[Vm-dev] 64bit: "This interpreter (vers. 68000) cannot read image file (vers. 274877913446)."

Andrew Gaylard ag at computer.org
Tue Oct 16 06:57:54 UTC 2007

On 10/15/07, David T. Lewis <lewis at mail.msen.com> wrote:
> 64 bit images are rare, unappreciated, and poorly supported (all Squeak
> images of practical interest are 32 bit images with 32 bit object memory
> word size). However, 64 bit VMs are commonplace and work quite well on
> hardware and operating systems such as yours. You may need to load the
> changes on Mantis bug report 5688, and check Mantis for other issues in
> the "Squeak 64 bit" category if you run into problems, but other than
> that a 64 bit VM built on your system should work fine and should run
> normal 32 bit images without problems.

64-bit images are indeed "unappreciated".

I suspect that part of the reason for the lack of appreciation is that
there's little information about them.  For instance,
http://squeakvm.org/squeak64/ hasn't been updated since 2004-10-28.
That's nearly 3 years ago.  http://wiki.squeak.org:8080/squeak/560
has not been updated for even longer.

I'm sure that there's been a lot of work done by various 64-bit people
since then, but if so, then where do I (and other curious people) find
out about it?  Are there other sites?

What would be neat would be a page, either at squeakvm.org or on
the wiki, which would answer some of the common 64-bit questions
that come up from time to time.  For instance, here are some of mine:

- For which hardware/OS combinations is there a 64-bit VM?
- Does this VM run both 32-bit and 64-bit images?
- How do I convert a 32-bit image to a 64-bit one?
- My OS allows a single process to grow to 3.75GB; if I need a lot of
  objects can I use a 32-bit image / VM, or must I use a 64-bit one?
- What are the advantages/disadvantages to using 64-bits?
- Why isn't there an officially-released 64-bit image?

I suspect that if this basic information was available, there'd be rather
more interest, which would lead to more testing, more bug reports,
more fixes, etc.

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