[Spread] A continuously growing number of dead applications in the spread use more and more memory

Bug #1364009 reported by Daniel d'Andrada
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu UX
Fix Committed
Vesa Rautiainen
unity8 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

What should we do when there's a large number of dead applications (automatically killed due to out-of-memory situations) in the spread?

Option 1 - Keep them all in the spread

We must them unload those app screenshots (move them to disk) to save memory. If the user has a lot of dead apps in the spread, even though the apps themselves are not taking up memory space anymore, their respective screenshots in the spread still do.

So oldest of those dead apps that are not being displayed on the spread should have their screenshot images unloaded and saved to disk. If the user then scrolls the spread making them visible again they should be loaded back from disk.

There's the risk that if the user is flicking too fast down to the oldest apps, he might see screenshots popping in as they're reloaded from disk.

Option 2 - Automatically remove the oldest dead ones

Simpler to implement and there's no risk of running into the "texture pop in" situation described above.
It also save the user the burden of manually removing apps he doesn't care anymore and probably forgot about long ago.

Desired solution:

Option 1 with upper limit value 100. See the reasoning from comment section below.

Revision history for this message
kevin gunn (kgunn72) wrote :

Option2 does make sense to me as a viable option. However, I would think we'd want some bare minimum. Meaning we can't really control when out of memory will hit....my hit at the 40th open app or it might hit on the 4th...I would think there's probably some raw number we'd want to target like....10 apps in history...so that, we might end up with a hybrid approach. hope that makes sense.

John Lea (johnlea)
Changed in ubuntu-ux:
assignee: nobody → Vesa Rautiainen (vesar)
summary: - A continuously growing number of dead applications in the spread use
- more and more memory
+ [Spread] A continuously growing number of dead applications in the
+ spread use more and more memory
Changed in ubuntu-ux:
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Triaged
kevin gunn (kgunn72)
no longer affects: unity8
Revision history for this message
Vesa Rautiainen (vesar) wrote :

It is true that user often isn't that interested in the apps used in the very past so in that sense we could restrict the number of apps in spread to some arbitrary value (option 2). But from usability perspective option 1 would be way better. If we restrict the number of "open" apps it could just make users wonder why not all recently used apps are shown. And if we go with the option 2 we would need to have in any case some screenshot recycling mechanism because we don't know when we run out of RAM.

I had a chat with Daniel and mzanetti and option 1 is totally feasible from technical point of view. Daniel pointed out that we should still have some high sanity check upper limit value for apps count so that we can start freeing space from disk when app count goes above say 100.

description: updated
Changed in ubuntu-ux:
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Revision history for this message
Florian Boucault (fboucault) wrote :

How about keeping the UX as it is today but instead unload the pictures from RAM and from GPU memory, store them on disk, and load them on demand.

Revision history for this message
Daniel d'Andrada (dandrader) wrote :

@fboucault This is option 1.

Revision history for this message
Florian Boucault (fboucault) wrote :

I don't know how I managed to misread that. Very sorry!

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