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I can't help you with the runaway process, but I do suggest that you turn off automatic compiling. It's just too damn slow to put up with everytime I press Ctrl-S. I've found that building it on launch isn't really that much slower.
That's good advice. I had forgotten about that option. Thanks.
Eclipse uses Java for the building. Setting different JVM settings might help (-Xms, -Xmx).
You could try using a different JVM.
Here is my post on it (read the comments too):
Thanks, I'll give that a try too. I read your blog but could not find FlexBuilder.ini. I believe it is because I am using the plugin only instead of the full flex eclipse. From what I've read, in this case you edit the Eclipse.ini located in the eclipse folder.
As a footnote, I tried Renaun's suggestions. I modified the Eclipse.ini to increase both forms of memory and switched the standard jre to 1.5_06. I have been using it all day with these new settings as well as not compiling on save. The results are a very, very significant improvement in compile time and no hint of any runaway processes. Thanks Renaun and inlineblue.