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.
Permalink for comment 393384
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Comment by Zifre
by MysterMask on Sat 7th Nov 2009 14:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by Zifre"
MysterMask
Member since:
2005-07-12

I have to agree with the kernel guys and Ulrich here. There is a much better way to do it
[..]
This way, you can very easily and simply delete the binaries you don't need, no patches are needed, and it is still user-friendly.


I don't know about FatELF but deleting unwanted binary code is no problem at all with universal binaries on OS X (implementing similar functionality for FatELF should be easy):


The lipo command creates or operates on ``universal'' (multi-architecture) files. It only ever produces one output file, and never alters the input file. The operations that lipo performs are: listing the architecture types in a universal file; creating a single universal file from one or more input files; thinning out a single universal file to one specified architecture type; and extracting, replacing, and/or removing architectures types from the input file to create a single new universal output file.


Since the binary code part is normaly small compared with other resources (sound files, pictures, translations, etc.), thinning out a binary is normally not worth the time (except maybe if you run under very restricted condition like a mobile phone).

However, Linux fanboys simple forget a common use case under Mac OS: copying a application from one system to another. E. g. you copy a universal binary app from a PPC-64 bit system to a x86-32 bit system - a simple drag and drop operation (or use cp if you prefer that). With universal binaries, no problem at all. Everything works. From the user perspective, the system behaves as expected (why should there be any difference between copying a data file or a application binary?).

Compare this with the sad situation under Linux ..

As long as Linux developers care more for HD space an 'the one true way'-wars that ends up in a mess under /usr/<whatever>, the year of Linux on the desktop will occur the same year as commercial fusion power arrives (whenever you ask, it's always another 50 years in the future ;) .

The system adminstrators approach most Linux fanboys adopt may work for server environments or their own tiny world, but not for the masses ..

Reply Parent Score: 2