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[5]: Always On the Cards
by asdf on Fri 6th Nov 2009 08:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Always On the Cards"
asdf
Member since:
2009-09-23

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.


Modifying the binary format, updating kernel and then all the tool chains, debuggers and system utilities are gonna be much harder than #2.

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 ....


Sure, agreed. Linux is facing different problems compared to proprietary environments.

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


But here I completely fail to see the connection. Really, fat binary support in kernel or system layers doesn't make whole lot of difference for the end users and we're talking about the end user experience, right?

The real problem is not in the frigging binary file format, it's in differences in libraries, configurations and dependencies and fat binary contributes nothing to solving that. Also, it's a solution with limited scalability. It sure works fine for apple but it will be extremely painful to use with increasing number of binaries to support.

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