a fellow came into #kde on irc today and in the course of conversation noted that he didn't use konsole because it was so much heavier than rxvt. while i was just an observer to the conversation, i thought i'd take a look at the memory usage of konsole and xterm (i didn't have urxvt installed).
now, common wisdom would dictate that if it is a KDE app it must consume more resources, right? and we all know that if a program has more features that it comes at a price in the form of resources, right? and since konsole has an amazing array of truly kick-ass features and uses the KDE libs it must be a behemoth, right? well, that's the position he was operating from. no proof, just relying on logical conclusions based on "common knowledge".
i explained to him that since konsole allows multiple tabs one avoids the overhead of multiple instances of the same app when running multiple sessions; having an equal number of xterms would be "heavier" for some value of N sessions. `konsole -xft` consumes a bit over 6MB of RSS on my machine and each new tab takes <100K, with some additional overhead as it runs over time. in fact, the konsole i've been running for days here with 7 tabs weighs in at ~8.5MB. each xterm on the other hand, takes a little over 3MB of RSS. this means that just 3 xterms weigh more than my 7 session konsole. considerably more, in fact. with far fewer features.
well, the urxvt user didn't believe me. he figured i was just guessing. when i showed him the numbers, he accused me of not understanding how to measure memory usage under Linux. i explained how i measured, which led him to go do his own measurements. cognitive dissonance in action! some time later he returns with the conclusion that my numbers, and conclusions, were indeed correct. oops. konsole is lighter for multiple session needs than urxvt (which turns out to be considerably lighter than xterm, btw).
the moral of this story is that knowledge being common does not make it correct, it just makes it common. in this case the commonly held idea that KDE equates to "heavy" and "bloated" was complete bunk. spread the word.