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Even phones have more memory than and are fast enough to run Linux,... so why spending time feeting the OS in 5Mb when you can spend it on more important stuff ?
Itīs called "optimizing your code", sometimes also referred as "good engineering". You probably is too young for that but I remember the good old days when you had to code a TSR application that shouldnīt take too much of those 600 Kb of Base memory in DOS (630 Kb if you were lucky enough to be using QEMM :-)). You had no choice other than squeezing your code to the max in order to make it snappy enough to run in limited circumstances like hardware was in those days.
I love Linux as much as the next guy, but this is not a reason to not give props where it is due.