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From: Robert Myers on 4 Jul 2010 00:30
Richard Maine wrote:
> I might also note that I find it a pretty narrow viewpoint to assume, s
> one poster seems to do, that Fortran code is going to be targetting x86.
> I've written Fortran code for an awful lot of systems, x86 being in a
> minority. As I'm now retired and have only my home systems, the X86
> fraction has gone way up, but it was a minority when I was working for a
> living, which wasn't that awfully many years ago. At home, my Apple 2e
> still works, but I seldom drag it out and haven't programmed for it in a
> long time. I do have a PPC Mac mini, but I don't program for it.
I'm the one poster, and I'm going to do my best not to be snarky.
The Department of Energy is determined to keep Power and IBM in HPC, so
some Fortran will be always be targeting Power unless and until the
Department of Energy and/or IBM abandon their alliance.
ARM is an interesting potential player in HPC. For the moment though,
the key word is potential.
With those exceptions, the economics of high-end fabs pretty much
dictate the future. We are headed toward chip monoculture and writing
in x86 assembler is a pretty good bet for most people.
If specialized stream processors (variants of graphics chips or similar)
play a role, conventional Fortran will not be targeting them.
So what if you've got a million war stories of programming something
else in the past? That's exactly what the past is: past. Affordable
high-end chips are going to be x86 for the foreseeable future.
From: Louis Krupp on 4 Jul 2010 01:42
On 7/3/2010 9:27 PM, e p chandler wrote:
> [On soapbox]
> So it bothers me when I read postings from graduates in science or
> engineering who have never used Fortran at all. Instead they may have
> used something like MATLAB. What are they missing?
> 1. The vast literature of existing programs written in Fortran. This
> also includes the algorithms expressed in Fortran.
> 2. A better understanding of the limitations of numeric computation,
> including floating point numbers, etc.
> 3. The ability to express themselves in a common language that is well
Well understood, but not by the people you're talking about.
I ran into a similar situation recently; I modeled a solution to a
graphics problem in Postscript and I thought I could use it to
communicate with other interested parties. One of these told me that he
planned to learn Postscript about the same time he planned to learn
Fortran. What could I say? I told him I could help him with Fortran,
too, but the net effect was demoralizing. If it wasn't in the
programming language du jour, he wasn't having any.
> 4. The problems with a black box approach to problems. [When was the
> last time you saw Newton's method fall completely on its head? How about
> solving problems with the auto-solver of a modern calculator?]
> [Off soapbox]
Wait until they try to embed MATLAB in a spacecraft.
From: Richard Maine on 4 Jul 2010 02:11
Robert Myers <rbmyersusa(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Richard Maine wrote:
> > I might also note that I find it a pretty narrow viewpoint to assume, s
> > one poster seems to do, that Fortran code is going to be targetting x86.
> So what if you've got a million war stories of programming something
> else in the past? That's exactly what the past is: past. Affordable
> high-end chips are going to be x86 for the foreseeable future.
I remain unconvinced. I do believe that there is much to be learned from
the past. One of the things I have learned, far more than individual war
stories, is that projections of computing future are usually wrong.
That's general to darn near all such projections, including those with
just as good a basis as this one seems to have. It is particularly so
with projections that any one thing is going to completely dominate some
facet of computing.
Everything in my experience suggests that betting everything on any one
compiler or architecture loses in the long run. That's one reason why I
became interested in standards.
If you want to think that everything in my experience counts as nothing
but war stories and that the past is to be ignored, I note the
applicability of the quote in my signature, though I doubt it will
change your mind. My experience also suggests that it is hard for people
to learn such lessons other than the hard way.
Richard Maine | Good judgment comes from experience;
email: last name at domain . net | experience comes from bad judgment.
domain: summertriangle | -- Mark Twain
From: Louis Krupp on 4 Jul 2010 06:08
On 7/3/2010 10:30 PM, Robert Myers wrote:
> Affordable high-end chips are going to be x86 for the foreseeable future.
Someone, somewhere, is going to take that as a challenge.
From: viper-2 on 4 Jul 2010 09:58
On Jul 3, 11:27 pm, "e p chandler" <e...(a)juno.com> wrote:
> <snip> [When was the last
> time you saw Newton's method fall completely on its head?
On January 29, when I posted clf's "Happy GNU Year" greeting:
for a variation of the "Newton method falling on the head" thingy.
Fortran's design for handling "formula translation"/ "numeric
computation" was one of my reasons for re-learning the language. I
haven't coded in C for many years, so I really have no idea whether
Fortran is still superior in this respect.
People keep asking why I'm coding in Fortran and not C. So I keep
reading the threads in this group hoping to find a convincing
Freedom - no pane, all gaiGN!
Code Art Now