[xmlp] the recent garbage collector performance improvements

Manu turkeyman at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 15:51:02 PST 2012

On 2 February 2012 20:13, Jonathan M Davis <jmdavisProg at gmx.com> wrote:

> On Thursday, February 02, 2012 20:06:14 Manu wrote:
> > On 2 February 2012 17:40, dsimcha <dsimcha at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > > On Thursday, 2 February 2012 at 04:38:49 UTC, Robert Jacques wrote:
> > >> An XML parser would probably want some kind of stack segment growth
> > >> schedule, which, IIRC isn't supported by RegionAllocator.
> > >
> > > at least assuming we're targeting PCs and not embedded devices.
> >
> > I don't know about the implications of your decision, but comment makes
> me
> > feel uneasy.
> >
> > I don't know how you can possibly make that assumption? Have you looked
> > around at the devices people actually use these days?
> > PC's are an endangered and dying species... I couldn't imagine a worse
> > assumption if it influences the application of D on different systems.
> PCs are not endangered in the least. It's just that we're getting an
> increase
> in other devices (particularly smart phones and tablets). PCs are _heavily_
> used, and there's no way that smart phones or tablets could replace them.
> They
> do different stuff. It _is_ true that applications are increasingly being
> written for non-PCs, but PCs definitely aren't dying off.
> Also, how much do you really treat smart phones or tablets like embedded
> devices rather than PCs? They're certainly more like PCs than the embedded
> devices of yore. True, they have stricter performance requirements, but
> they're nowhere near as restrictive as they used to be.

They're restrictive devices with weaker hardware, yet people seem to
generally expect a roughly equivalent experience from them as they get from
their PC.
A modern PC's software can be written in any language the programmer likes,
and expect that the result will generally run well. Performance is almost a
'solved' problem on PC's for most applications.

I really just argue that D, a so called systems language [this is surely
D's primary offering/niche, or am I mistaken? It basically competes with
C/C++, and on roughly the same terms], needs to constantly consider (and
potentially even favour) the performance requirements of these weaker
systems. They are the devices with the highest demand for efficiency placed
on them.

For productivity applications, PC's will remain dominant, sure, but
consider the number of productivity applications vs the number of
entertainment products/games/apps/toys. The scope doesn't even compare.
Also consider that productivity software is rarely written from scratch.
Most productivity software people use is already written, only updated now,
and isn't going to restart in D any time soon.

Games/apps/toys, in terms of number of pieces of software developed, and
number of developers writing such software (read: **NEW** software, where
the choice of using a new language like D is a *real* possibility),
completely blows the PC developer base SOOO far out of the water it's
barely quantifiable, probably thousands to 1. That developer base are not
working on x86 platforms, they're targeting games consoles, phones,
tablets... TV's will be big very soon.
They are a large community, grown very tired of C/C++, want a language
that's not shit, and that is exactly as efficient as C/C++ when used
correctly. D fits this bill like a glove, and also has the advantage of
being compatible with their existing libraries.

Embedded hardware toyed with the notion of using managed languages for a
little while, not even offering C toolchains at first (Android, Windows
Phone), but that failed, and both revoked that policy. The bar is raising
fast on those platforms. Everyone producing high end products required
native development to remain competitive.
There's really not a lot of modern native language competition out there, D
is positioned well, and with this fact in mind, D's performance must be as
comparable as possible to C/C++.
In fact, D has potential for many performance *advantages* over C/C++, but
the GC is a key concern for me personally... and if possible to tune it for
these systems, it should be. They require it more, and PC honestly won't
care that much :)

Apologies for once again derailing an unrelated topic! :)
I really just can't handle seeing this sort of presumption constantly
popping up all over the news group. This PC-centric mentality has to go if
D is to have any commercial success. The commercial software industry moved
on years ago, it's not on PC anymore... the D community needs to
become intimately aware of that fact, whether they like it or not.
(presuming of course that the intent here if for D to be successful :)
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