Monday, August 07, 2006

Reasons not to use low level languages

I followed a link from Planet Gnome to a patch for Evolution that fixes a lot of memory leaks. Well sure, I thought, it will be fixing some obscure bugs right? Well it turns out a lot of the patch changes are replacing lines like this: /* TODO: Free stuff */. So the product is knowingly produced with memory leaks. Ouch.

I can't blame the developers too much - in C I always found it a mission to keep track of memory (this sort of thing takes time from adding content) but it just goes to show. If you can use a garbage collector, do - anything else should be treated as an optimisation. And any optimisation you do should be able to justify (ideally with numbers).
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