A Flame About 64-bit Pointers
It is absolutely idiotic to have 64-bit pointers when I compile a program that uses less than 4 gigabytes of RAM. When such pointer values appear inside a struct, they not only waste half the memory, they effectively throw away half of the cache.
The gcc manpage advertises an option "-mlong32" that sounds like what I want. Namely, I think it would compile code for my x86-64 architecture, taking advantage of the extra registers etc., but it would also know that my program is going to live inside a 32-bit virtual address space.
Unfortunately, the -mlong32 option was introduced only for MIPS computers, years ago. Nobody has yet adopted such conventions for today's most popular architecture. Probably that happens because programs compiled with this convention will need to be loaded with a special version of libc.
Please, somebody, make that possible.
I looked in my Linux kernel menuconfig when I was compiling a new kernel version 3.4 and I saw there is a x32 abi which supports long mode with 32-bit pointers; i.e. the system Knuth is suggesting here.