Keeping all apps open

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
I noticed that with Spaces and my new, bigger screen I quickly start to have almost my entire dock of applications running. And it actually seems like there is virtually no performance hit. Can some OS expert among you confirm that?



If I don't use an app for a while, OS X moves it to virtual memory anyway, so RAM is only used for the really active ones. When you switch to an app, does it matter whether it loads from disk or get's shuffled out of virtual memory (=disk)?



This makes me think: Why keep the blue dots in the dock at all? Why doesn't OS X simply start and stop, load and unload applications automatically in the background? Why does a user have to care, whether an app is running or not?



Sure, there is the odd app that consumes 1-5% CPU even if it has nothing to do (Word, Skype, I'm looking at you!). But even these could be put on "halt" by the OS after a certain time of inactivity.



My point is, on a modern OS, the user should not even think for a second, whether an Application is "loaded" or not. You simply pick your icon from the dock and that_is_it.



To a certain point OS X allows you to that already, but it doesn't seem like this is really it's "philosophy". What do you think?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    Mainly they use Ram in the background. This really matters if you run multiple high end programs at once where you sometimes have to even quit the main program to let the rendering engine alone get enough Ram to itself. Keeping all programs open wouldn't be a good idea. When we all have 32GB+ Ram that may very well change though.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    pbpb Posts: 4,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post


    Keeping all apps open



    When you say "all" do you really mean ALL? Any system today has a finite amount of memory and any manufacturer (Apple, etc.) cannot know how many applications a user will have in his/her computer. These two factors together say that no, it is not a good idea to launch every executable at startup. The performance hit because of the memory swapping will quickly be horrible for the average machine, as configured or may be configured today, and the average user.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    pbpb Posts: 4,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    When we all have 32GB+ Ram that may very well change though.



    I am not optimistic about that either. By then, who knows what will be the memory requirements for applications to work optimally. This depends on what developers are willing to offer in order to address user demand for a more comfortable and realistic computing experience.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    ak1808ak1808 Posts: 108member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Mainly they use Ram in the background.



    When you run out of physical memory, the OS moves the application into virtual memory, that is, onto the disk. Virtual memory is, for practical purposes, unlimited.



    When you switch to the app, it shouldn't make a (speed) difference whether the OS has to pull it out of virtual memory (=disk) or launch it (=disk).



    When you are not using an app for a long time, the OS could choose to save it's state and quit the application. But it should do this transparently to the user.



    I would bet Apple does exactly that on the iPhone: There is no distinction between a "running" application and a "not-running" one. The user does not manage or worry about starting and quiting apps. And by all means, the user shouldn't. Click the icon and go ahead.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post


    These two factors together say that no, it is not a good idea to launch every executable at startup.



    I'm sorry, my original post was too vague about this. I also don't think every app should be launched at startup immediately.



    As a future idea, I propose that OS X starts managing the quiting/stopping/unloading of applications without the user noticing anything about it.



    As a concrete idea, for the moment, I was wondering about simply not quitting any applications in OS X Leopard as it is now. Are some people doing this? Do you see major performance hits?

    I'm trying it out at the moment and so far things are good. I only have ~14 apps running though, most windows closed.



    One more future idea: Remove Booting/Restart. Simply sleep or hibernate. If determined necessary (updates, crashes, etc.) the OS should reboot transparently. The iPod does this at the moment.
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