[sword-devel] SWORD 1.7.0RC1 win32 utilities

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Wed Jul 31 01:25:04 MST 2013

Mostly, there's no good reason to distribute Win64 builds and there are 
a few good reasons not to.

The only cases where 64-bit builds for Windows make any sense are:
* when you completely control distribution and can be certain they won't 
be used on Win32 systems (as in the case of programs shipped with 
Windows itself and drivers), and:
   ** when you need to use more than 4GB of memory (e.g. Photoshop and 
some scientific computing applications) or
   ** when you absolutely need to get the highest possible real-time 
performance (as in high performance computing applications and games)

For that, you sacrifice having to keep two distinct binaries around and 
must ensure that Win32 users don't mistakenly use Win64 binaries. 64-bit 
binaries themselves are slightly larger, they will use somewhat more 
memory when run, and they will generally run more slowly for the kinds 
of applications we're talking about.

Sword stuff is not mathematically complex. We don't do matrix math and 
or high precision floating point arithmetic. We push pointers around and 
do string processing--and that's generally slower when done with 64-bit 
pointers since they're twice as large and require twice as much memory. 
There are some possible optimization benefits due to more registers, but 
slower main memory hits should kill the benefit from that.

If you'd care to test Greg's 32 & 64-bit builds against each other to 
see if there's any clear performance winner on a 64-bit CPU, I'd be 
curious to see the results. If there really is a benefit to 64-bit 
builds on Windows, I'd consider adding them for a future release of 
Sword. (In cygwin, you can use the Unix time command before invoking a 
command to see how much processor time is spend executing a command-line 


On 7/30/2013 11:50 PM, David Haslam wrote:
> When Greg compiles the SWORD utilities for Windows, he also makes a separate
> suite for 64 bit versions.
> Any reason why we shouldn't also have a *Win64* directory under
> http://crosswire.org/ftpmirror/pub/sword/utils/ ?
> David
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