Linked by Davon Shire on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 21:51 UTC
Editorial Amazing is the recent interest in full, live, operating systems that can fit on a 50 MB CD-ROM. It's totally astounding that they can cram so much onto such a tiny disk. But wait.. let's run back to the days of old.. back to say 1988.
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Bloat.
by nomen luni on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 23:10 UTC

I would recommend Davon to try Syllable.
http://syllable.sourceforge.net/

It's small, clean and fast.

Anyway, I never really understand the problem people have with 'code bloat'.

For example, Gnome fans not wanting KDE/QT to be installed on their machine. What do you think it's going to do, start up behind your back and eat memory and disk space while you are not looking? Do apps and libs installed, but not being used, somehow slow the machine down?

The answer is: of course they don't.

I always go for the full install on a Linux distro. A few gig of disk space is nothing, my largesse is infinite.

But I can understand why people (well Linux users at least) dislike 'bloat', and here's why:

An experienced Linux user knows their machine.

They have a mental map of the filesystem, the daemons that init will start, the libs and their dependencies, the modules that the kernel will load and the location of any local application repositorys. As the distro ages, however, and programs are installed and removed, it picks up cruft and complexity, and that mental map begins to disintegrate. The computer's filesystem becomes too complex to grasp.

Now, some people really don't care about this. Others identify their mental map of the computer with their own mental state, and it's slow disintegration upsets them deeply. The only cure is a purging of bloat, a reinstall, and the warm feeling of being 'in control' of the computer will return.

Oops. Too much coffee. I'm not trolling though, computers are a human creation and reflect our needs and ideals, and identification is an important part of that.