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Re: Making --with-wide-int the default

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Making --with-wide-int the default
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2015 21:50:27 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

>> Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2015 18:38:37 +0100
>> From: Ulrich Mueller <address@hidden>
>> Cc: address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden,
>>      address@hidden
>> In case you want any feedback from distros, Gentoo makes the option
>> available to users as the "wide-int" use flag, and the default is off.
>> I've not seen a single complaint from users that we should change that
>> default. (So most likely the Gentoo default will stay off, regardless
>> of what you decide to do with the upstream default.)
> Did the option you offer mention the fact that using it enlarges the
> maximum buffer and string size to (almost) 2GB?  If not, it's quite
> possible that your users simply did not realize what this option would
> give them in user-level functionality, and treated it as yet another
> obscure build feature.
> Also, I must say it sounds strange to me that you wait for user
> complaints before you decide that some option should be on by default.

A performance hit by 30% and noticeable increase of memory usage are not
exactly a bargain for being able to load ridiculously large files into
an editor on a 32-bit system.

If people had wagonloads of memory to spare, they'd be running 64-bit
systems in the first place.

> Do you act the same with all the optional Emacs features, like GnuTLS
> or libxml2 or file notifications (or even image support)?  Surely, you
> and your team have enough insight on the importance of each feature to
> make your own decisions?  But I know nothing about maintaining
> distributions, so perhaps I'm missing something here.

Gentoo _also_ is about squeezing the most performance from your hardware
by compiling with system-specific optimizations.  A 30% performance hit
for your text desktop affecting every editing task does not exactly fit
well with that objective.

I really don't get what the clamor for wide ints on a 32 bit system is
supposed to be about.  It's rather few people that you are doing an
actual favor here.  Stuff like GnuTLS or libxml2 or file notifications
or image support don't bog your system down when you don't use them.
Wide ints do.

David Kastrup

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