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> No need to get religious. M&S may be appropriate for you but not for
> problems like ours. We have no idle time. 

As I said, the current Lua collector may well not work for you. 
So, something needs to be done.  The question is: what?

> Reference counting spreads the collection hit. 

The problem is that it doesn't in general.  Reference
counting can give you worse collection hits than even
Lua's simple garbage collector, because a single assignment
can result in very large numbers of objects becoming

If you need real-time performance or soft real-time performance,
the way to do it is to implement a real-time or soft real-time
memory manager.  But reference counting isn't one of those, 
and implementing it for that purpose is a waste of time.

Implementing a real-time or soft real-time garbage collector
isn't all that hard.  Why not just solve the problem and
do things right?