[Python-Dev] HP-UX clean-up

Nick Monyatovsky mon at ABAQUS.com
Thu Jan 8 17:48:32 EST 2004

>------------------- Message from Skip Montanaro --------------------
>      Andrew> My lack of experience with configure make it hard to submit a
>      Andrew> patch, so I'll ask python-dev first.
>  That's okay.  What you gave is a good start.  I have a couple questions
>  though:
>      1.  How can I distinguish the three processors you described (HP/RISC
>          32-bit, HP/RISC 64-bit, HP/ITANIUM 64-bit)?  I suspect uname might
>          be the culprit.  If so, can you provide uname output for the three
>          processors?
>      2.  Is there no way to actually create a truly processor-independent
>          executable (perhaps by creating a "fat" binary)?
>  Thx,
>  Skip
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Would not it be better if you let the users (people who compile Python) decide
what they want?

There are several reasons for this:

   1) It is hard (== unreliable) to try to distinguish them using 'model',
   2) Reliance on such techniques will inevitably break overtime when the new
processor denominations come into play;
   3) Most importantly, it is possible to be on the 64-bit machine and be
purposefully compiling for a 32-bit processor (to cover the broadest customer
base). It is also possible to be on RISC and compile for ITANIUM and vice
versa, because it is the same compiler. Moreover, ITANIUM machines will run
RISC binaries.

   In other words, the confusion never stops ...

   People, on the other hand, usually know what machine they are working on
now, and what machine they want Python to work on after they built it.

There will be less surprises for them of the sort "Oh, that what happened
during the compilation!... I had not idea ..." after the fact that you built
this, distributed it to somebody, and had report back that it all failed.

Maybe there should also be some sort of option for expects who will not want
Python to be compiled for generic processor; who might purposefully want to
compile Python on their particular hardware and have it fully optimized for it
to gain maximum performance.

Thank you,  -- Nick Monyatovsky -- mon at abaqus.com

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