >> Hi Thomas,
> >>
> >> On Fr, 2022-02-04 at 20:45 +0100, Thomas Paulsen wrote:
> >>
> >> I tell you one thing: I never ever experienced any problems with
> >> traditional malloc()/free().??
> >>
> >> did you ever write a program which does heavy malloc()/free()
> >> on complicated (i.e., shared) data structures *and* runs for
> >> days, perhaps weeks? IMO it's very difficult to do this without
> >> a GC, and you have to exercise quite an amount of discipline
> >> to do it right.
> >>
> >> I've done this and I've employed people who have done this.  We're
> >> a dieing breed, the focus seems to be on programming languages and
> >> tools for idiots.  People don't want to learn the discipline it takes
> >> to work with malloc()/free().  It's sad.
> >>
> >>
> >> I completely agree. This is ridiculous. Do modern programmer's seriously
> >> think that the old code wasn't complex or robust? Sheesh, there's code
> >> out
> >> there that has run through more millions of transactions an hour for
> more
> >> years than most of these folks have been alive. There's also code that's
> >> been running without any updates, for decades. Most code written by the
> >> newbreed won't run for a month without surfacing dozens of bugs.
> Margaret
> >> Hamilton would prolly have some choice words for these folks.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
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