New results from "dictionary word count" programs...

Dennis devel at
Tue Mar 21 10:34:06 MST 2006

Levi Pearson wrote:
> On Mar 21, 2006, at 8:59 AM, Gregory Hill wrote:
>> Sorry for the double post, but I just thought of an example of why
>> relying on external modules can be bad.  In Perl, the standard POSIX
>> module takes up over 1MB of memory.  When I was working at Navitaire, we
>> had one module that relied on POSIX, but only for 2 or 3 extremely
>> simple functions.  So, in order to cut down the memory footprint of our
>> code, we dropped POSIX and implemented those same functions internally.
>> So, we added probably 10 lines of code to our program, but dropped over
>> 1MB out of a 20MB memory footprint (per apache process).
> So, where do you draw the line between 'language' and 'library'?  Does
> a language's standard library count?  You couldn't write much of a
> program in C without its standard library.  What about Java?  It ships
> with a huge number of standard libraries.  Which of those would you
> allow?
> How do you take into account the runtime system of a language?  C has
> a pretty small runtime support library, C++ has a larger one, and Java
> and other virtual machine-based or interpreted languages are on a
> whole different scale.
> All languages are implemented by someone else's code, and their power
> to make programs short relies upon that fact.  Not allowing libraries
> is silly, because it's difficult to define what constitutes a library
> and libraries do not necessarily constitute the largest part of a
> program's memory footprint even when they are used.
The important thing... is how come nobody used my bash shell script
version in all this?
>         --Levi
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