phi (totient) wrote,

Memory leaks

Many years ago I was working on a project that was leaking memory at an astonishing rate -- the server would stay up for only a few seconds before a memory allocation failed and it fell over. We defined a speed metric for memory leaks where Mach 1 was equal to one byte leaked per byte processed. By this metric the code we were working on leaked memory at 7.5% of the speed of light. We eventually got it down to a walking pace before moving on to other bugs.

There's a third party library I'd like to encourage the use of at Akamai. But it too leaks memory quickly -- off the shelf it's faster than Earth escape velocity. With a few hours' work I have gotten a copy of it down to about half that. For now, though, it's still the fastest memory leak I've worked with since that relativistic leak 15 years ago.

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