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multiarchitecture binaries - technical obstacles?

Years ago, NeXT modified GCC and the rest of the GNU tools to allow
them to produce multi-architecture binaries, so that a single binary
executable could run on both 68k and i386 platforms.  They also had a
tool that could strip out hunks for unwanted architectures.

Maybe that code has decayed, and maybe it had problems ... but it sure
would be nice if it could be resurrected and used by us, so that
Debian became able to produce multiplatform .deb containing such
multi-architecture executables.  Here are a few potential benefits: it
would reduce the total volume of the archive; eliminate separate
i386/Pentium/686/MMX-optimized packages; reduce the burden on the
autobuilders; reduce cross-architecture version-skew; catch
cross-architecture compilation problems earlier; ensure widespread
availability of binary packages for multiple architectures; make the
upcoming deployment of competing 64-bit CPUs from Intel and AMD less
painful for our users; and be a unique feather in Debian's cap.

I'm hoping that people familiar with the tool chain could share
something about the status of those old multi-architecture features,
and how much of a hassle (or of an impossibility) it might be to get
them working.

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