64-bit computing is upon us. Or, has been for quite a while now. But how many of us are still completely stuck with x86 workstations and development servers? From what I see, most of us developers and team managers are still in this seriously perilous dream; thinking whatever we are compiling and testing on our 32-bit environments will "just work" when blindly deployed onto production 64-bit environments. Cue in "works on my machine" cliche.
Unfortunately, after going through a few projects making use of x64 Windows servers, the situation is most definitely not a no-worries, instant-success, plug-and-play story. There is a significant number of intricacies developers need to be well aware of when staging their applications for 64-bit operations. Remain ignorant of these issues, then expect to see breakages abound. To keep myself ahead of these issues, I am trying to locate materials that teach this subject matter. The odd thing is, Microsoft (MSDN) is not making this out to be a big deal, listing nothing significant when it comes to 32-bit-to-64-bit transitioning activities. Do they really think things are going to be that simple?
At this point, I have only found Gaurav Seth to be actively promoting awareness on this topic. In time I hope to find more comprehensive and official materials that can spread the word to the developer community, and safe us from the dangers that threaten to wreck our projects, unexpectedly.
(this is only one post out of a number where he touches 64-bit development)
I have been recommended to follow up on some of Josh Wil's SpankyJ blog. He was one of the developers in the CLR team, and covered issues revolving around 64-bit processing.
Officially, MSDN only seems to have a 2005 paper Migrating 32-bit Managed Code to 64-bit. It is a rather light document at an estimated 12 pages; I did expect more exhaustive insights and revelations for developers like me who did not get to experience the pre-.NET industry. But it is still a good starting point. Hopefully more can be found later.