Memory Leak


Memory leaks. A memory leak takes place when memory is allocated but never deallocated. A major computer manufacturer had a subtle memory leak in one of the window types for their window system. One group of users would run large test programs over night and then expect to scroll back through the windows buffer. The buffer was not infinite and only buffered a certain number of lines. The software displaying this scrolling buffer had a memory leak. It would recover most, but not all of the memory allocated as the window scrolled. As the test ran over night, the window software used up more and more memory, until the entire virtual memory was consumed. The window would then crash, destroying the test run information the user wanted. Tools like purify where not available at the time and this bug tool a huge amount of effort to track down and fix.



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