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Re: Using the GNU GMP Library for Bignums in Emacs

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Using the GNU GMP Library for Bignums in Emacs
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2018 23:07:04 -0400

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  > > If we were to support_only_  64-bit systems, this argument would cease
  > > to be valid.

  > That is easy to arrange; just configure --with-wide-int. This causes 
  > Emacs to use 64-bit words on all platforms

That may be correct, but it doesn't respond to the point at hand.
The point at hand is that Emacs does support 32-bit Lisp objecs in
some cases. and that a 32-bit number _in 32-bit builds_ will not
be a fixnum.

If you're suggesting that I personally change to a 64-bit build, that
doesn't respond to the issue at hand.  It's not about what happens for
me in particular.

If you're suggesting to eliminate support for 32-bit builds,
I agree that that would eliminate the issue.  But I think that change
would have substantial disadvantages.

  > However, I don't see why assuming 64 bits would mean that the argument 
  > would cease to be valid. Even with that assumption, we would continue 
  > have the same problem with numbers like #xffffffffffffffff that exceed 
  > Emacs fixnum range when words are 64 bits.

I expect that %x is used only for values meant to interact
with the operating system in certain ways, and that _most of_ those
values will never be more than 32 bits.

I could be mistaken in this, but it is a factual question.
Where else do people use %x?

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (https://gnu.org, https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)
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