Small is beautiful, but is it necessary anymore?

by Giles Turnbull

In these days of low-cost storage, I don't often stop to think about the size of an application any more. Even the real monster apps don't eat that much space; the real exception on my computer is GarageBand, or more particularly its huge collection of loops.

Tonight I stumbled upon a site I used to frequent years ago, back when my Palm III was still in use and I had to make every bit of its meagre 4MB (or was it 2MB? I can't remember now) count.

That site is Tiny Apps, a minimalist site for "very small software"; and it even has an OS X page. So if, unlike me, the size of your apps still bothers you while running OS X, perhaps you might find something interesting to play with there. Assuming you have enough disk space.


2006-10-03 01:04:44
Small is still beautiful for us guys on laptops. When I add up all the raw images from my digital camera, and my digitised music (320 kbps MP3s, not even lossless or anything), my 80 GB hard drive starts to look a bit weenie. And that's with any digital home video footage stored on my back-up drive.

As we carry on creating and consuming digital photos, music and video, storage problems will continue, so any app that only takes up just as much space as it needs is fine by me.

Apple's iLife applications are particularly bad at this.

Kevin Liu
2006-10-03 03:32:09
Small is always beautiful, no matter how big storage you have.
Aren Villanueva
2006-10-03 04:29:33
I totally agree. I have a 30gb hard disk on my ibook and the applications I have on it are absolute hogs. I've only 10gb maximum of free space at the end of the day, sometimes as low as 3gb only -_-
Miles Wolbe
2006-10-03 10:22:14
Aloha, Giles! Many thanks for visiting TinyApps.Org again after all these years.

Perhaps there is even yet a remnant who sympathize with the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

"Perfection is reached, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away."

Thanks again,


2006-10-03 13:26:42
I find that small apps go along with small RAM footprints. I'm more concerned about about how much RAM an application takes.
2006-10-03 19:38:33
I think "tiny" can mean a lot of things and in this case represents more than just how many MB an app takes up on a hard drive. I find it a most valuable concept when viewed as a reflection of the state of mind of the developer or development team. Was the problem well defined and is the solution elegant? Was the developer in a hurry, did he/she/they understand their problem well? Can it be maintained? Extended? Understood?

Tiny is a process, not an end.