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Subject: Re: Introducing "No-Moore's Law"

Author: Jeremiah Penery

Date: 19:38:44 03/05/03

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On March 05, 2003 at 18:26:10, Robert Hyatt wrote:

>The point of my comments is that Intel sets a sort of standard, and if someone
>follows along,
>but are not quite all there, it can cause problems.  I had this problem with
>Cyrix years ago as
>their 387's were actually more accurate than Intel's, not to mention faster.
>And they would
>make every diagnostic program on the planet sound the alarm with floating point
>errors.  :)
>
>And I got tired of the phone calls asking about it and quit recommending them.
>:)

Why should a company be penalized for making a better product?

>>>If everyone was a compiler expert, this might be forseeable.  But they aren't.
>>>And I doubt
>>>most would think that -target=pentiumII would break a processor that is supposed
>>>to be
>>>compatible.
>>>
>>>Can I say more?
>>
>>A lot of the average programmers probably don't even know to use a specific
>>processor target (when using GCC), or they use some other compiler.  I'd expect
>>someone who uses specific processor targets in their compile to have some basic
>>understanding of assembly.
>
>I wouldn't.  If you look at the simple help files, you might see:

And you think even 5% of people look at help files? :)

>"-target=pentiumII"  This causes the compiler to optimize the program for
>optimum
>performance on the intel Pentium II processor.  (hypothetical option and
>explanation
>of course.)
>
>That could get any beginner to try it and it would work.  And introduce an
>unknown
>incompatibility with AMD.
>
>>
>>>For the streetlight issue, the streetlight is not hanging over the street in
>>>plain sight.  It is
>>>buried under the light pole, with a door with a combination lock on it that has
>>>to be opened
>>>so it can be seen.  Do you expect John/Jane Doe to know that when there is no
>>>sign on the
>>>pole that says "look here for compatibility issues"???
>>>
>>>I don't.
>>
>>I'm not sure I expect Jonn/Jane Doe to understand that you have to even look for
>>traffic, whether the light says 'WALK' or not.  Obviously, there are a lot of
>>people who fit in that category.
>
>The problem here is that they don't even know there _is_ traffic.  Who would
>think
>that the compiler produces an instruction that a compatible processor doesn't
>support?
>They don't even understand assembly language, much less instructions, much less
>any
>more details that are necessary to even understand that there might be a
>problem.
>
>Remember, that intellect represents 99%+ of all the computer users on the
>planet.

And probably 99.9% of those people are not going to using anything but
store-bought programs, which will check for processor support (or use basic
386-like instructions that MSVC emits), so they never run into this kind of
problem.



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