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Naming used to predict object lifetime

December 5th, 2008

One of the most surprising empirical results I heard about this year was that the name of a Java object could (reasonably) reliably be used to predict its lifetime on the heap. Being a huge advocate of the importance of naming I should not have been surprised.

The author , Jeremy Singer, invited me to Manchester to talk about my own experiments and I heard about his group’s latest project investigating how to subdivide a Java program so that bits of it can be executed on different processors. I suggested various ways in which naming might be used to group semantically related functionality (would it do better than simple statement colocation you ask) and await to see if the group goes with any naming ideas (my suggestions were accompanied by a fair amount of arm waving, so I might have to wait a while).

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