Self Size

Dave Ungar David.Ungar at Eng.Sun.COM
Sat Aug 22 01:52:20 UTC 1992

There are also other possibilities:
Which framebuffer are you using?
Is your machine thrashing?
Just how slow is it?
(It should seem OK on a 1+ -- I'm not sure what is going on here)


> From owner-self at Fri Aug 21 16:57:33 1992
> Date: Fri, 21 Aug 92 16:55:29 PDT
> To: rwk at
> Cc: self-interest at
> In-Reply-To: <9208212133.AA18405 at> (rwk at
> Subject: Self Size
> Richard> Why does Self require so much memory?
> 1.  Because we trade space for speed in certain places ("memory is
>     cheap").
> 2.  Because we have not optimized things for space.  I.e. we know
>     how to reduce the size of the code space and the object heap
>     by around a factor of two, but we just haven't gotten around to
>     implementing this space engineering.  
> Richard> The Self UI runs somewhat slowly.  The performance benchmarks
> Richard> quoted in the various Self documents would make me think the
> Richard> UI would be quite snappy.
> Richard> Why isn't it?
> 1.  Because the compiler(s) are sometimes slow (that's why things run
>     slower the first time you do them).
> 2.  Because the compilers aren't perfect (yet :-).  Note that we do
>     not claim that *all* Self programs are x% of C - just the
>     benchmarks.  Also, the default system does *not* use the optimizing
>     compiler for all compilations.  Rather, it compiles unoptimized
>     code first (to reduce compile pauses) and reoptimizes later when
>     it sees that some code is frequently used.  Unfortunately, the
>     system doesn't always recompile the right thing, so the resulting
>     code may be slower than if it had been compiled in optimizing mode
>     the first time.
> Richard> I am a fan of Scheme and its functional syntax.  Could a
> Richard> functional "front end" be written for Self?  Not necessarily
> Richard> Scheme compatible, just "lisp-ish".
> I guess it could...just try it!  :-)
> -Urs
> PS: We're actively working on both the space and the speed problems!

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