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Re: "No aliasing = no garbage collection"

Ruth writes:

> I believe there should be a garbage collection scheme added to occam. It is 
> a great language for many things, but it is let down in areas which people 
> care about intensely.

Before that becomes useful, occam needs to have dynamic memory allocation.

Perhaps I can take this opportunity to remind everyone of a paper in

"The Globalisation of occam"  P Singleton & B M Cook
in Parallel Processing Developments, Ed B C O'Neill, 1996, pp 255-270

  which discusses the recently mooted, and other, issues.

The final paragraph of the "Summary and some proposals" section is:

"We therefore propose that occam should be re-invented as a micro-kernel
overlaid with one or more customising layers: the kernel (let us call it
'occam Lite') will be more general than traditional occam, supporting
recursive procedure calls, dynamic memory allocation, garbage collection,
dynamically sized arrays, and a more general system of basic types. This
core virtual machine will be a target for the compilation of both 'Classic
occam' (i.e. occam 2) and 'New occam' (the innovative flavour which will take
the world by storm)."

I'm not sure that we are yet in a position to implement this fully; some
issues are still emerging (and Tom Locke is doing us all a big favour in
exposing some of them).  We DO have many answers and need to keep working on
the rest.

Could there be enough interest for a Language Design SIG?

| Barry M Cook, BSc, PhD, CEng, MBCS                                         |
| Senior Lecturer,                           Department of Computer Science, |
| Chartered Information Systems Engineer.    Keele University,               |
|                                            Keele,                          |
| Phone: +44 1782 583411                     Staffordshire,                  |
| FAX:   +44 1782 713082                     ST5 5BG,                        |
| email: barry@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx                UK.                             |