Is there any way to minimize str()/unicode() objects memory usage [Python 2.6.4] ?

Peter Otten __peter__ at
Sat Aug 7 08:50:35 CEST 2010

dmtr wrote:

>> > Well...  63 bytes per item for very short unicode strings... Is there
>> > any way to do better than that? Perhaps some compact unicode objects?
>> There is a certain price you pay for having full-feature Python objects.
> Are there any *compact* Python objects? Optimized for compactness?
>> What are you trying to accomplish anyway? Maybe the array module can be
>> of some help. Or numpy?
> Ultimately a dict that can store ~20,000,000 entries: (u'short
> string' : (int, int, int, int, int, int, int)).

I don't know to what extent it still applys but switching off cyclic garbage 
collection with

import gc

while building large datastructures used to speed up things significantly. 
That's what I would try first with your real data.

Encoding your unicode strings as UTF-8 could save some memory.

When your integers fit into two bytes, say, you can use an array.array() 
instead of the tuple.


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