[chuck-users] GC vs real-time (was Getting Started with ChucK)

Kassen signal.automatique at gmail.com
Thu Jul 23 21:19:12 EDT 2009


The GC question might be irrelevant, because music does not require so much
> power relative graphics, and standard malloc/free is just perhaps hundred
> times or even less slower than a fast GC. By Moore's law (which I checked on
> Macs), the chip size double every second year, and for CPU frequency it is
> about every third. So combined (using multicore) that gives five doublings
> in six years. On the other hand, implementing an advanced GC takes up a lot
> programming time.

I do think GC is relevant. I just don't think the effect of swapping on the
time GC takes is that relevant. While we may only rarely need to use so much
memory that we run out of RAM at a single moment we may want to use ChucK in
a installation that runs for a month. Right now if we want that we'd need to
make very sure there is no memory leak which is quite ricky in ChucK right
now; I think function calls can leak, for example.

CPU usage is a very different matter. Moore's law stopped affecting us much
for ChucK which doesn't multi-thread, actually clockspeeds went down a bit.
I find new laptops in stores right now less appealing than the ones that
were there a few years ago when you could still get a non-wide screen,
cardbus and a floppy drive. I may be somewhat unique in that but until I
seriously need to run both realtime graphics and realtime sound on the same
machine I see no real reason to upgrade to a multi-core at all. To me it's a
bit like owning 10 toilets; you'll still only be able to use one at a time.

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