The Memory Pool System: Thirty person-years of memory management development goes Open Source


The Memory Pool System (MPS) is a very general, adaptable, flexible, reliable, and efficient memory management system. It permits the flexible combination of memory management techniques, supporting manual and automatic memory management, in-line allocation, finalization, weakness, and multiple simultaneous co-operating incremental generational garbage collections. It also includes a library of memory pool classes implementing specialized memory management policies.

Between 1994 and 2001, Harlequin (now part of Global Graphics) invested about thirty person-years of effort developing the MPS. The system contained many innovative techniques and abstractions which were kept secret. In 1997 Richard Brooksby, the manager and chief architect of the project, and Nicholas Barnes, a senior developer, left Harlequin to form their own consultancy company, Ravenbrook, and in 2001, Ravenbrook acquired the MPS technology from Global Graphics. We are happy to announce that we are publishing the source code and documentation under an open source licence. This paper gives an overview of the system.

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