Re: 32 or 64

Eric Sosman <esosman@comcast-dot-net.invalid>
Sun, 14 Oct 2012 14:37:53 -0400
On 10/14/2012 1:53 PM, don wrote:

On Sun, 14 Oct 2012 11:58:18 -0400, don wrote:

For purposes of Java development is it better to have both the 32 and 64
bit versions of the SDK installed, or only one of them?
Some programs require the 32 bit and some come in a version for each, like
eclipse. When x64 Java first became available I began using it but found
that some programs, like Vuze, required the 32 bit version.
It seems odd that you would need 2 versions of the SDK and JVM installed on
a machine. I?d like to eliminate one of them but it seems that means the 32
bit would be the one to use since it?s probably the most compatible. And
that seems like moving backwards.

     Java code will run just fine on either a 32-bit or 64-bit
JVM -- or on a 23-bit or 107-bit JVM, should such beasts ever
evolve. It's true that a memory-hungry Java application may
need more space than a 32-bit JVM can provide and in that sense
require a 64-bit (or "greater-than-34-bit") JVM. Going the other
way, though, is no problem: If a piece of Java code can run in
a 32-bit JVM, it can also run in a 64-bit JVM.

     Note that I said "Java code." When you step outside Java
itself (with JNI, for example), configuration issues can become
thornier. If your Java code calls upon a native library that
exists only in an X-bit version, then you must run an X-bit JVM
for the library's sake. I'm not acquainted with Vuze, but it
seems likely something of that sort is at the root of your problem.
If so, your complaint is not with Java but with the Born Vuzers:
Your difficulties arise from their reluctance to write a pure Java
application and/or to supply suitable versions of the non-Java bits.
(Let me repeat: I am not acquainted with Vuze, and am only guessing
about the reasons for its 32-bit chauvinism -- Still, I'm moderately
confident in my guesswork.)

One more thing occurred to me after my original post: Isn?t it desirable
that the transition from 32 to 64 bit Java should eventually replace and
obsolete the 32 bit version?

     For servers, I'd imagine 32-bit will fade out. Probably for
desktops, too, albeit more slowly. For set-top boxes, E-wallets,
toasters, alarm system components, ... No. (For browsers -- Well,
who's daft enough to enable Java in an Internet browser?)

For instance, from the point of view of market acceptance, in light of all
the other obstacles that exist, does it really make sense to require users
to have installed two versions of the Java VM?

     Again, I strongly suspect that the requirement originates
outside of Java.

Eric Sosman

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