Making Integer bigger ?
samiam at moorecad.com
Sun Jul 11 22:01:44 CEST 2004
Frank Heckenbach wrote:
>BTW, I'm not sure that C ABIs will actually change in the future.
>Maybe C programmers will simply become used to using `long' almost
>everywhere, just like programmers of Borland Pascal and, especially,
>compatible 32 bit compilers, use `LongInt' regularly ...
It would seem to come down to whether you might consider the C standard
types as fixed to
their original definitions on the DEC PDP-11 (actually PDP-8, to be
pedantic), or if they
were intended to "breathe" with the machine word size. The original
Honeywell 6000 36
IBM 370 32
Interdata 8/32 32
The ANSI version eliminated the reference to specific sizes, but I think
was clearly on the side of int being the natural register size for the
If there is doubt, the question can always be carried to comp.lang.c,
himself reads the group.
There is also clearly a precedent for int eventually promoting. The
PDP-11 was 16 bits int,
the PC was 16 bits int, and now 32 bits. The 16 bit to 32 bit promotion
appears to have been to leave the int size at the "old" 16 bit meaning,
upgrading it to 32 bits when it became clear that 16 bit machines were
dying off on the
The trend for 32 bit adaption on the desktop was:
Introduction of 80386 October, 1985
Majority of desktops changed to 32 bit processors Approx 1990
Widespread use of 32 bit software 1995-
The changeover of desktops to 32 bits without software to run on them
mainly by Intels willingness to sell the the 80386 as faster 16 bit
processor as well,
which AMD is doing, and apparently Intel will follow.
Now thats 10 years from introduction of a 32 bit processor to widespread
conversion (typically programmers won't use a model that isn't the
majority of installed
I personally think thats longer than the 64 bit conversion length will
be. The 32 bit
applications mainly waited for the operating system to convert, and this
faster for the 32 bit to 64 bit changeover. The limit this time is more
be the approximate 3 to 5 year time it takes for the majority of
desktops to experience
a hardware upgrade.
Samiam is Scott A. Moore
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