dmd platform support - poll

Nick Sabalausky a at a.a
Sat Dec 27 16:36:06 PST 2008

"Yigal Chripun" <yigal100 at> wrote in message 
news:gj6e3m$1ilv$1 at
> Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>> "Derek Parnell"<derek at psych.ward>  wrote in message
>> news:nkr1wyvyj3vv$.qr1gd1h779fx.dlg at
>>> On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 15:45:57 -0500, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>>>> ... judging by number of people here asking for
>>>> 64-bit, I find it highly unlikely that most of them have plans to work 
>>>> on
>>>> such things either.
>>> My interest in 64-bit hardware support is based on the belief that 
>>> before
>>> too long, buying a new 32-bit platform might be a difficult thing to do.
>>> Five years from now, I don't want to be forced into finding a good
>>> second-hand machine just so I can work with D.
>> I don't want to be forced into buying a new 64-bit machine just because a
>> whole bunch of "gotta have the faciest stuff out there" people have 
>> deemed
>> 32-bit insufficient for all computing needs. Besides, can't 64-bit 
>> machines
>> run 32-bit code?
> two things:
> a) current hardware is 64bit (if you go and buy a PC),

Ah ha, there's that usual "if you go and buy a PC" catch. Which begs the 
question, why would I? My existing system does everything I need it to do 
perfectly fine. And since I'm not petty enough to allow anyone to shame me 
into buying a new system just by calling my *current* system "legacy", that 
leaves no real reason for me to buy a new one.

Saying that "most of the ones being sold are 64-bit" is completely different 
from saying "most of the ones *in use* (ie *current*) are 64-bit". People 
constantly misuse "this is what you would get if you went out and bought a 
new system today" as a meaningful assessment of the current state of 
computing. "What the stores are carrying" could only be an accurate 
indicator of "current systems" if everyone was going out and buying new 
systems every single time anyone used that overplayed "if you go and buy a 
PC" argument.

> so supporting 64bit is just supporting the current technology. it's not 
> about fancy servers or anything like that, just supporting the current 
> standards. that's a minimun that should be expected from any compiler 
> implementation nowadays.
> b) even though for now there is a compatability mode in most OSes, why 
> would I want to limit the performance and abilities of my PC to old 
> technology which is being faded away?

Even in 32-bit "legacy" mode, 64-bit systems are absurdly fast anyway. I 
mean, what's the slowest 64-bit x86 out there? A chip that's still pretty 
damn fast, that's what. It's pretty difficult to be sympathetic about an 
overkill system being rendered "still overkill, but only *slightly* 
less-so". If you're going to try to wring every bit of performance out of a 
system, it's ridiculous to be focusing that effort on the higher-end. That's 
just pure wasted effort.

And as for people who whine "But I paid big bucks for this high-end system! 
I deserve to get full-performance out of it!": If they feel that not enough 
of that system's full potential is getting utilized, then it was pretty 
stupid for them buy it in the first place. If they were buying it as a 
future-proofing measure, then they need to learn patience.

> 64bit machines can run old *legacy* software which is 32bit, but that 
> doesn't mean *new* software should be written as 32 bit.

No, you're right, it doesn't. But what *does* mean that new software should 
be written as 32-bit is that there are still a hell of a lot of 32-bit 
systems in regular use. If you want to toss a 64-bit version out there too, 
fine. But don't go leaving people out in the cold just because they haven't 
hopped onto your bandwagon.

> no one forcing you to buy a new PC and DMD will continue to support 32bit 
> for a long time, I presume. but you cannot force people who did buy a new 
> PC in the last few *years* to be limited to your old ancient hardware.

A *few* years is not nearly a long as most people in the tech sector would 
like to believe (And one hell of a far cry from "ancient"). Something that's 
only a few years old is still very useful, as well it *should* be. If you 
feel like you have to replace a machine every couple of years, you're 
wasting your money. (I'm using the general "you" here, not *you* 
specifically.) It's just an example of this society's rampant 
over-consumerism (ie, the so-called "consumer whore") and ever-decreasing 

> One last thing, you can always continue using an older version of the 
> compiler even if Walter drops support for 32bit in later versions. In any 
> case, you don't have any valid reason to object to 64bit support.

I never said D shouldn't support 64-bit. Obviously it should. I'm saying it 
shouldn't be such a high priority. 

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