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From "Alex Blewitt" <alex.blew...@gmail.com>
Subject [rant] Memory options in VM -- why is the default not 'unlimited'
Date Sat, 29 Jul 2006 07:58:17 GMT
I believe this might be of general interest and worth debating here,
from a post on EclipseZone:


"Am I the only one that's frustrated that:

1) The -X options even exist at all. After all, they're so standard
now (e.g. -Xmx256m) that the point of calling them 'non-standard'
options is pretty much laughable.

2) That they felt the need to build another level of non-non-standard
into command line options such that -XX is even necessary

3) That it's necessary to put limits on a system that uses garbage
collection and should be able to release memory back to the OS at all?
I mean, what is the point in artificially limiting the size of these
anyway? I can see that there may be optimal tweaks that you'd want to
perform on some server systems (e.g. initial sizes) and maybe for some
constrained systems the maximal size too; but why isn't the default
'unlimited'? The only time I should see an OutOfMemoryError is when
the OS refuses to give any more memory to the app, not when some
artificial hard-coded limit is reached in some random defaults
hard-coded into a C file. Name one other language/system/application
that has such an arbitrary self-enforced maximal non-unlimited default
built in. Heck, even OS resources (like ulimit or #file handles) are
specified at the OS, not the application, level.

With any luck, open-source VMs like Harmony won't be as anal with
their memory management, and the default for such things will be
unlimited. Just one of the benefits of an open-source version; you
won't have to be artificially cramped by random decisions at the VM


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