In the age of Kernel Mode Setting, I was just thinking that the desktop distros should consider a OOM killer that pops up a little GUI that gives a chance to kill off an offender or two. Often the user has context and preferences that are quite dynamic.
Have the GUI timeout and default to the existing OOM code that the machine stays functional if the user is not around.
Or maybe something along the lines of GNOME's low disk space warning. A userspace monitor that either notices, or gets hints from the kernel that memory+swap is running low and pops up a window to allow clean shutdown of applications.
At the very least it would be great if the desktop distros could display a pop up or something letting the user know that the OOM killer has run, what it selected and why.
I'm wondering how many apps wrongly get the blame for crashing because they have been selected by the OOM.