Subject: Re: destroying CLOS objects
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/10/13
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Christopher Browne -> Tunc Simsek
| Why do you think that this is forcibly _needed_?
| There is a longstanding set of research into a memory management ...

  This is about object management, not memory management.  Grow a clue.

| That automobile, no longer being referenced, is Fair Game for the Grim
| Reaper aka the Garbage Collector.

  He's asking "how to get to the no-longer-being-referenced state?"

| The point is that the way you delete something is to not refer to it
| anymore.

  Why do you think he doesn't understand that?  He's asking about how
  to ensure that nothing refers to it anymore.  Can't you read?

| There's no problem; you need only throw away the references, and
| the automobile object will indeed get deleted.

  Will you get around to tell him how to throw away the references, or
  will you keep telling him he "need only do it"?  I'm getting the
  very distinct impression that you don't know how to get rid of the
  references and can't really help him, so you think this is about
  something you can "help" him with.  This is stupid newbie behavior.

  What is it about you guys who grew up with C++ and confuse object
  management with memory management?  Just because C++ doesn't know
  how to separate the two management tasks doesn't mean they aren't
  two separate management tasks.  If you really _understood_ what
  Garbage Collection (as you write it) is all about, you would not
  have this anal-retentive reaction to object management as if it were
  about memory.  I don't think you appreciate what the life of a
  complex object in a complex relationship with other objects really
  entails and requires of the programmer.  Garbage collection is
  great, but that doesn't mean you can drop everything on the floor
  and never have to do anything -- even though most programmers are
  exceedingly young and immature, their mom is no longer around to do
  that particular kind of magic.

  Here's a clue-giving question: When and why do we need finalization
  in a system with garbage collection?  When and why do we need
  explicit control over the destruction of certain (which?) objects,
  and when would untended garbage collection be counter-productive?

  I agree with everything you say, but I would
  attack to death your right to say it.
				-- Tom Stoppard