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Garbage Collection

Thomas Markl
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2001
Posts: 192
I have got a question regarding object finalization.

My Question is:
- When I set „tf = null“ why doesn’t it call the finalize method and print out
("Hey, I'm in TestFinalize finalize()")?
It seems it only calls the finalize() method when I set the reference to null
(tf = null) AND excplicitly suggest garbage collection with „System.gc()“.
WHY doesn’t it simply call finalize() method when i set the object reference
To null. Why do I have to call System.gc() additionally?

Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
When an object is unreachable, it becomes *eligible* for gc'ing - that is, the next time the garbage collector runs, it *may* gc the object. The finalize method is called *immediately* before the object gets gc'ed and there is no guarantee to when or wether this will happen besides that it will happen before an OutOfMemoryError occurs. Even System.gc() does only *suggest* that the gc gets activated.
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subject: Garbage Collection