Browse Prior Art Database

Selective Invocation of Smalltalk/V Garbage Collection

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105572D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Eisen, IR: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Garbage collection occurs randomly in Smalltalk/V* and can occur at a time when the user does not prefer to have it occur. When the process takes 20-30 seconds this can be very distracting.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 86% of the total text.

Selective Invocation of Smalltalk/V Garbage Collection

      Garbage collection occurs randomly in Smalltalk/V* and can
occur at a time when the user does not prefer to have it occur.  When
the process takes 20-30 seconds this can be very distracting.

      This article describes a technique for selective invocation of
the Smalltalk/V garbage collection mechanism to avoid having a long
(20-30 second) garbage collection at a time that the user does not
desire.  If the user is performing a task, a garbage collection can
render the user helpless while the system performs the routine.  When
the garbage collection takes a long time (typically 20-30 seconds)
this can have an adverse effect on the user's productivity as well as
the system performance.  Also, when garbage collections are spaced
too far apart in time, the system performance slowly degrades between
each garbage collection.

      A technique for improving this mechanism is built on the
concept that garbage collection should occur more frequently and at a
time when the user would be least interrupted by the process.  For
applications that are very graphical open and close a large number of
windows, the best time for a garbage collection is at the time the
user is closing a window.  This signifies that the user is moving on
to something else and will not be impacted by a garbage collection.
The implementation of this concept would include performing:

Smalltalk unusedMemory in the close method of the...