Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Nov 2009 23:05 UTC
Linux As we all know, Mac OS X has support for what is called 'fat binaries'. These are binaries that can carry code for for instance multiple architectures - in the case of the Mac, PowerPC and x86. Ryan Gordon was working on an implementation of fat binaries for Linux - but due to the conduct of the Linux maintainers, Gordon has halted the effort.
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RE[4]: Always On the Cards
by Slambert666 on Fri 6th Nov 2009 07:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Always On the Cards"
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Going back to the subject, how would fat binary solve any of the above problems? If anyone really wants single binary for different archs for whatever reason, there's always "#!" and if you play smart with it, you can pack everything into a single file and unpack and execute the right binary on demand.

Sure you can brew together all kinds of custom solutions that could / should / would maybe work, so now you have just doubled the number of problem areas:

1. The program itself.
2. The install system for the above program.

It is so sad that today it is much, much easier to make a new distro (an opensuse or ubuntu respin) that contains your program as an addition, than it is to make an installer that will work for even a single distro across versions ....

A fat binary is not a complete solution, it is not even a partial solution but it is perhaps a beginning to a solution.

The fat/universial binary thing is just some weird thing apple did. Maybe they didn't have common scripting mechanism across old and new systems. Maybe it just fitted better with their multi data stream file system. There's no reason to do it the same way when about the same thing can be achieved in much simpler way and it's not even clear whether it's a good idea to begin with.

Maybe they just wanted the install process to be easier for their users .... and ISV's ...

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