What is executable size anyway?

Chris Gray chris.gray@kiffer.be
Sat Apr 17 15:53:00 GMT 2004

On Saturday 17 April 2004 16:41, Øyvind Harboe wrote:
> "Reduce executable size" comes up as a goal from time to another,
> and not only in a GCJ context.
> But what is "executable size"? What is its units?
> Here are a couple of suggestions:
> 1. seconds. How long does it take to download? Compression and bandwidth
> enters the picture here as does ease of installation. GCJ applications
> are generally less painful to install than e.g. Suns Java JRE(colateral
> damage and side-by-side installations)

OTOH if the JRE is already present a Jar file is also quite compact and easy 
to install. For dependencies and versioning, see OSGi.

> 2. harddisk space. Complicated to calculate. Rarely relevant.

Relevant if your "hard disk" is 8 MB of flash.

> 3. in memory footprint on PC(Windows/Linux). This is related to active
> working set and hence speed of execution.

Probably less relevant on systems with no virtual memory and little cache.

> 4. In embedded systems there might not be a virtual memory system, and
> hence every byte counts.
> To me, #1 and #4 are the only important ones.

For me #2 is also important. In fact for resident code it's really #2 and #4 
that matter: for downloadable code #1 may or not be significant, depending on 
whether your device is connected to a broadband network or a LEO satellite.

Chris Gray                                  /k/ Embedded Java Solutions
Embedded & Mobile Java, OSGi              http://www.kiffer.be/k/
chris.gray@kiffer.be                                      +32 3 216 0369

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