Reducing the size of Windows standalone

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Wed Jun 3 13:29:48 EDT 2015

Skip wrote:
> My standalone file sizes have almost doubled / tripled since version 7.  Is
> this all due to Unicode additions?  I have a file that always used to be
> 3mb and now is climbing to 9mb with no additions to the coding.
> Just seems like quite a jump in size.

v6.7.5 had a Windows runtime engine weighing in at 3.5 MB, and in v7 
that's now 8.9 MB.

A jump indeed, and I'm told much of it is related to Unicode libraries, 
for which I've heard mixed prognoses about the likelihood of having 
conditional inclusion at some point in the future.

In the here-and-now, even at the current size it's a fraction of what 
ToolBook and many similar tools require, and unlike most of them the 
LiveCode engine is self-contained, only requiring DLLs for specialized 
things like databases.  I believe Xojo's core library is a bit smaller 
than LiveCode's, but not by as much as one might expect for a tool 
requiring lower-level compilation.  Last I looked the Python engine was 
at least twice as large as LiveCode's.

I don't spend enough time on Windows to have a feel for how LC's engine 
size compares with other app sizes, and Linux apps generally favor heavy 
dependency on shared libraries so app sizes can be smaller but with 
compatibility risks LiveCode is usually immune to.

On OS X, reviewing app sizes in general helps us appreciate that the new 
engine isn't all that large compared to other OS X apps, it's just that 
the older engines were very very small by such comparison.

It's always been the case that xTalk app sizes start out large relative 
to functionality.  That is, if you make a window with a single button 
that displays "Hello World" in Microsoft Visual C++ and do the same 
thing in LiveCode, there will be a big difference.

But with LiveCode this is a one-time hit.  As you add features to your 
app the engine stays the same size.  You can multiply features in your 
LiveCode app with only incremental increase in file size, but executable 
file size will multiply with other development systems, often ultimately 
surpassing what's needed to deliver that feature set in LiveCode.

A comparison with other specific app sizes and more details can be found 
in this post from February:

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at      

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