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SubjectRe: Driver optimization.

(Assuming NT does something like this.) The easiet way to accomplish
this is to have a smart installer. The software package shipped by
the vendor can have separate* binaries for various platforms. An
installer program can install only the needed one to your hard disk
from CD.

A somewhat more sophisticates approach is used in NextStep where you
have a fat binary for several architectures. The program loader knows
the current architecture and runs appropriate code. This is
non-trivial since all development tools have to be fat aware. The
resulting fat binary does not bloat the code too much since most
application programs have a big data sections. It is also nice for
administrations, software vendors etc.


On Sun, 30 Jun 1996, Rogier Wolff wrote:

> I was reading some NT sources (No, please don't shoot me :-), and
> found something that Linux should've had for quite a while now.

On a similar note, I was speaking to a friend who is fairly familiar with
NT. He states that you can install NT 3.5/4.0 on computer A, a 586, and
also on computer B, a DEC alpha, and also computer C, a PowerPC RS/6000.

Then you can go to a store and buy Word or Office for NT, and install the
same software on computer A and on computer B and on computer C.

Now I must admit this sounded really unlikely; after all, what kind of
binary format could be implemented to generate code that is acceptable to
a DEC Alpha, a Pentium, and a PowerPC?

My friend attributed this to a "Hardware Abstraction Layer", which I
simply read as being a microkernel based approach to solving processor
and platform differences, and what came to mind was mklinux running on a

Yet, when I got an mklinux box up, and transfered an x86 binary to it, and
tried to run it, no go!

% file foobar
foobar: ELF 32-bit LSB executable i386 (386 and up) Version 1

What is it that NT has supposedly implemented?

What does it take to do "binary compatibility" across platforms? (i.e.
what does it take to run the *same* binary on x86, 68k, alpha, ppc?

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