I was playing around looking at ObjectSpace in irb and was astounded
at how many string objects there are. Why are there 57,000+ String
objects?!?

hash = {}
ObjectSpace.each_object.collect{|t| t.class}.uniq.each{|cla| hash[cla]
= ObjectSpace.each_object(cla).to_a.length}
hash

{Tiger=>1, Gem::SourceIndex=>1, Gem::Version=>601, String=>57656,
RubyToken::TkNL=>1, Gem::Dependency=>206, Proc=>127, NoMemoryError=>1,
UnboundMethod=>1, IRB::WorkSpace=>1, Rational=>10, Mutex=>1,
Thread=>1, IO=>5, Object=>64965, Binding=>3, Array=>3761, Float=>18,
OptionParser::Switch::NoArgument=>2,
IRB::Notifier::CompositeNotifier=>1, Range=>51, Bignum=>2, fatal=>1,
OptionParser::OptionMap=>2, Gem::CommandManager=>1, IRB::Locale=>1,
RubyLex::TerminateLineInput=>1, Date::Infinity=>2,
Gem::Requirement=>554, SystemStackError=>1, Module=>495, Hash=>130,
YAML::Syck::Resolver=>2, ThreadGroup=>1, Gem::Specification=>173,
IRB::SLex=>1, Gem::GemPathSearcher=>1, File=>2, Class=>438,
IRB::Notifier::LeveledNotifier=>4, RubyToken::TkLPAREN=>1,
OptionParser::List=>1, OptionParser::CompletingHash=>1,
RubyToken::TkRBRACE=>1, Enumerable::Enumerator=>10, Method=>1,
IRB::ReadlineInputMethod=>1, IRB::StdioOutputMethod=>2, RubyLex=>1,
IRB::SLex::Node=>78, Gem::ConfigFile=>1, MatchData=>4,
IRB::Context=>1, Regexp=>353, IRB::Notifier::NoMsgNotifier=>1,
IRB::Irb=>1, Gem::Version::Part=>481, Time=>176}


And if I do:

ObjectSpace.each_object(String).each{|str| hash[str.object_id] = str}

I find that most of these strings appear to be paths to ruby files. I
am curious if everyone has a similarly large set of string objects in
their ObjectSpace, or is this a result of my personalized setup?