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3.1 Considerations in the Design of Nami... > 3.1.7 Looking Back and Ahead: Names ... - Pg. 131

3.1 Considerations in the Design of Naming Schemes 131 objects, some naming schemes keep track of the number of bindings to each object, and, when an unbind operation causes that number to reach zero, the system takes the opportunity to reclaim the storage occupied by the object. We saw this reference count- ing scheme used for links in the case study in Section 2.5. It contrasts with tracing garbage collection, an alternative technique used in some programming languages that involves occasional exploration of the named connections among objects to see which objects can and cannot be reached. The unix file system, described in Section 2.5, uses reference counting for file objects. 3.1.7 looking Back and ahead: Names are a Basic System Component In this and the previous chapter, we have explored both the underlying principles of, and many engineering considerations surrounding, the use of names, but we have only lightly touched on the applications of names in systems. Names are a fundamental building block in all system areas. Looking ahead, almost every chapter will develop techniques and methods that depend on the use of names, name spaces, and binding: In modularizing systems with clients and services (Chapter 4), clients need a