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

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: Making --with-wide-int the default
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2015 22:32:10 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.3.0

Random832 wrote:
Sure, it's nice to be_able_  to edit 2GB files, but how many
of those does the average user have lying around?

Without --with-wide-int the limit is roughly 0.5 GB, not 2 GB. Whether this is a problem depends on what sorts of files one typically looks at. These days a goodly number of users do run into larger files. Certainly I do -- usually log or data files.

Although I try to keep these files less than 0.5 GB, this can be a pain. And although I can switch to some other text editor to look at an 0.6 GB file, that's awkward, and gives users a bad impression about Emacs's robustness and ease of use.

The GNU Coding Standards give advice about whether 32-bit Emacs should default to mishandling 0.6 GB files. They say, "Avoid arbitrary limits on the length or number of _any_ data structure" (emphasis in original). Emacs buffers are a data structure, and --with-wide-int removes a significant and arbitrary limit on their length, so the path forward is reasonably clear here.

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