27 Jan 2003 chalst   » (Master)

zhaoway asks: why do functional languages have garbage collection? One reason is that that it is awkward to stack allocate closures in a functional language, and becomes impossible if you want to do tail-call elimination. Also if one has an anonymous lambda abstraction, how do you tell the memory manager you have finished with it? It isn't absolutely impossible to have functional languages without garbage collection, though, and Richard Kelsey's Prescheme language (which lies at the heart of the scheme48 system) is such a dialect, though arguably it isn't a full-blown functional language anymore (there are restrictions on the places one may create closures).

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