dmd platform support - poll

Nick Sabalausky a at a.a
Sat Dec 27 23:59:20 PST 2008

"Andrei Alexandrescu" <SeeWebsiteForEmail at> wrote in message 
news:gj7591$2tec$1 at
> Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>> "Andrei Alexandrescu" <SeeWebsiteForEmail at> wrote in message 
>> news:gj6mds$28iv$1 at
>>> Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>>>> 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.
>>> I agree that often there is little incentive to upgrade. In particular 
>>> incentive can be negative when it comes to Vista vs. XP.
>> I'm incredibly jealous of how Vista only highlights the filename (minus 
>> suffix) when you go to rename a file. I *really* want that. But yea, that 
>> alone isn't enough to balance out the reasons against upgrading.
>>> [snip]
>>>>> 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.
>>> Talk about adding insult to injury. This is a rather random statement to 
>>> make. Really, browsing the Web, writing documents, or writing emails is 
>>> all you want from a computer? I'd say, until computers are not at least 
>>> potentially capable of doing most intellectual tasks that people do, 
>>> we're not in the position to say that computers are fast enough. When 
>>> seen from that perspective, computers are absurdly slow and scarce in 
>>> resources. The human brain's capacity bypasses our largest systems by a 
>>> few orders of magnitude, and if we want to claim doing anything close, 
>>> we should at least have that capacity. But even way, way before that, 
>>> any NLP or speech recognition system that does anything interesting 
>>> needs days, weeks, or months to train on computer clusters, when it all 
>>> should run in real time. Please understand that from that perspective 
>>> the claim that computers are plenty fast and memory is plenty large is 
>>> rather shortsighted.
>> When a reasonably-priced computer comes around that can actually do those 
>> sorts of things, I may very well be finally enticed to upgrade. But like 
>> you said, as it stands right now, even the high-end stuff can't do it. So 
>> it's really a non-issue for now.
> I don't understand. This is like a reply to another thread. This anyone 
> would agree with. I agree that for your current computing work and 
> perceived needs you don't feel about upgrading your hardware. I mean, 
> what's really there to disagree. But that has nothing to do with the 
> generalizations aired before a la "64-bit systems are absurdly fast 
> anyway" or that there's no need for 64-bit. To write software that tackles 
> hard problems one really needs the fastest hardware one's budget can buy. 
> I can't understand what you say except in the frame that you 
> indiscriminately assume that everybody else has your wants and needs from 
> a computer (and consequently is a snob for getting a relatively fast one). 
> Really that's a rather... unsophisticated world view to go by. I'm even 
> amazed I need to spell this out.

You didn't need to spell it out, you just needed to pay more attention to 
what I've said, as you appear to have misunderstood much of it.  I've flat 
out said a number of times by now that, yes, there are legitimate uses for 
64-bit. Heck even my original post regarding 64-bit indicated as much ("What 
are you writing, video editors and 3D modeling apps?"). What I *have* been 
saying is that #1 **I** am not currently interested in 64-bit, and #2 I feel 
there are too many people out there that only *think* they need it, and even 
worse, expect that everyone else should also be jumping head-first into 
64-bit just because it's there. (Note again, that in that previous sentence, 
I did *not* indicate that "no one" has a need for 64-bit).

Nowhere have I ever said that 64-bit is and forever will be useless for 
everyone. Please stop coloring my comments in that light.

(I do, however, stand by my comment that *right now* trying to maximize 
performance on 64-bit machines is usually a misspent effort. For instance, 
certain game developers, like Epic and Crytek, have been focusing their 
target systems and optimization efforts on high-end stuff. That's just 
stupid as it artificially shrinks their target market. They'd be better off 
putting their optimization effort on lower-ends so that they can *increase* 
their market instead. But, yes, obviously there are going to be fringe-case 
exceptions even with this, such as researchers writing custom DNA-processing 
code that's only ever going to run on their super-duper-cluster.) 

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