Post by Chris Iverson on Jul 10, 2019 19:12:30 GMT -5
Note that this just means that Ubuntu would not be building and shipping 32-bit compatibility binaries themselves; 32-bit libraries could still be obtained if you wanted/needed them.
Also, many other distributions would still have worked(Debian, which Ubuntu is based on, being one of them.)
Additionally, this only applied to future versions of Ubuntu. 18.04, an LTS release with five years of support from Canonical, would still be capable of running 32-bit applications, through 2023. (It would still work beyond that, you just wouldn't be getting any updates or support from the Ubuntu services.)
Even past that, they did announce a plan to support 32-bit Linux by maintaining the 18.04(Last LTS) API for Snap-packaged apps. Since they've moved it to at least past 20.04, which is the next LTS release, that means that official, mainline OS support for 32-bit apps in Ubuntu isn't going anywhere until at least 2025, and they could still choose to either extend it again, or at least go forward with the Snappak idea. (Not sure how well that would work for LB5, though; I'm curious if it would trigger GPL restriction issues, depending on the needed libraries.)
Again, this all applies just to Canonical, and Ubuntu. Other Linux distributions can do whatever the heck they want.
Also, this depends on Carl's toolset vendor. If they wind up providing a version of VisualWorks Smalltalk that's 64-bit compatible, then there'd be absolutely no issues on Linux at all.
(It won't be a problem on Windows, because the only way to get Microsoft to remove functionality as widespread as 32-bit support is to literally make it impossible to run on hardware. Microsoft is very dedicated to backwards compatibility, even if they don't always get it right.)
Thank for your insight Chris, I use Mint Linux so was fearful of the impact this decision may have. after reading your post I realised Mint have started using Debian as a base too so the issue may not raise its head for some time. (if at all)