Well, I read the article (I wasn't at YAPC::Munich), and there it's
just a side note. Nothing as dramatical as you sketch it here.
Our machines are 32bit and because of cost there will be no big iron
(64bit) used for our development.
Since when is 64 bits "big iron"? With "big iron", people usually
mean mainframes. But for instance Sun hardware has been 64 bits
for years - even their cheapest desktop (which used to be less than
$1000 - I don't know if that's still the price). "All the world is
Intel" is no more true than "all the world is a VAX" used to be.
I'm willing to bet that 64bit hardware will be common way before RAM
is so much faster than memory that trading "memory for speed" isn't
One should also realize that the trade "memory for speed" also means
you gain a lot of flexibility. If we hadn't the overhead we have for
values, we couldn't easily implement functions like "push", ".=",
or length in (average) constant time - it would suddenly be linear
in the size of the data. It also mean symbolic references wouldn't
work the same way they do now. You'd end up with something that
wouldn't be Perl anymore.
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