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From: Matthias Troyer (troyer_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-10-11 14:35:15

On Oct 11, 2005, at 8:45 PM, Daryle Walker wrote:
>>> Isn't int the 'natural' integer type, by definition?
>> Depends what you mean by "natural", but for a normal English meaning,
>> probably not.
> [TRUNCATE a longer exposition of next sentence's content]
> It was supposed to always match, but vendors "betrayed" that idea to
> maintain compatibility.

Actually on the Cray SV1 short and int were both 64 bit, since 32 or
16 bit arithmetic has to be emulated in software on these processors.
This has led to quite some incompatibilities and problems when I
tried to port Boost to that machine. The Cray X1 now at least allows
the user to force 16 or 32 bit integers, albeit at a performance
penalty, but that eases compatibility with code written assuming that
and int is 32 bit.

It seems to me that the real reason why int stays at 32 bit on most
machines is to maintain compatibility with old codes.


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