Again, from a nerdy POV. It’s fascinating to discover this old SGI memo on memory leaks and code bloat, mainly because the code sizes they talk about are miniscule, these days.
The window system (Xsgi + 4Dwm) is up from 3.2 MB to 3.6 MB, and the miscellaneous stuff has grown as well.
3.6 Mb for a GUI desktop? Not bad! ;)
Much of the problem seems to be due to DSOs (jm: dynamic shared objects, aka shared libraries/DLLs) that load whole libraries instead of individual routines. Many SGI applications link with 20 or so large DSOs, virtually guaranteeing enormous executables.
As far as I know, this is still the case on most popular OSes.
Interestingly, I used both IRIX 4.0.x and 5.2 — and I preferred 5.2. Could have been the hardware, though. But anyway — the bottom line is, things have only gotten bigger and bloatier since then.