contributing to, albeit not compelling, the walking-wounded
support for legacy x86, such as they way some PCI cards simply don't
work if the host can't/won't run x86 code
How is this any different than
the historical "all the world's a VAX"
(or more modern "all the world's a 32-bit Linux machine") attitude
that often plauges/plagued *nix software compatibility across
It's baked into hardware. If it were common for Unibus (or Qbus) cards
to have VAX code in ROM which the host had to execute in order for the
card to operate, I'd say the analogy were fair.
No, the x86 doesn't make designers do that. But its ubiquity
encourages it - hence "contributing to, albeit not compelling".
I don't hear anyone suggesting that VAXen or Linux
machines are to
blame here, or that eliminating them would somehow eliminate this
Actually, I would say that VAXen and Linuces _are_ to blame for that,
to approximately the same extent - and for much the same reasons - that
x86 is to blame for the other: it is (or was, in the case of the VAX)
their ubiquity that is responsible.
I guess my argument here is "if it wasn't x86
causing this problem,
it'd be something else."
Only if that "something else" were as dominant as x86 is. (This is one
of the reasons I hate monocultures.)
Agreed, but I'd argue that 99.9999% of the time no one will ever
to see the ugliness or deal with it directly, so its ability to "hold
us down" is very limited.
Agreed. That's why I put that after a paragraph break; it is holding
us down in, at most, an aesthetic sense, and arguably not even very
Unless you're a compiler developer or you have to
write directly in
assembly for these CPUs (in which case you have my sympathies), it's
not something that you ever have to care about.
Yeah, the last time I really had occasion to care about the x86 ISA was
a Y2K consluting git, a binary-only application with a Y2K bug whose
vendor no longer existed.
And don't discount compatibility as a major
advantage. Sure, you and
I can recompile our code to whatever platform we want to run it on,
but there are people who can't (for various reasons, valid and
I'm not entirely sure I consider that an advantage. However, that's
from a much broader perspective than we seem to taking
in most of this
thread; I mean it in the sense that anything that discourages
source is - to at least that extent - societally positive.
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