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Array 4 MB size limit
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Date: 2006-05-19 (20:08)
From: Oliver Bandel <oliver@f...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Array 4 MB size limit
On Fri, May 19, 2006 at 06:28:44PM +0200, Jozef Kosoru wrote:
> On Thu, May 18, 2006 at 22:57:30 -0700, Frederick Akalin wrote:
> > >Historical digression: this representation decision was initially
> > >taken when designing Caml Light in 1989-1990.  At that time, even
> > >professional workstations ... Little did I know that the 32-bitters
> > >would survive so long.  Now, it's 2006, and 64-bit processors are
> > >becoming universally available, in desktop machines at least.  (I've
> > >been running an AMD64 PC at home since january 2005 with absolutely
> > >zero problems.)  So, no the data representations of OCaml are not
> > >going to change to lift the array size limit on 32-bit machines.
> >  
> > I see. This is a perfectly reasonable explanation.  I ended up just
> > using Bigarrays of floats for now and converting from those to 3-d
> > vectors on demand (what I need), but it would be nice to have a type
> > that wraps around Array that can get around the 4M limit (using an
> > array of arrays like someone suggested earlier).  It's sad, but I
> > think 32-bit is going to be around for a while, and surely I can't be
> > the only person to run up against this. :) Not that I mind writing
> > such a library and releasing it.  I wonder if the Extlib guys would be
> > interested...
> Yes. 32-bit x86 platform is not going away anytime soon. Given that 512M
> RAM is now standard and 1G RAM is very common for an average PC - having
> a programming language with 4M limit for the array size is like to have
> an 8+3 characters filename limitation on a filesystem using a mainstream
> 300G disk in 2006. However I understand the techical difficulty to solve
> this issue - it's pretty annoying anyhow :)

Well, my first computer (VC 20/VIC 20) had about 3,5 kB RAM, was an 8-Bit
processor based computer (6502 CPU :)) and had 1 MHz clock frequency :)

Some years later HP came up with their HP 9000 workstation,
32 Bit processors they had! :)

I thought that some years later I also would have such a beast!

But: It took  a too long time.... I was a computer-"hater" for many
years, had jumped into analog technics (electrical engineering)
and only came back to programming at the end of the study, when
I merged eletrotechnics and programming (noise simulation and
analog-digital converting in C under DOS or windows, don't know,
but I think it was a x386 processor machine with maybe 100 MHz clock frequency?
 looking for quantization errors, yielded by noise - all simulated in C)

What I wanted to say: yes, the technological "revolution" we so often
hear in the media, is much slower than it could be...

...the fastest machines are created for game playing.

So, when the next playstation comes out, I maybe buy one and install
Linux on it. I hope, that there will be a native OCaml-port for it then :)

Best Regards,