Easy? I think not.
Posted Oct 18, 2008 17:49 UTC (Sat) by khim
In reply to: x86_64 is also faster ? Not so fast...
Parent article: Linux now an equal Flash player (Linux-Watch)
But when it became apparent that nobody except Intel was
interested in cheap low-to-mid range hardware, and that Intel had no clue
how to build a 64-bit CPU.
Intel built one. The
problem was: nobody wanted to spend time rewriting existing programs.
Situation is more-or-less the same today: transtion to 64bit is underway,
but there are no rush.
If my application runs 40% slower in 64-bit mode I'm going to
go find the problem (I declared that huge array as 'long' integer? Whoops,
that was stupid) and fix it.
What do you do if your program basically works with bunch of pointers
(like Flash does)?
The effect trickles down, and with new _laptops_ having 4GB of
RAM these days it's crazy to be writing libraries (which is what the Flash
player mostly is) that are explicitly written to be trapped in that 4GB
Flash was not written today and hardest part to port is not library of
geometry objects but JIT. And JITs are hard to port (Chrome's JIT does not have support
for 64bit too - despite being brand-new unlike Flash).
My day job is developing and maintaining a 64-bit program,
admittedly ours is a lot bigger than most, but we've been doing this for
years, and its been reinforced over time that refusing to compromise for
32-bit was the right decision.
May be it was right direction for you but why you are so sure it's right
direction for everyone else? Most desktop programs don't need a lot of RAM
and don't need a lot of address space - and will be Ok for years to come.
Will the clock applet need terabytes of address space? Why? What for? Even
browser: if you render just one page in a single process (like Chrome does)
then there are basically no way you'll need even 100MiB of address space in
the near future, let alone 4GiB...
Transition to "full 32-bit system" took 15 years (from 1986 when i386
was created to 2001 when last 16-bit based OS was declared obsoleted), I
think transition to "full 64-bit systems" will be slower, not faster
- because pressure is not so great. And Athlon64 was only introduced five
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