What is garbage collection?
Garbage collection is a system whereby a run-time component takes responsibility for managing the lifetime of objects and the heap memory that they occupy. This concept is not new to .NET - Java and many other languages/runtimes have used garbage collection for some time.
What is the difference between Finalize and Dispose (Garbage collection) ?
Class instances often encapsulate control over resources that are not managed by the runtime, such as window handles (HWND), database connections, and so on. Therefore, you should provide both an explicit and an implicit way to free those resources. Provide implicit control by implementing the protected Finalize Method on an object (destructor syntax in C# and the Managed Extensions for C++). The garbage collector calls this method at some point after there are no longer any valid references to the object. In some cases, you might want to provide programmers using an object with the ability to explicitly release these external resources before the garbage collector frees the object. If an external resource is scarce or expensive, better performance can be achieved if the programmer explicitly releases resources when they are no longer being used. To provide explicit control, implement the Dispose method provided by the IDisposable Interface. The consumer of the object should call this method when it is done using the object.
Dispose can be called even if other references to the object are alive. Note that even when you provide explicit control by way of Dispose, you should provide implicit cleanup using the Finalize method. Finalize provides a backup to prevent resources from
permanently leaking if the programmer fails to call Dispose.
What is Garbage Collection in .Net? Garbage collection process?
The process of transitively tracing through all pointers to actively used objects in order to locate all objects that can be referenced, and then arranging to reuse any heap memory that was not found during this trace. The common language runtime garbage collector also compacts the memory that is in use to reduce the working space needed for the heap.
What is GC (Garbage Collection) and how it works
One of the good features of the CLR is Garbage Collection, which runs in the background collecting unused object references, freeing us from having to ensure we always destroy them. In reality the time difference between you releasing the object instance and it being garbage collected is likely to be very small, since the GC is always running.
[The process of transitively tracing through all pointers to actively used objects in order to locate all objects that can be referenced, and then arranging to reuse any heap memory that was not found during this trace. The common language runtime garbage collector also compacts the memory that is in use to reduce the working space needed for the heap.]
A portion of memory reserved for a program to use for the temporary storage of data structures whose existence or size cannot be determined until the program is running.
How Garbage Collector (GC) Works?
The methods in this class influence when an object is garbage collected and when resources allocated by an object are released. Properties in this class provide information about the total amount of memory available in the system and the age category, or generation, of memory allocated to an object. Periodically, the garbage collector performs garbage collection to reclaim memory allocated to objects for which there are no valid references. Garbage collection happens automatically when a request for memory cannot be satisfied using available free memory. Alternatively, an application can force garbage collection using the Collect method.
Garbage collection consists of the following steps:
0. The garbage collector searches for managed objects that are referenced in managed code.
1. The garbage collector attempts to finalize objects that are not referenced.
2. The garbage collector frees objects that are not referenced and reclaims their memory.
Why doesn't the .NET runtime offer deterministic destruction?
Because of the garbage collection algorithm. The .NET garbage collector works by periodically running through a list of all the objects that are currently being referenced by an application. All the objects that it doesn't find during this search are ready to be destroyed and the memory reclaimed. The implication of this algorithm is that the runtime doesn't get notified immediately when the final reference on an object goes away - it only finds out during the next sweep of the heap.
Futhermore, this type of algorithm works best by performing the garbage collection sweep as rarely as possible. Normally heap exhaustion is the trigger for a collection sweep.
Is the lack of deterministic destruction in .NET a problem?
It's certainly an issue that affects component design. If you have objects that maintain expensive or scarce resources (e.g. database locks), you need to provide some way for the client to tell the object to release the resource when it is done. Microsoft recommend that you provide a method called Dispose() for this purpose. However, this causes problems for distributed objects - in a distributed system who calls the Dispose() method? Some form of reference-counting or ownership-management mechanism is needed to handle distributed objects - unfortunately the runtime offers no help with this.
Why do we need to call CG.SupressFinalize?
Requests that the system not call the finalizer method for the specified object.
public static void SuppressFinalize(object obj ); The method removes obj from the set of objects that require finalization. The obj parameter is required to be the caller of this method. Objects that implement the IDisposable interface can call this method from the IDisposable.Dispose method to prevent the garbage collector from calling Object.Finalize on an object that does not require it.
What's the difference between Java and .NET garbage collectors?
Sun left the implementation of a specific garbage collector up to the JRE developer, so their performance varies widely, depending on whose JRE you're using. Microsoft standardized on their garbage collection.
How do you enforce garbage collection in .NET?
How does the generational garbage collector in the .NET CLR manage object lifetime? What is non-deterministic finalization?
The hugely simplistic version is that every time it garbage-collects, it starts by assuming everything to be garbage, then goes through and builds a list of everything reachable. Those become not-garbage, everything else doesn't, and gets thrown away. What makes it generational is that every time an object goes through this process and survives, it is noted as being a member of an older generation (up to 2, right now). When the garbage-collector is trying to free memory, it starts with the lowest generation (0) and only works up to higher ones if it can't free up enough space, on the grounds that shorter-lived objects are more likely to have been freed than longer-lived ones.
Non-deterministic finalization implies that the destructor (if any) of an object will not necessarily be run (nor its memory cleaned up, but that's a relatively minor issue) immediately upon its going out of scope. Instead, it will wait until first the garbage collector gets around to finding it, and then the finalisation queue empties down to it; and if the process ends before this happens, it may not be finalised at all. (Although the operating system will usually clean up any process-external resources left open - note the usually there, especially as the exceptions tend to hurt a lot.)
What is the difference between Finalize() and Dispose()?
Dispose() is called by the user of an object to indicate that he is finished with it, enabling that object to release any unmanaged resources it holds. Finalize() is called by the run-time to allow an object which has not had Dispose() called on it to do the same. However, Dispose() operates determinalistically, whereas there is no guarantee that Finalize() will be called immediately when an object goes out of scope - or indeed at all, if the program ends before that object is GCed - and as such Dispose() is generally preferred.
How is the using() pattern useful? What is IDisposable? How does it support deterministic finalization?
The using() pattern is useful because it ensures that Dispose() will always be called when a disposable object (defined as one that implements IDisposable, and thus the Dispose() method) goes out of scope, even if it does so by an exception being thrown, and thus that resources are always released.