[Scribus] Memory problems when document contains many large pictures

John Beardmore John
Sat Jan 12 14:25:13 CET 2008

Stefan Forster wrote:
> Owen wrote:  If it is a problem, why not untick 'Image visible' ?
> It does not change load time or memory consumption ...
> -----
> 2008/1/12, John Beardmore < John at t4sltd.co.uk <mailto:John at t4sltd.co.uk>>:
>     I don't know how images are stored internally.  We use lots of images
>     from 3 and 5 megapixel cameras, but I am using a 1.8 GHz P4 laptop with
>     2 gig of RAM, documents are typically 30 pages, with an average of one
>     or two images per page.  Images are .jpg, either direct from the
>     camera,
>     or sometimes messed with in Gimp.
>     Are you really running out of memory ?  Do you have a limit on the swap
>     file size ?  Is it possible that you have some underlying hardware
>     problem that only manifests when you use a lot of VM ?  I seldom see
>     Scribus use more than 300 meg which doesn't seem to bother this system
>     at all.
> With 2GB of memory, you will experience the problems when you have more 
> than about 300 images.

Maybe, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was true of most WP and DTP 

I'm not by any means suggesting that Scribus shouldn't be written to 
make better / best use of memory, but can you get a quart out of a pint 
pot ?

> When your camera would have 20 Megapixel you would already have problems.

If my camera had 20 megapixels I would expect them.  This isn't so 
different from a 300 dpi scanned A4 page, which I would expect to slow 
things down if there were a lot of them.

> I only have 500MB memory + 3GB swap space on a linux laptop.
> I also can work with documents up to about 30 pages (16 pages already 
> take 12 minutes to load!).

Hmmm...  Back in the days of pagemaker I used to see silly delays 
loading documents and moving to pages, but not that silly. 
Circumstances were very different then though, on a P/200 with a massive 
192 meg of RAM, and windows NT's VM.  Most of our images we only one 
megapixel then though, but some 300 dpi scanned pages weren't unusual.

> But in the end my picture-book should have 500 images and 160 pages.
> So I had to break it up and concat the different PDF's (with Adobe Acrobat).
> It will probably not be possible to produce this even on your machine - 
> at least not with "professional" speed.

Possibly, but it depends on what you call professional I expect.  It's 
interesting that upgrading this machine by throwing away the old simms 
and buying two new 1 gig sticks only cost 43 UKP, so if you can afford 
it, the 'professional' approach is probably to throw memory at it.  This 
said, I was doing OK in 1 gig if there wasn't much else running.

In the mean time, let's hope that the behaviour of Scribus can be made 
optimal for the users of both large and small memory machines.  I'd hate 
to think that the users of larger machines couldn't fully exploit them 
because of work arounds for small systems.

Cheers, J/.
John Beardmore, MSc EDM (Open), B.A. Chem (Oxon), CMIOSH, AIEMA, MEI
Managing Director, T4 Sustainability Limited. http://www.T4sLtd.co.uk/
Carbon Trust Consultant: Energy Audit, Carbon Footprint, Design Advice
Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme Registered Assessor
P:0845 4561332  F:0870 0522417  M:07785 563116  Skype:t4sustainability

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