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Re: porting Mozart to alpha, arm, hppa, mipsel, s390

Petter Reinholdtsen <pere@hungry.com> writes:

> Part of the problem seem to be that the configure script tests for OS
> and architecture, not if the needed features are present or not.  This
> of course makes it fail on all new OS/architecture combination, as
> well as old combinations when the feature set changes over time.

This is not exactly the case.  We do check for "features" (if I
understand that term correctly), however features are not necessarily
as reliable as you'd like and the inferences that you may draw from
them vary depending on the platform.  Thus we use knowledge about the
platform (1) to conditionalize inferences (2) make platform specific
inferences and guesses or override inferences that are known not to
work.  We also expressedly do NOT want to merely accidentally support
a platform: platforms are explicitly added when someone actually puts
in the effort for a port and can confirm that the system builds and
passes the test suite (unfortunately, platform support tends not to be
removed when no longer actively maintained, resulting in some bit
rot).  While transparently accommodating new OS/architectures is
reasonably possible for most software, it is not realistic for a VM
with complex memory management (tagged pointers, tagged data, GC),
support for concurrent computations, and protocols to support
distributed data, distributed computations, and mobile objects.


Dr. Denys Duchier			Denys.Duchier@ps.uni-sb.de
Forschungsbereich Programmiersysteme	(Programming Systems Lab)
Universitaet des Saarlandes, Geb. 45	http://www.ps.uni-sb.de/~duchier
Postfach 15 11 50			Phone: +49 681 302 5618
66041 Saarbruecken, Germany		Fax:   +49 681 302 5615

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