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Re: comps discussion at fudcon and the future

Florian Festi wrote:
Matthew Woehlke wrote:
Florian Festi wrote:
The situation has changed a lot since we introduced multilib. The
 challenge who is going to support 64bit processors first has
been decided long ago and the age of 32bit processors is ending.

No it isn't. [snip]

Ok, I should probably a bit more precise: 32 bit being default on 64 bit capable computers is coming to an end as the default RAM size for desktops goes beyond 4GB.

Yes, that's better :-). That said, why on earth would you want to run 32-bit processes on a 64-bit OS when 64-bit flavors are available?

I can think of exactly two reasons. One, there is no 64-bit version available (which is rare with Free Software, but can happen if you have some proprietary software you need to run). Two, because you are building 32-bit programs intended to be shipped to a 32-bit-only OS.

Other than that, my experience seems to be that 32-bit processes on a 64-bit OS run slower than pure 64-bit flavors, but the above are IMO both valid reasons to keep multilib around.

Other than perhaps binutils, why would you ever have a 32-bit binary on a 64-bit system? ;-) Or do you include libs in "binaries"?

There are several reasons to do so: Third party software that is not build
for 64 bit, software like firefox that uses plugins that are only available
in 32 bit, building software or content for 32 bit and may be some more.

Okay, basically the same list I came up with :-).

Multilib is not going to go away in the sense that you still will be able to 32 bit software on a 64 bit installation. But it already got away in the sense that we do no longer install 32 bit libs by default.

Ah. Yes, this is a good thing. No one should ever have i*86 libraries installed on an x86_64 system unless they have specifically asked for them. :-) (I count 'installing something with i*86 dependencies as "specifically asking".)

It sounds like we are generally in agreement.

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