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config.guess, tlmgr, and TeX Live

From: Richard Koch
Subject: config.guess, tlmgr, and TeX Live
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 19:29:22 -0800


I’m happy Mojca has taken up this problem, in conjunction with Adam Maxwell. 
Please keep
me in the loop.

Currently we provide 32 bit binaries for TeX UNLESS

        a) The machine has a 64 bit Intel processor


        b) The machine is running Snow Leopard or higher

Condition a) is not enough because Leopard runs on 64 bit Intel machines, but 
we compile
64 bit code on Snow Leopard and our 64 bit code doesn’t run on Leopard.

In the future, I’d like to be able to up the requirements of b). As long as we 
provide 32
bit binaries for older machines, we have the luxury of compiling for 64 bit 
machines using
up to date compilers.

As written, the above comments suggest that 32 bits is the norm on Macs, and 64 
is a luxury. NOTICE THAT THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE. All Apple hardware produced since
the middle of 2006 contains 64 bit Intel processors. Apple used the transition 
to 64 bits to
make big improvements in objective C, and then they upped the requirements for 
new versions
of OS X to only support these 64 bit machines. They also switched from GCC to 
and removed GCC from XCode. This year, Apple didn’t add any new requirements 
for Mavericks, 
so any machine that ran Lion or Mountain Lion can run Mavericks. Then they made 
Mavericks free. 
So we can assume that most users with modern equipment are running 64 bit 
on the latest OS and that a fair amount of the code was compiled with LLVM.

(I admit that only two of the five machines on my desktop meet this 
description, but
I never let facts get in the way of a nice theory,)

Dick Koch

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