on Aug 15, 2006
How does one explain this?
Adobe Acrobat is running, even though I have no.PDF files open. Hey Adobe: There are clever little %mechanisims like “file associations” that allows Windows to open programs when they are needed. So why is Acrobat loitering here? It should close itself. An even more important question is this: Why is Acrobat eating up thirty-five megabytes of memory when it is not even in use? What is it doing with all of that memory? By contrast you can see that Paint Shop Pro – which is open and in use – is using less than a third of the memory that Acrobat is. I don’t know if this is arrogance or incompetence on the part of Adobe, but this is just shameful.
The awful thing is that programs can do this as a way of making themselves seem more efficient. How the game works is this: I have some no-talent hack programmers working for me making rotten software. It is sluggish and slow to start. I can get around this by having the program load when the system starts. Then my long loading time is just added to your boot-up time, thus masking my crime. When you open the program, it is already in memory and thus starts a little bit faster. So, I prop up my crappy software at the expense of making your entire system a little slower and less responsive. What if everyone did this?
(Yes, this stuff gets swapped out of memory after a while, but the whole point of buying lots of memory is so that the system can be fast and responsive and the user doesn’t have to put up with a bunch of disk-swapping. If this made any sense then people would just load everything into memory at start-up.)
This is really grotesque in the case of programs like Acrobat, which (in my case) gets used about once a month.
And while we’re at it:
How about NOT enabling something like this by default?
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.