[techtalk] StarOffice and Gnome installation issues

Nils Philippsen nils at wombat.dialup.fht-esslingen.de
Mon Nov 15 21:04:07 EST 1999

Hi, Karl-Heinz and others,

I take this as an invitation to nitpicking :-)

On Sun, 14 Nov 1999, Karl-Heinz Zimmer wrote:

> On 11/13/99, 12:37:15 PM, Nils Philippsen erroneously:
> > StarOffice is a real memory hog
> Unfortunately this is true.  :-(
> We managed it to spend less memory that StarOffice 5.0 but
> it still needs quite a lot.

Yep, 35MB isn't exactly lightweight...

> > a quick test gave this:
> The filowing (fortunately!) is *not* correct:
> > It eats additional 2MB in the X-Server and forks off
    Up to here, it IS correct.   --------+

> > 6 copies of itself, giving 7 instances running.
>                                ^^^^^^^^^
>                                      ;-)

OK so you use threads (taken your writing below into account).

> I am happy to be able to tell you that 'facts' being told
> to us above are not right.
> Of course StarOffice doesn't use that amount of memory!

I knew that it didn't use 100+MB (as I have 128MB and the machine didn't
trash, it was crystal clear). I thought (erroneously) that you forked,
instead you cloned, but even with forking it wouldn't use that much (and I
never said that it would) because all pages that are not written into,
just read, would've been shared between the processes. If I'm not totally
wrong, this is even between independently started processes, because the
kernel just mmap()s the binary.

> The simple reason for the common misunderstanding of that
> phenomenon and for lots of trouble is that some people start
> writing their ideas and theories down without having ensured
> that they are true!

This is said easily for a person with access to the source code. Or was it
released lately? Up to now IIRC Sun only has announced to open the code to
the public (everybody: please don't make a licence war out of this, ok?
Not that I would like the SCSL, admitted :-). Ok, if I could read strace
output in my sleep, it would be different...

> StarOffice doesn't consume that Mem for each 'instances' because
> there AREN'T ANY MULTIPLE INSTANCES - even if it looks like that.

So could you please explain to me why they have different PIDs? In my
understanding, threads of a process have the same PID, or do I err?
Without experience with pthreads and the like, I would really be
interested in an answer.

> Instead of this StarOffice runs multiple THREADS (not instances)
> to improve performance and all of these threads of course use
> The stupid fact that 'ps -m' or 'top' don't show this clearly
> caused *some* people to call us by phone and complain about that
> Mem Vaste they seemed to have found there.

:-) Help people fixing ps and top ...

Nils Philippsen / Vogelsangstrasse 115 / D-70197 Stuttgart / +49.711.6599405
nils at wombat.dialup.fht-esslingen.de / nils at fht-esslingen.de / nils at redhat.de
   The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be
   regarded as a criminal offence.                  -- Edsger W. Dijkstra

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