machine code size of functional languages

Thierry Mallard <>
Mon Jan 8 13:45:55 CET 2001

On Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 12:34:57AM +0100, Karel Van Oudheusden wrote:
> [ Erlang | C++ ]

> In the text the remark is made that applications written in functional
> languages
> (Haskell, Erlang) are generally shorter than applications written in
> imperative languages (C, C++).

I'm not an experimented Erlang programmer, others here will surely confirm
this. My small experience is that _yes_ it is much smaller to write (source
code) and the program itself (the bytecode) is smaller too. Although I think I
read that the recent release has larger file, for information purpose IIRC.

> Are functional languages also shorter in machine code size than
> imperative ones?  Does this depend on the kind of application, if so
> what kind?

I think that it is mostly due to the fact that there is a separated virtual
machine, whereas imperative language often embedded all the necessary
functions. If you use several libraries when coding in C / C++, the program
binary size will of course be much smaller. (See « Standalone Erlang » for
similar effects).

Once again, it's just my very personal first experiences with Erlang :-)

Best regards to you all.

Thierry Mallard                    | GnuPG key on                  | key 0xA3D021CB         | 

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