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

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Making --with-wide-int the default
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2015 10:00:34 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Paul Eggert <address@hidden> writes:

> Eli Zaretskii wrote:
>> I can always build my own Emacs with that option
> When I build and test 32-bit code, I typically use --with-wide-int as well.
> My impression is that --with-wide-int is typically better for
> production use these days.  For older, slower platforms and with
> debugging turned on and/or optimization turned off, --with-wide-int
> may well cost more than it's worth. That being said, typical 32-bit
> use nowadays would probably benefit from --with-wide-int.

At the risk of repeating myself: newer, faster platforms tend to run
64-bit systems anyway.  Running a 32-bit system on new hardware these
days implies making a _choice_ for such systems (as the hardware for
memory sizes in excess of 1GB is rather consistently prepared for
running 64-bit systems), for smaller code size and memory and disk
impact at the cost of not being able to address humongous amounts of
data in virtual memory.  The rationale for such a choice is quite
related to the rationale for not using wide Lisp data structures in a
compilation of Emacs.

A sensible system default becomes more important as Emacs gains the
ability of loading modules compiled with C and accessing Elisp data
structures at runtime because, as opposed to options like
--without-toolkit-scroll-bars, "just compile your own binaries if you
don't like the default" stops being an option when you want to make use
of precompiled binary modules.

It's nice that --with-wide-int is available for special needs.  But on
32-bit systems, it comes at a cost that is not consistent with choosing
a 32-bit system in the first place.

David Kastrup

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