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Re: Debian AMD64 - any 32bit compatibility?



On 8/30/06, A J Stiles <deb64@earthshod.co.uk> wrote:
Mixed 32 and 64 bit systems are a PITA however you implement them, be it
through a chroot {the Debian way} or having separate /lib and /lib64
directories {the R*d H*t way}.  And there should be no need to have them
anyway.

I agree that the transition is never easy, but I am very convinced
that the mixed way is a lot easier on the user than the chroot way. I
have worked with mixed 64bit systems (mainly Solaris) for years now,
and the minor issues that you get are by no means comparable with the
PITA of a chroot.

The fact is simple: any piece of software which will not compile cleanly on a
pure 64-bit system IS BROKEN.

Certainly, but after migrating software from 32bit to 64bit and from
big to little endian I can conclude that there is a lot of
conceptually broken software that is nevertheless very useful.

The vast majority of the "problems" with 64-bit-only systems exist only
because of closed-source software such as Flash player  {a delivery vehicle
for annoying advertisements},  Adobe Acrobat Reader  {a second-rate PDF
displayer, slower, uglier and more bloated than kPDF or gPDF, which -- thanks
mainly to misleading icons -- people mistakenly assume they need}  and Skype
{a bait-and-switch scam where users are promised free telephone calls, which
one day will be used to deliver lucrative, unignorable advertisements}.

I don't care about Skype, but I would add NX and Java to the list.
Both are half way open source, but I could not find a viable 64bit
solution. (Yes, I know about the ancient blackdown port.)

And then there is wine. As far as I understand, Windows and Linux use
a different ABI for 64bit, so dreams of a 64bit wine are far far away.
As is functional 64bit software for Windows.

How many other
closed-source products contain fundamental design mistakes that nobody knows
about because the source is kept secret from the users?

Who cares? As long as it works, and as long as you don't have to look
at the source, I don't mind. Of course if the software becomes
unmaintainable, it will eventually die, but I find it rather amazing
what you can maintain if you really want to.

To deny access to the source code of a program shows nothing but contempt for
users, and we should not tolerate this blatant abuse.

That is your oppinion, and it may even be correct, but it is most
certainly a minority vote. Most users just want to get things done.

Thomas



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