Is Python lightweight?

Cliff Wells LogiplexSoftware at
Sat Jun 7 00:58:03 CEST 2003

On Fri, 2003-06-06 at 15:39, kk wrote:
> I just read a comment to an article claiming that an application
> sucked, and the reason was because it was written in Python.  It went
> on to say that it pulls in some 40MB (I assume into memory), and
> insinuated that it was "bloat-ware". In case you really care, the
> application they were talking about is Redhat's "Up To Date" (software
> update tool).

Was this on a RH mailing list?  Which one?  I haven't flamed anyone on
any of the RH lists in a couple of weeks and this seems like a good time
to get back into the swing <cracks knuckle>.  There are a
disproportionate number of monkeys pounding on keyboards on a few of
those lists.  I'd always thought Linux users would be... well, never
mind.  Apparently the surge in Linux popularity has its downside as

> I know this is a silly argument, and I should forget about it. 
> However, I really have fallen in love with Python even though I
> haven't been doing it very long.  So, I've been thinking... How would
> you measure the amount of "bloat" that an application has, on windows?
>  On Linux?  Has anyone compared the Python interpreter "foot-print" to
> Java, Perl, PHP, VB, etc... I guess if you had a GUI then you would
> have to add the size of the GUI libraries (and with Tk, the TCL
> interpreter).

Bloatware can be written in any language.  Most likely they are keeping
huge amounts of data in RAM (dependency trees?) and this has little to
do with Python.

Of course, the alternative to bloatware is often noware.  If RH wasn't
using Python for a lot of their administrative tools (and installer)
then it seems quite likely that a large number of those tools wouldn't
even exist.  I can only imagine how complicated up2date would be were it
written in C.

> Anyway, my question is, how can I measure this for myself?

Start Python (without running any Python scripts).  Check memory usage. 
Anything above and beyond that is the application's fault.  Well, not
entirely, but you get the idea.

Cliff Wells, Software Engineer
Logiplex Corporation (
(503) 978-6726  (800) 735-0555

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