Thursday, October 11, 2012

Saving my sanity

Grrrrrrr...The system is so thoroughly screwed up that I'm just going to scrub it off and start over.

I decided I'd try building Firestorm myself, just to see if I could. The problem is that I tried building the release version as a 32-bit binary. This was a major mistake, and exposed a serious problem in how Linux - at least the current Linux toolchain - handles 32- vs. 64-bit support.

I guess I was lulled into a false sense of security by developing on OS X. There, libraries can have both 32- and 64-bit flavors, and the Right Thing Just Happens when you use them. Not so on Linux. Debian et al have what they call "multiarch" support, but there are lots and lots of holes.

When I tried launching the build last night, it complained about the 64-bit libraries being the wrong architecture. Fair enough. A quick Google showed that I needed to install the library package suffixed with ":i386". I did, and did so a few more times when it tripped over them. Eventually, though, I got to a spot that couldn't be fixed that way.

I Googled. I installed more packages. I reran. It blew up. I installed still more packages. I installed packages with ":i386", and without it. The system got more and more screwed up, and I lost track of where I was. Finally, I gave up and went to bed.

Just now, I tried running the release version of Firestorm. It gave me the same complaint that it did when I first installed it and the 32-bit libraries weren't there. I tried reinstalling them. No luck.

That's when I decided that it would be easier for me to just scrub it all off and start over. Less cussing for my roommate to listen to, too.

The release version of Firestorm is built on a 64-bit Linux system, apparently without problems. I'm not going to try that myself again, though. If I do build on Linux, it'll be 64-bit. Period, the end.

It's simply not possible to screw up OS X this way unless you use lots of commands that begin with "sudo". It shouldn't be possible to screw up a Linux box this way, either.

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