Weak Reference proposal

Dean Tribble tribble at e-dean.com
Fri Feb 19 08:30:49 UTC 2016

Thanks for your comments.

A practical answer to your question:  If you drop references to a subsystem
that internally uses weak references, the "finalization" it would engage is
just death throes. For example, if you drop an Xml parser, then there's no
reason to muck out it's internal cache since that's going to be collected
anyway. Thus, this variant is more expressive.

It also breaks the retention properties of the system. In order to require
the executor to run, *something *has to point at it (and the holdings)
strongly. Otherwise for example the holdings and executor might not be
retained (and you couldn't run finalization). You can end up with cycles of
executors pointing at each other's targets such that neither can ever be
collected because the system is keeping them around strongly.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:42 PM, John Lenz <concavelenz at gmail.com> wrote:

> This seems like a very solid proposal.  I like that the finalizers run on
> their own turn (it had to be that way in retrospect).
> I'm unclear about one thing: the reasoning for not running finalizers when
> weak-references them become unreferenced.  Did I misunderstand this?
> Doesn't this force he "hard" reference to also a soft reference "weak
> reference" to insure that finalizer run (such as closing a file, etc)?  If
> aren't concerned about non-memory resources is there any point to having
> holding at all?
> On Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 11:35 PM, Dean Tribble <tribble at e-dean.com> wrote:
>> I have posted a stage 1 proposal for weak references in ES7 for your
>> perusal and feedback.
>> https://github.com/tc39/proposal-weakrefs.git
>> Thanks to Mark Miller and the authors of earlier proposals for help with
>> the document and content!  Finally thanks to a few intrepid early reviewers
>> for their edits, comments, and feedback.
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