Posted Jul 27, 2007 0:16 UTC (Fri) by jmorris42
In reply to: Still waiting for swap prefetch
Parent article: Still waiting for swap prefetch
> I am writing this on a Dell laptop with a 1GHz CPU and 512MB of memory.
You say that like you think that is a small machine. It shouldn't be, and that is the problem.
I remember running early GNOME based RedHat distributions on 300Mhz machines with 128M and it being totally usable. Bumped it to 256MB and could run Win95 under VMWare. (Gave Windows 64MB)
Now look at the pitiful state of bloat we have. Anaconda pretty much requires 512MB now unless you install in text mode. Red Hat won't even support a RHEL machine without a full GB. And I know ps's memory stats aren't all that reliable but look at the memory and CPU needs to bring up a GNOME or KDE desktop and a browser.
And speaking of insane, take a look at conglomerate. I have a test machine loaded up with F7 (Athlon64 2800 with 512MB) and tried using conglomerate to open up the Fedora 7 comps.xml file. After several minutes of constant thrashing went by as the poor machine exhausted all memory and swap the OOM killer finally put it out of it's misery. This is a 0.9 release so I'm assuming this sort of memory performace isn't considered a show stopper bug. More likely none of the devels (who by definition have big enough machines to compile a hog like Conglomerate) noticed the memory consumption.
I think the problem probably stems from the same source as Window's bloat. The developers no longer feel the pain. Ten years ago many key developers on every part of the stack from kernel to desktop (browser excluded prior to Mozilla becoming viable...) were private individuals, with a fair number outside the US/western Europe. The upshot of that was that they had hardware closer to a 'typical' machine. Now most of the key developers are using machines bought with OPM, i.e. corporate developer 'workstations' with big honking specs.
Perhaps the key developers should be given a $1,500 budget to buy their workstation with and then give them assess via ssh to a 'compile host' so they don't have to sit and spin waiting for compiles but DO have to sit and spin waiting on OO.o or Firefox. This would motivate them to care about resource consumption in more realistic desktop environments and not just care how well their quad Opteron monster squeezes the last percentage from all of it's CPUs.
to post comments)