JEP proposed to target JDK 11: 318: Epsilon: An Arbitrarily Low-Overhead Garbage Collector

Andrew Dinn adinn at
Wed Jan 17 10:03:41 UTC 2018

On 17/01/18 09:43, Aleksey Shipilev wrote:
> How very unpoetical :) Epsilon has the origin story for its name, see the JEP. Most people,
> including prospective users, know this feature under "Epsilon" and some expressed the love for the
> name. So, as long as there is no overwhelming amount of strong opinions against it, I'd keep the
> name as is.
"With arbitrarily large TLABs and arbitrarily large heap, the latency
overhead can be described by an arbitrarily low positive value, hence
the name."

Much as I relish poetry in engineered artefacts I am willing to accept
it as optional (now, as to elegance, that's another matter). However, I
agree with Aleksey that this case is more than just poetry trumping the
prosaic. The name declares a significant property of epsilon, affirming
that GC overheads can be removed for specific uses by suitable (hw and
sw) configuration but, unlike NoGC, making no claim that they can be
simply ignored. Oh, also ... poetry!


Andrew Dinn
Senior Principal Software Engineer
Red Hat UK Ltd
Registered in England and Wales under Company Registration No. 03798903
Directors: Michael Cunningham, Michael ("Mike") O'Neill, Eric Shander

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