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How do applications "clean" memory?

This definitely relates to programming. I was asking how to create an application that acts like those other applications listed. I don't see how someone could think it's not programming-related.

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It's not really programming-related in that it's not about a specific coding concept or problem. It's more about OS memory usage and how certain applications work, but I think it's certainly close enough that I nominated to reopen (as well as a few others have). You would do well to edit the question to make it clear that you are interested in the programming concepts involved and not just how those applications work. –  Daniel DiPaolo Jul 20 '11 at 14:02

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Are you trying to write an application that acts like that, and running into a problem? If so, reword your question to be clear about that, and it will be on topic. But if you're just curious about how a category of applications work, that's off topic. Click the faq link at the top of each page and without even scrolling down you'll read:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

I think that's a pretty clear description of why your question doesn't belong on StackOverflow. There's more to this than being "programming-related".

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Agreed, sort of. I think the question as-is probably should be considered borderline, but I think the question as viewed by the title alone and then fleshed out without asking how certain applications work could be a decent and on-topic question. –  Daniel DiPaolo Jul 20 '11 at 14:06
    
I think this is not open-ended. I'm asking a specific question how to "clean" the memory in a Mac app. –  Yep Jul 20 '11 at 14:12
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@Yep: The only thing that makes this question "programming-related" is the very last sentence: "How can I achieve something like this?" If the rest of the question was a little more like that (or if you expanded on what you're trying to implement in your own app), I'd have an easier time casting that final vote to re-open. –  Cody Gray Jul 20 '11 at 14:16
    
@Yep, edit your question and clarify what you're trying to do and what you need to know to do it. I suspect 5 or more folks with reopen power (including me and Cody) are refreshing the question waiting for that edit. –  Kate Gregory Jul 20 '11 at 14:22

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