The year is 2014 and there are two things that still remain a mystery to most developers – Garbage collection and understanding the opposite sex. Since I don’t know much about the latter, I thought I’d take a whack at the former, especially as this is an area that has seen some major changes and improvements with Java 8, especially with the removal of the PermGen and some new and exciting optimizations (more on this towards the end).
When we speak about garbage collection, the vast majority of us know the concept and employ it in our everyday programming. Even so, there’s much about it we don’t understand, and that’s when things get painful. One of the biggest misconceptions about the JVM is that it has one garbage collector, where in fact it provides four different ones, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. The choice of which one to use isn’t automatic and lies on your shoulders and the differences in throughput and application pauses can be dramatic.