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Discussion on: How does your language handle memory?

orkon profile image
Alex Rudenko

I am not an expert :-) I know only 2 main types of memory management: 1) automatic (JS, Java, PHP) where the runtime frees the memory as soon as it is not used by any running code (garbage) 2) manual (C, C++, Rust, ASM) where you allocate and free memory via system calls which are part of your program. With the manual management, you can have certain automation like smart pointers which help you free the memory automatically. I believe that Rust has those smart point built-in into the language.

hrmny profile image

Rust has lifetimes, it automatically checks for how long the variable is in scope at compile time, it mostly does this automatically, but you sometimes have to specify them when it can't infer them from context, but the compiler will tell you

The Rust compiler tells you a lot and if it compiles it runs if you don't use "unsafe" methods like unwrap

mortoray profile image
edA‑qa mort‑ora‑y

Automatic and manual are tricky to separate, and they aren't really language specific.

Stick with standard types and smart pointers and C++ has fully automated memory management.

C# frequently uses a Dispose system which is manual management.

Rust uses "move" semantics by default, and generally has automatic management. It of course offers manual management for places where it's necessary.

There are also other ways to manage memory, and the consideration of stack/heap/caches/etc. ensures it's a nice rich topic for endless discussion. :)

orkon profile image
Alex Rudenko • Edited on

That's right :-) Basically, I agree that the Rust is probably automated... I separate it like this: manual if you write something in your program to free memory properly (smart pointers/free etc.) and automated if it is built-in into the runtime/language so that you don't to specifically care about it (unless your memory starts leaking, yeah).