X86 apps on 64 bit

I disagree. Itanium is dead, and x86 will be dead in 10 years, right now there is only x64, no?

What "new architectures" are coming up all the time? We have a while to worry before bit. Scott Hanselman.

Checking IntPtr seems like measuring a side effect. I agree that Itanium is dead though, it was just a handy example because it shows up in the drop down box in that screenshot. The answer is yes and no. If you've ever struggled with sn. Fowl - Ok, I'll give you the ports thing, but again, if you write managed code only, there's no trouble. If you're doing CLR code on platforms as diverse as Intel and ARM, then you've got bigger issues if you're sharing unmanaged code also.

Wednesday, February 11, 9: Another one that's got me in the past with interop, other than the size of IntPtr, is the byte alignment of structures, or packing. Packing essentially ensures that each member of a structure is aligned to a certain sized byte boundary. So if a structure is packed to 4 bytes then every member of the structure will start on a 4 byte boundary and be allocated some multiple of 4 bytes of space in the structure.

It's fairly common in the Windows SDK to have a structure on bit Windows that is packed differently on bit Windows. The way to spot this is looking for pragma pack in the Windows SDK header files. This often means you need to declare different.


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NET representations of the structure with different packing so that your architecture agnostic. NET code will work on both platforms.

Why Are Most Programs Still bit on a bit Version of Windows?

Check out StructLayoutAttribute. Pack and pragma pack on MSDN. Rupert Benbrook. I actually ran into this problem just earlier this week, and it took me a while to figure out. I've checked the third party assembly with reflector, and it doesn't have any calls to unmanaged code; beats me why they decided to target x86 on it. I've got a problem in that my solution is large, consisting of some 16 projects that are fairly heavily intertwined.

Is there any way to have a project that can call a x86 targeted dll while still being loadable by a 64 bit application, or do I need to convert my entire solution to x86? The worst part of this is that it will be running on a 32bit server, I'm just having problems debugging it since my development box is 64bit.

Eric Johansson. Like you, most of our dev machines are bit - but it feels like bit compat is an afterthought, even for developer tools I'd have thought devs at MS would be the first to switch over.

Wednesday, February 11, There's a lot more going on than just IntPtr sizes. For now I share the thought Rico Mariani has on wether Visual Studio should be 32 or 64 bit; there aren't that many applications that need that much memory space.

32-bit and 64-bit explained

It's better to reduce footprint than to require 64bit. Also, if you do need the extra memory space, there's no way the app can run stable and with the same datasets on 32bit. In this case the only thing that makes sense is target just 64bit what Microsoft did with Exchange Sander Rijken. There is one gotcha when debugging managed ASP. NET applications on bit. If you attempt to attach to the web server process to debug your managed code, Visual Studio may assume you want to debug the native bit code first an throw a weird error at you.

Is Running 32-bit Apps on 64-bit Windows a Bad Idea?

You have to specify that you want to debug the managed code running in the process. Also, edit-and-continue is not available and you can't debug in mixed-mode. Kirk Jackson. I was all good until I saw this one: Using serialization as a way of persisting state.. Thanks, Vladan.

RunAsX86, a tool to run AnyCPU .NET applications in X86 mode

Vladan Strigo. Fowl - The purpose of IntPtr is to be exactly large enough to represent a pointer. Something else to consider when running studio on 64 bit machines are third party libraries. It's not 64 bit per say, it's the newer OS needed. I just fought through getting an older version of Infragistics working on a Server system I setup. There are strange hoops I needed to jump through to get it loaded.

This is all a requirement of the project I'm working on where I need some older stuff. If I was able to move to the latest and greatest Infragistics I would have been fine or at least their docs say so: But keep this in mind when thinking about "making the jump", you might have to play around to find just the right secret handshake to get it all working. There must be some configurations that just won't work but so far I've been quite successful. As an aside, running Windows server as a workstation OS is working out great so far.

One other thing worth mentioning is that there are multiple GAC's on x This was a gotcha for me when I had a third-party binary that required me to compile in x86 I didn't realize that there was a separate GAC for x86 and x Wednesday, February 11, 1: Mike Swaim. Vladan Strigo Migration considerations So after all that, what are the considerations with respect to serialization? If you serialize the information then you are writing platform-specific data to the output. This means that you can and will experience problems if you attempt to share this information.

Wednesday, February 11, 3: The most important take away, from MSDN: Moving right along. If only it were that true. It all pre-supposes that any. I'm currently dealing with this issue with IBM's Informix drivers for. The bit doesn't quite register itself properly and so you end up having to link directly to it thus causing issues for a bit only user. Jason Hanford-Smith.

Excellent article; I needed this summary a few years back, and all that was available was detailed documentation. Owen Pellegrin. Code Coverage doesn't work under x According to this blog post http: Wednesday, February 11, 4: Good post Scott. I did want to point out one thing though with some terminology: I found the term "bitness" to be a little confusing.

I think maybe the terms "bit length" or "bit size" are more descriptive of what's causing the compatibility errors in the cases that you mentioned. Otherwise, good stuff as usual. Vladan - Only binary serialization and only if you're being tricky with packing and structs. Terry - Point taken. Joseph Cooney - Agreed, that's intensely lame. I don't use the built in code coverage, but I'll ask the team if that's fixed going forward. I'll ask if it's turned on in VS Rupurt - Correct.

I didn't get into that for fear I'd lose people, but marshaling structs IS a problem. NET is dead on Itanium, and desktop applications are dead on Itanium? I completely agree there. Oracle still seems to be supporting Itanium well, and even SQL Server doesn't seem to have abandoned it. I had to tell the compiler to target x86 to make it work Mike R. I was just about to say what Mike R said. In my case, Firebird and Foxpro connectivity doesn't work under x Josh Einstein. Oh, and I almost forgot Why the heck do the Team Foundation client dlls need to be x86 only?

They wrap a bunch of webservice calls to TFS and do a nice job of it but although I haven't decompiled them to check I doubt they need to do anything unmanaged. Just because Visual Studio is stuck in the x86 tar-pit doesn't mean everything else in the tool-chain should be.

Your Answer

I need to see if this has been fixed in dev10 too. This article saved me a ton of x86 to x64 conversion headaches: This hit us badly because we were in the habit of using ref array[0] to get a pointer to an array, which simply doesn't work anymore. You have to set proper properties on parameters. David Sokol. On bit versions of Windows, bit applications install to the Program Files folder. This contains all your installed programs, all of which are bit. This is a compatibility feature designed for old bit programs. These bit programs may not be aware that a bit version of Windows even exists, so Windows keeps them away from that bit code.

32-bit vs. 64-bit Windows

The same goes for bit programs. Keeping different program files for different CPU architectures separate prevents errors like these from happening. However, if you had a bit version of Microsoft Office installed, the application would crash and not function properly. This also helps when a developer creates both bit and bit versions of an application, especially if both need to be installed at once in some situations. The bit version automatically installs to C: And there would likely be no real standard for where developers installed different versions.

The original chips were bit, but newer versions became bit.