1. <jargon> To process, usually in a time-consuming or complicated way.
Connotes an essentially trivial operation that is nonetheless painful to
perform. The pain may be due to the triviality's being embedded in a loop from 1
to 1,000,000,000. "Fortran programs do mostly number crunching."
2. <compression> To reduce the size of a file without losing information
by a complicated scheme that produces bit configurations completely unrelated to
the original data, such as by a Huffman code. Since such compression usually
takes more computations than simpler methods such as run-length encoding, the
term is doubly appropriate. (This meaning is usually used in the construction
"file crunching" to distinguish it from number crunching.) Use of crunch itself
in this sense is rare among Unix hackers.
3. The hash character. Used at XEROX and CMU, among other places.
4. To squeeze program source to the minimum size that will still compile or
execute. The term came from a BBC Microcomputer program that crunched BBC BASIC
source in order to make it run more quickly (apart from storing keywords as byte
codes, the language was wholly interpreted, so the number of characters
mattered). Obfuscated C Contest entries are often crunched; see the first
example under that entry.
cruft « cruft together « crumb « crunch »
cruncha cruncha cruncha » crunchy » cryppie