New In Orcas Part 1: What we’ve been doing

The Orcas March CTP is out, and what does that mean for the Garbage Collector?  The GC team has been concentrating on three areas for this release:

  1. Bug fixes.  For Orcas, we’ve fixed several premature Out of Memory bugs, improved stability in certain stressful conditions, and even improved performance in some scenarios.  
  2. GC Collection Modes.  We’ve added a new overload to System.GC.Collect that takes a System.GCCollectionMode enum, which allows the user to either force a collection or allow the GC to decide if a collection would be productive.
  3. GC Latency Modes.  A new GC feature that allows the user to specify blocks of code that are time-sensitive, and the GC will minimize its intrusiveness.   This has been implemented as new properties on the System.Runtime.GCSettings class.

In my next few blog entries I’ll go into more detail on our new features, including code samples and best practices.