[Beowulf] Re: "hobbyists"

Karen Shaeffer shaeffer at neuralscape.com
Tue Jun 24 12:52:09 EDT 2008


On Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 05:04:20PM +0100, Ashley Pittman wrote:
> 
> On Mon, 2008-06-23 at 14:41 -0400, Kyle Spaans wrote:
> > On Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 03:33:19PM -0400, Lawrence Stewart wrote:
> > > More specifically for HPC, linux seems designed for the desktop, and  
> > > for small memory machines.
> > 
> > That's funny, because I've heard people get scared that it was the
> > complete opposite. That Linux was driven by Big Iron, and that no one
> > cared about the "little desktop guy" (Con Kolivas is an interesting
> > history example).
> 
> Well that depends if you're at a Linux conference or a HPC conference, I
> regularly attend both and the Linux folks are convinced they spend too
> much time tending to Big Iron and the HPC folks are convinced that they
> spend too much time worrying about their mp3's skipping.  I think Andrew
> Morton hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that from a kernel
> perspective Scientific Computing is more akin to embedded computing than
> it is to heavy server workloads and in a lot of cases HPC doesn't
> benefit from the attention that Big Iron does get.  The solution for
> this would be for the HPC industry to employ more core kernel hackers
> however it would seem they are thin on the ground which is ironic as HPC
> is probably the one industry where Linux has the biggest market share.
> 
> Ashley Pittman.
Hi Ashley,
I think you got it exactly right. Linux is open to anyone who has an
interest in extending the code base to support their special needs. What
we are seeing is that the enterprise corporations have all hired teams of
kernel developers to ensure their needs are being addressed. And the hpc
market needs to do the same, if they want their interests to be addressed
in the kernel as well. It's just that simple. What isn't simple is that
folks often think their needs are more important than the other special
interest groups. And since the enterprise corporations are paying all
the key kernel developers like Andrew Morton, these same key kernel
developers are protecting the interest of their employers. And Con Kolivas
is a good example, when you look at it from that perspective. Money talks
in the linux kernel today. How much influence any particular special
interest group has in the kernel today is directly proportional to how
many kernel developers are paid by that particular special interest
group. I totally agree with your assessment.

Thanks,
Karen
-- 
 Karen Shaeffer
 Neuralscape, Palo Alto, Ca. 94306
 shaeffer at neuralscape.com  http://www.neuralscape.com
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