[Beowulf] Java vs C++ for interfacing to parallel library

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Sun Aug 20 15:43:31 EDT 2006



Jim Lux wrote:
> At 06:08 AM 8/20/2006, Joe Landman wrote:

[...]


>> Hey ... I like that +/vector is a sum reduction over a variable named
>> vector, and it can do it on the outermost index.
> 
> But you need that special APL keyboard with the greek letters...

They weren't greek so much as ... er .. something.

> 
> 
>> Don't knock APL, it was designed for calculation.  That it was also as
>> arcane in its syntax as possible, as well as being insanely terse in its
>> implementation.
> 
> And if you think the classic IBM implementation on the "first PC" (the
> 5100) was funky, you should see Iverson's book

I did read Iverson's book.  And I used one of them IBM terminals, you
know, the one with the ball-o-characters?  And I switched them from
normal to APL.  And back again.  I seem to remember one of those high
speed 110 or 300 baud acoustic coupler modems on it.

Later on I used APL on the PC, and it wasn't quite the same.

> That said, I spent an entire summer of my youth doing all sorts of
> interesting things in APL.
> Like any arcane and esoteric knowledge, if you use it regularly, it's
> second nature.  If you only use it occasionally, it's hard to do stuff.

It was fun at the time ...

>>  Still, any language that allows you to model a physical
>> system in 4 lines of code and gives you meaningful answers cannot be all
>> bad.
>>
>> I ... just ... dont ... want ... to  ... use ... it  ...... again.  Ever.
> 
> 
> Come now.. think: a hybrid of APL and Matlab?

I like Matlab (and Octave), and I do think its syntax could be improved
a bit.  I am just not sure APL is the right way to go on this ...

> And doesn't APL elegantly represent inherently parallel constructs.  It

Yes it does.  And thats scary.

> might be the most appropriate language for parallel computing (at least
> Iverson might think this).

Yes, I am sure Iverson thought that.  The concept of a language which
allowed you great freedom to accurately construct the models that you
needed was wonderful.  Just this little learning curve....



-- 
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423
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