The ServerSide has posted an interview with Dr. Holly Cummins from IBM who recently gave a presentation on Garbage Collection. She expresses her disagreement with some common beliefs about GC, and gives some recommendations for understanding your verbose GC and using it to tune the GC.

Some quotes from her presentation are highlighted below.

In response to the claim:

Garbage collection does work and causes pauses and the pauses prevent my application from doing work so the shorter the pause the better.

Dr. Cummins answers:

Not true! Even when a garbage collector spends a lot of time paused, application performance may be better.

Dr. Cummins also disagrees with the claim:

OK, I get that the application would go faster if I could tolerate long pauses, but response times are critical for my application so the shorter the pause times, the better off I will be”

She goes on to give some recommendations on adjusting heap size, choosing the right GC policy, and using a toolkit from IBM.

The slides are provided online in a PDF.

The video can be seen, along with accompanying discussion on the Server Side (once everyone gets over her appearance).