[Bf-committers] Support for 32-bit architectures

Ray Molenkamp ray at lazydodo.com
Mon Nov 16 16:54:13 CET 2020

I've always understood our position to be

- We do not plan to break or remove 32 bit support.
- Given we don't CI on 32 bit anymore, breakage can sometimes happen without us knowing.
- If external parties supply patches to fix such breakage and they pass code review, we merge them. Even if they are for platforms we ourselves do not ship. D2860 (haiku OS) is a nice example there.

I'm not sure if that is the official position, but that's my current understanding of it.


On 2020-11-16 8:36 a.m., Sybren A. Stüvel via Bf-committers wrote:
> Hello list,
> Blender 2.80 was the last version of Blender for which 32-bit builds
> were officially supported. This was announced by Brecht in [1].
> That announcement was a bit unclear to me, which I let pass because it
> wasn't that relevant for my position back then. However, now that I'm
> the Linux platform maintainer, I wouldn't mind if the situation was
> clarified.
> In that announcement, Brecht writes:
>> Blender 2.80 was the last release where we officially support 32 bit Windows and Linux builds. [...]
>> We will continue to support it to the level that we do for example ARM. That is we keep the Blender code working independent of the processor architecture, particularly for Linux packages. But we don't actively test them or release our own builds.
> This sounds like an impossibility to me: the promise that we keep
> things working, but without building, or testing. Apparently there is
> also a distinction between "official support" and "support to some
> level".
> The Blender requirements page [2] does list 64-bit as a requirement.
> But, there is no "last version that supported 32-bit" in the "Previous
> Versions" section of that page. Also there is no mention of dropping
> official support for 32-bit architectures in the 2.81 release notes
> [3].
> I found out about this unclear situation when looking at a patch that
> ought to fix an issue on 32-bit platforms [4]. In the discussion on
> that patch, Brecht writes:
>> When writing or reviewing code, you ensure that there is always a processor architecture independent code path. And if you get a report and it turns out such a code path is missing or broken, you fix it. It's the same for x86, mips, sparc, etc.
> This looks like a statement that these platforms are still supported.
> Personally I would summarize the above as:
> - Blender Foundation does not provide buildbots for 32-bit platforms.
> - Developers have to ensure these platforms keep working.
> - Testing such fixes is unnecessary.
> I think I'm misunderstanding the situation here, and I wouldn't mind
> if this was clarified.
> Sybren
> [1]: https://lists.blender.org/pipermail/bf-committers/2019-August/050124.html
> [2]: https://www.blender.org/download/requirements/
> [3]: https://wiki.blender.org/wiki/Reference/Release_Notes/2.81
> [4]: https://developer.blender.org/D9577
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