I like the generality of Mathematica. It's this generality that will allow you to write this ByteArray header if you want. See if stripping off MMA's headers will reduce the size significantly. I believe the problem with specialized data structures is then writing the rules and code to allow existing functions to deal with them.
Regarding your comment about resources. Remember your time is probably the most precious resource so if spending $1000 on RAM will allow you to formulate problems 100% faster, I'd say it's a good trade.
Mark Evans <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>I would prefer if Mathematica would let me, the user, decide just how much >generality to sacrifice to memory and time constraints. If Mathematica had an >object like ByteArray, then I myself could choose whether to put my data into >a List or ByteArray, depending on my needs. Programs like LabVIEW, for >example, let the programmer decide about the data type but still handle the >underlying memory management and loop iteration issues for him.