crunch

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crunch

(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."

crunch

(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.

crunch

(3)
The hash character. Used at XEROX and CMU, among other places.

crunch

(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.

crunch

(1) To process data. See number crunching.

(2) To compress data. See data compression.
References in classic literature ?
upon a bone, how they crunched the bread we gave them
In the next instant he realized, from the way the straw crunched between his fingers, that he had captured the non-eatable man, but during that instant of delay Dorothy and Ojo had slipped by the Giant and were out of reach.
I was sorry that my bonds prevented me from taking part in it, but I urged on the brutemen with my voice, and cheered old Gr-gr-gr, their chief, each time that his mighty jaws crunched out the life of a Hoojan.