I think shelf needs to be little be smarter about launching
applications. Right now if an app fails to start for some reason, you
get no feedback whatsoever. That is very confusing for novice users and
they might not be able to guess that if they run app from shell then
they might see errors.
The shelf can get exit code from apps and if that’s not 0 give some
notice. And of course if spawn itself fails, it should say so.
Insufficient memory is quite possible reason.
For example, I found that RTP installs on machine with 16Mb of RAM and
that’s just enough to bring up Photon. There is less than 1Mb of RAM
left, so you can only start very few smaller apps, like calculator. Even
‘Quick guide’ fails. You can say of course that 16Mb is unsupported
configuration, but many people will have 16Mb just because their BIOS
happens to have damned memory hole. There is no way to turn it off on
Compaq or Dell. If shelf detected this situation and told user that he’s
low on memory and there appears to be only 16Mb or it anyway, it would
at least give user an idea what might be wrong. I had exactly that
situation with a brand new Dell, which was otherwise completely