[Haskell-cafe] OSX i386/x86 and x86_64 - time to switch supported platforms?

Richard O'Keefe ok at cs.otago.ac.nz
Fri Feb 4 02:44:11 CET 2011

On 4/02/2011, at 2:14 PM, wren ng thornton wrote:

> On 2/3/11 10:48 AM, Max Cantor wrote:
>> Does it make sense to relegate OSX x86_64 to community status
>> while the 32-bit version is considered a supported platform?
> I'm not sure I can make sense of what you mean here. Given the preamble, I'd guess you're asking whether we should make x86_64 the targeted architecture for OSX support, and reclassify 32-bit OSX to unsupported or "hopefully it still works" status. (But in that case, it's the 32-bit which would be "relegated" to unsupported status while x86_64 is "considered a supported platform"...)
> Can you clarify the question?

Here's something that happened to me:  GHC was installed on this machine and worked fine,
but when the operating system was upgraded to Mac OS X 10.6.something, GHC broke, with
messages along the lines of "you can't use 32-bit absolute addresses in 64-bit code".
The operating system is perfectly happy running both 32-bit and 64-code code and all
the tool chain is happy working with either, but the *default* changed from "say nothing
get 32-bit" to "say nothing get 64-bit".  I'm guessing that GHC gives the compiler some
C code and some (32-bit) object files or libraries.

So now I have *different* GHC setups on the 10.6.5 desktop machine and the
10.5.8 laptop...  Since both machines have only 4GB of physical memory, 32-bit would be
fine, except for all those lovely extra registers in x86_64 mode.

I think the original poster is saying that the targeted architecture for OS X support
should be the architecture that OS X assumes by default, and these days that's x86_64.

It would be really nice for x86 mode to be well supported for a while longer.

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