Let's consider a fictional program that builds a linked list in the heap, and at the end of the program there is a loop that frees all the nodes, and then exits. For this case let's say the linked list is just 500K of memory, and no special space managing is required.
- Is that a wast of time, because the OS will do that anyway?
- Will there be a different behavior later?
- Is that different according to the OS version?
I'm mainly interested in UNIX based systems, but any information will be appreciated. I had today my first lesson in OS course and I'm wondering about that now.
Edit: Since a lot of people here are concerned about side effects, and general 'good programming practice' and so. You are right! I agree 100% with your statements. But my question is only hypothetical, I want to know how the OS manages this. So please leave out things like 'finding other bugs when freeing all memory'.