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

From: John Wiegley
Subject: Re: Making --with-wide-int the default
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2015 08:27:12 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (darwin)

>>>>> Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:

> For those rare >512MB cases, there's GNU ELPA's "vlf" package. If we care
> about users being able to open very large files on 32bit systems, we should
> improve that package rather than enable wide-ints by default.

>>>>> Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

> John, it's time to make the decision. You have all the opinions and their
> rationales. If you have more questions, please ask. But we should conclude
> this longish discussion at some point; now sounds as good time as any.

I hold with Stefan's reasoning. We should not change --with-wide-int to become
the default.

--with-wide-int as a default benefits one group (most users on 32-bit
platforms) at the cost of another (users on 32-bit platforms whom it would
slow down, and who would need to disable it). Also, it does not affect those
who are becoming the predominant audience (users on 64-bit platforms). Thus, I
don't see it as a necessary change, especially if "vlf" is a viable
alternative. Lastly, 32-bit power users can configure using --with-wide-int.

Making this change requires further tests, documentation on how to disable
wide-ints (and why), and changes the status quo without demonstrating a
compelling benefit.

If it had no costs at all, I'd say it was the "right thing to do"; but it's
not zero cost, and the benefit does not appear to justify the change.


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