RE: Human minds on Windows(?)

Robert J. Bradbury (
Fri, 9 Jul 1999 09:39 PDT

> Billy Brown[] wrote:
> On a tangential note, you seem to think that large programs are inherently
> bad in some sense. Why? A high-quality program is one that does the
> things I want it to do in a simple and cost effective manner. As long as
> you have that, who cares if the program is 5 KB or 5 MB?

Oh boy, we can tell what era you learned to program in... :-) The first versions of UNIX ran in < 64KB. Compare the Linux kernel today with UNIX 25 years ago. It doesn't do that much more but it sure is a lot bigger. [And UNIX systems 25 years ago were supporting 10-30 users simultaneousy!]

> Program size only becomes important if the software is so big that it
> actually affects its performance, or takes up a meaningfull fraction of
> my hard drive, or in some other way limits my ability to use it.

Big programs don't necessarily perform poorly, though it does take forever to start them up. Depending on the application you may *have* to make a program big (use caches, much special case code, etc.) to get reasonable performance. However once you have made the program this "complex" you have started down the road of making it more difficult to maintain.

Balancing size, speed and complexity is the "art" of programming.