On Thu, 3 Feb 2000, Arcterex <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> I think that this was discussed some time back and the conclusion was that
> if you have 5 users on your system all using gimp and each using 50%...
> well, you see where that could be a problem.  

I agree.  Most of the time, I use the Gimp on a multi-user system that
has plenty of memory, but would still swap if each user would set their
tile-cache-size to 512 Mb or more.

However...  I think that the problems coming from having that value set
too low are worse than the problems you get when you set it too high.
And anyway, it only hurts on a multi-user system iff all users are
currently trying to consume (more than) their share of memory.

But the "percentage of memory" approach has other problems that were
discussed before.  First, what do you define as "available memory"?
Is that the total amount of RAM, the total amount of RAM minus what is
taken by the "default applications" (whatever that means), the total
amount of RAM available when the Gimp is started?  And measuring the
available memory is not easy: this is trivial under Linux, but keep in
mind that it must also work for Solaris, IRIX, HP-UX, AIX, Windows 95,
Windows NT, OS/2 and many others...

> Maybe have a note pop up when first run asking the user how much memory
> they want to reserve for the Gimp, and note that this amount (percentage?)
> will be used for all Gimp sessions or something like that.

I think that asking the user is the best solution in any case, because
you can hope that the user has some vague idea of how much memory is
or will be available on the system he is using (shared or personal
computer).  This will not work in all cases (e.g. dumb users, or users
who have a home directory mounted on a network of heterogenous
machines) but it will probably be better than any attempt at guessing
what is best.

In any case, there is something that we could do right now: add one or
two lines of text in the preferences dialog box, explaining what the
"tile cache size" means, or even better: a prominent message saying
something like: "please look at the help page for some tips about this
very important option".  I think that the majority of Gimp users do
not know what this option means and how it can influence the
performance of the application.  I personally set it to 150 Mb a long
time ago and I have always been satisfied with the results (that's on
a Solaris box - on my home PC I set it to 50 Mb).

So I would suggest:

1 - Increase the default value to something more useful than 10 Mb.
    Maybe 32 Mb.  I think that too much is better than too little.
2 - Explain what this option means (in the preferences dialog).
3 - Add a nice prompt during the installation or any other smart
    thing that we can do to draw the users' attention on this option.

The last step can be done after 1.2 if necessary.


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