XFCE memory usage: a simpler test

Ylosar Goer ylosar.goer at free.fr
Tue May 25 23:24:35 CEST 2004

purslow at sympatico.ca wrote:
> thanx to OF BT ET AL for their intelligent comments on the Gentoo thread:
> i forwarded it for interest & -- as BT concludes -- it is practically useful.
> <snip>

I think that knowing how much RAM an Environment eat at startup may be 
of interrest if the amount of RAM at your disposal is severely 
restricted. But startup and initial usage are not everything.

When you are limited in RAM, i mean really limited like when you take 
care of how many xterms you already opened (the next one will make the 
OS swap...), the way your Environment process the display of a simple 
menu could be critical. Simply consider the display of a menu. If that 
menu contains icons (i don't even talk about transparency nor droped 
shadows...), displaying it involves more hardware resources (which then 
cannot be used by something else at that moment) than if it did not 
contains icons. Icons have to be read from disk, so they reduce the 
efficiency of the disk buffers (by discarding more usefull data) and 
consequently will reduce the global reactivity of your system to your 
next action (launching an xterm!) and take other resources to be 
rendered on screen.

This 'icon' point is only an example but i think it's a good 
illustration of what can lead an Environment to the 'bloated' category 
when RAM (or CPU cycles) become precious.

But, this is obviously not the only factor that make (if it does) an 
Environment bloated or lightweight. The difference between the two may 
be in *how* that Environment uses its resources (initialy acquired or 
not). One Environment that takes 20MB at one moment may easyly be much 
more efficient than an other one that takes only 10MB of RAM to process 
the same fonctionalities, depending on how it has been designed _and_ 
coded. Imagine forgotten loops, debug statements, verbose logs or 
uncatched exceptions that may slow down every single things you do... 
who knows.

So, in my opinion, numbers, and especially those ones are not very 
usefull to classify Environments, even in the original post perspective.

Oh, and i'm sure i'm forgotting many things like having a gtk 
Environment while using qt apps (or the opposite) that may 'bloat' a 
'lightweight' Environment.


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