dmd platform support - poll

Andrei Alexandrescu SeeWebsiteForEmail at
Sun Dec 28 09:17:46 PST 2008

Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> "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.

As usual, we're in better agreement with your much more mellow 
follow-ups. It's hard to not misunderstand you (ahem) when there's no 
effort in qualifying the statements I've been commenting about. You have 
to admit that ``Even in 32-bit "legacy" mode, 64-bit systems are 
absurdly fast anyway'' is pretty much hard to misunderstand, no matter 
how much attention one pays. I mean, that's not going to be implicitly 
qualified with "for my needs". And particularly because it's followed by 
``I mean, what's the slowest 64-bit x86 out there? A chip that's still 
pretty damn fast, that's what.'' I guess if I paid attention I would've 
read the " me" appendage. I'd say you have no case, which happens 
to me rather often; what I do is to simply admit I exaggerated and move 
on, even though I know deep inside that with the qualifications that I 
meant and with the nuances that were lost, I was more right than wrong.

Well I'm not going to continue this asinine "but you said this"/"but I 
didn't mean that" exchange as it's a waste of your time and mine, to say 
nothing about that Christmas spirit.


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