[tex-live] XeLaTeX Not enough memory (part 2)

Tim Bradshaw tfb at tfeb.org
Mon May 24 22:50:54 CEST 2010

On 24 May 2010, at 15:17, Robin Fairbairns wrote:

> of course.  tex is a 1970s program; the legend is that dynamic  
> memory in
> the pascal don started with was "unreliable", so he didn't use it.

I'm not sure to what extent portability was a consideration (obviously  
some!) but if you wanted a chance of porting a significant Pascal  
program in the late 70s, you probably wanted not to do dynamic memory  
allocation, whether or not the original compiler could do it.

To play the Devil's advocate a bit: on a modern VM system it ought to  
be basically fine to say "just allocate me a huge amount of memory",  
so long as you don't use too much.  Sensible platforms which don't do  
memory overcommit may run out of swap allocation, but it shouldn't  
cause a performance issue.

(Of course the issue it will cause it people saying "Ew, TeX is using  
5GB of memory, whine whine" when what they mean is "has allocated 5GB  
of address space which it will not use and which has basically zero  
cost".  But I can see that preventing the whining might be a big  
reason not to do this.)

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