memory allocation on commandline

Tim Rowledge tim at
Sun Jan 19 06:15:51 UTC 2003

John Maloney <JohnMaloney at> appears to have written:

> I believe that, on the Mac, the memory parameter came from the the
> "memory" setting in the application's "info" dialog, and it really did
> mean the *total* amount of memory for that application. One could
> argue that users shouldn't need to worry about such things, but
> that's just the way the Mac worked before OS X.
True; the old Mac memory system was possibly the stupidest bit of
systems programming seen by humankind since the reproductive system was
made autonomous instead of voluntary.
> I have no objection to changing what the "-memory" command
> line option does on other platforms, but on Mac OS 8 and 9, I think
> that the way it currently works matches what pre-X Mac users expect...
> Ian and Andreas will probably have opinions about the *nix and Win32
> VM's, but I seem to recall that "-memory" used to mean the total memory
> allocation on these platforms as well, up through 2.8 at least...
It's wierd; my code and the variable names I used clearly imply the idea
of headroom rather than total room, but the oldest sources I have only
go back to 2.6 and that is indeed a total-room setup. Am I imagining
things? Could be... too many cups of tea can do that to you. I can
easily make it so that it works 'my' way on Acorns but I am interested
in how people feel it ought to work as well.


Tim Rowledge, tim at,
A paperless office has about as much chance as a paperless bathroom.

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