[Beowulf] hpl size problems
hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Sat Oct 1 14:33:01 EDT 2005
On Sat, 1 Oct 2005, Robert [UTF-8] G. Brown wrote:
> Seriously, how hard is it to move a code TOWARDS e.g. posix compliance?
I think that unfortunately several separate issues are being conflated:
- package format. as far as I can see, there is no real disagreement
about what metadata needs to be attached to a package. this means that
differences are just petty turf issues, and that it's a SMOP to write
a generic installer. more importantly, to the app-vendor, any format will do.
- dependency-registry. this is a bit sticky, since it requires a universal
language/catalog of _capabilities_, that is a set of canonical names for
some standard of interface and behavior. this is easy when there's a single
implementation (eg kde), but tougher for something like MTAs, where any
number of implementations will do.
- interface/behavior spec. typically an ABI, but will also include
command-level things ("newaliases" works for both sendmail and postfix).
I think that efforts like LSB have not taken this approach mainly because
it seems too intensive. basically, every ABI function would have a
<capability, version, provider> entry, but traditionally it's whole
packages, not individual functions that are versioned. (consider installing
atlas, which does not provide full lapack).
obviously, there is also resistance to this because it inherently unifies
interfaces, and makes it harder for vendors to distinguish themselves.
(or, for the pessimists out there, to lock in apps/users to a particular
distro.) I don't really see any reason in principle why Linux vendors
couldn't agree on this sort of standardization. LSB might even be able
to do it, though I don't really see the point of mandating a particular
package format. (the capability names, behavior, interface and versioning
have to be agreed on, but as long as there is some ABI for querying the
per-machine capability registry, any packaging format could be used.)
imagine if there was a standard way to enumerate whether a machine has an
implementation of <daxpy,2.3.0,x86-64>, and to not only get the answer,
but the name of the library to link with. (libtool is related to this,
but I think it's mainly a workaround for the lack of dependency-registry,
and is probably crippled by lack of canonical capabilities (standard).)
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