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Marc Wandschneider is a professional software developer with well over fifteen years of industry experience (yes, he really is that old). He travels the globe working on interesting projects and gives talks at conferences and trade shows whenever possible.

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Apr 13, 2008 | 20:54:21
CoreImage memory leak in Leopard and its effect on JustLooking
By marcwan

It was with no small amount of dismay that I recently noticed JustLooking was leaking tonnes of memory on my Leopard machine here at home. When developing the program, I put enormous amounts of time an energy into ensuring the program behaved well and didn’t leak. And yet, browsing through 75 photos from a trip to Hong Kong ground my 2GB system into the dirt in a hurry.

Upon further investigation, this appears to be a bug in Leopard—my Tiger machine has absolutely no leaking at all. The bug occurs specifically when using CoreImage and NSImage interchangeably. In effect, CoreImage works entirely on video card RAM, and NSImage works entirely in system RAM. The resizing method I use causes the system to copy some of that memory from the VRAM to the system RAM, and that code leaks a tonne at a time.

The good news is that you can fix this by just having CoreImage do the rotation. The bad news is that this is 100% incompatible with the fade effect transitions I use. So, right now, I have the choice between transitions or memory leaks. Or just using Tiger (for which there are a number of other great arguments).

One of things I had been looking at for JustLooking 3.2 was reworking exactly how I use CoreImage, filters, and the system’s loading code. It looks as though this work has just taken on added urgency.

Not fixed in 10.5.3
Posted By: marcwan May 30, 2008 01:52:56
Well, I had hoped that the new (then upcoming) release of 10.5.3 would fix this bug, but no such luck.

Fortunately, I spent a bunch of time this week tackling the problem and have fixed it and a number of other nagging JustLooking bugs. 3.2 any day now !!!!
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