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1

The main reason for separating architecture independent files from architecture dependent is so they do not need to be duplicated across architectures. This is something that multi-arch distributions / operating systems (like Debian) do to reduce space usage in their archives.


2

If you develop some software (e.g. in C++) and want to test it both on 64 bits and 32 bits Linux systems you might install a chroot-ed 32 bits distribution on a 64 bits desktop, and then it could make sense to share the /usr/share But I agree with you, thin clients are not very useful today (much less than 10 or 20 years ago).



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