[Numpy-discussion] Revisiting numpy/scipy on 64 bit OSX

Chris Kees christopher.e.kees@usace.army....
Fri Aug 22 16:08:39 CDT 2008

On 8/22/08 11:34 AM, "Michael Abshoff" <michael.abshoff@googlemail.com>

> Robert Kern wrote:
>> On Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 07:00, Chris Kees
>> <christopher.e.kees@usace.army.mil> wrote:
> Hi,
>>> I've been experimenting with both a non-framework, non-universal 64-bit
>>> build and a 4-way universal build of the python (2.6) trunk with numpy
>>> 1.1.1. The non-framework 64 build appears to give me exactly the same
>>> results from numpy.test() as the standard 32-bit version (as well as
>>> allowing large arrays like numpy.zeros((1000,1000,1000),'d') ), which is
>>> <unittest._TextTestResult run=1300 errors=0 failures=0>
> I used a gcc 4.2.4 build from sources and last time I used XCode (and in
> addition a gfortran build from 4.2.3 sources) most things went fine.
> Note that I am using Python 2.5.2 and that I had to make configure.in
> not add some default BASEFLAGS since those added flags only exist for
> the Apple version of gcc. This was also numpy and scipy svn tip :)
>>> Our numerical models also seem to run fine with it using 8-16G. The 4-way
>>> universal python gives the same results in 32-bit  but when running in
>>> 64-bit I get an error in the tests below, which I haven't had time to look
>>> at.  It also gives the error
>>>>>> a = numpy.zeros((1000,1000,1000),'d')
>>> Traceback (most recent call last):
>>>  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
>>> ValueError: dimensions too large.
>> Much of our configuration occurs by compiling small C programs and
>> executing them. Probably, one of these got run in 32-bit mode, and
>> that fooled the numpy build into thinking that it was for 32-bit only.
> Yeah, building universal binaries is still fraught with issues since
> much code out there uses values derived at configure time for endianess
> and other values. IIRC Apple patches Python to make some of those
> constants functions, but that recollection might be wrong in case of
> Python. I usually use lipo to make universal binaries theses days to get
> around that limitation, but that means four compilations instead of two.
> My main goal in all of this is a 64 bit Sage on OSX (which I am
> reasonable close to fully working), but due to above mentioned problems
> for example with gmp it seems unlikely that I can produce a universal
> version directly and lipo is a way out of this.
>> Unfortunately, what you are trying to do is tantamount to
>> cross-compiling, and neither distutils nor the additions we have built
>> on top of it work very well with cross-compiling. It's possible that
>> we could special case the configuration on OS X, though. Instead of
>> trusting the results of the executables, we can probably recognize
>> each of the 4 OS X variants through #ifdefs and reset the discovered
>> results. This isn't easily extended to all platforms (which is why we
>> went with the executable approach in the first place), but OS X on
>> both 32-bit and 64-bit will be increasingly common but still
>> manageable. I would welcome contributions in this area.

This sounds like a reasonable approach to me. I wouldn't be disappointed if
everything  but x86_64 went away, but I'm afraid it's not going to happen
soon enough to avoid dealing with i386 and ppc64 in some way. It would be
convenient for  me if I could just distributed a 4-way universal
python/numpy along with my modules. Unfortunately I don't know enough about
distutils and the numpy additions to be confident that  I can make the
fixes. Can we can get all the information we need by comparing the 4-way
universal build with a pure x86_64 build?


> I am actually fairly confident that 64 bit Intel will dominate the Apple
> userbase in the short term. Every laptop and workstation on sale by
> Apple now and in the last two years or so has been 64 bit capable and
> for console applications OSX 10.4 or higher will do. So I see little
> benefit from doing 32 bit on OSX except for legacy support :). I know
> that Apple hardware tends to stick around longer, so even Sage will
> support 32 bit OSX for a while.
> Cheers,
> Michael
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