[Beowulf] A start in Parallel Programming?

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Mar 13 12:04:08 PDT 2007

At 10:42 AM 3/13/2007, Jeffrey B. Layton wrote:
>Glen Beane wrote:
>>Kyle Spaans wrote:
>>does that mean I
>>>should suck it up and learn Fortran/C/C++?
>Ouch this hurts! I've gotten the same rubbing from RGB. I hate to
>say it, but I'm a Fortran programmer ("Hi! My name is Jeff and I'm
>a Fortran programmer. Hi! Jeff!").

I'm with you brother Jeff! I grew up programming in FORTRAN, and I 
still believe in it for those sorts of applications where it's 
appropriate.  I'd hate to have to write (another) parser in FORTRAN. 
Yes, one can write a scheduler/kernel in FORTRAN, but it's not 
pretty.  Anything with lots of list management is sort of a pain in 
FORTRAN (at least as of the 80s.. I believe newer versions have 
pointers and dynamic memory allocation)

>The recent development of Fortran has been remarkable. Considering
>the world was stuck with Fortran77 for many, many years, the new
>features of Fortran are quite refreshing. If you really want you can even
>do OO programming with Fortran (some of it is very useful IMHO).
>I know this will set off a language war, but I've found that anything
>technical or scientific I need to code is always easier in Fortran than
>anything else (well except Matlab, but I usually prototype in Matlab
>and move to Fortran for extra speed). For many other tasks, I use
>Python or bash or perl or whatever I have handy.
>So my general opinion about coding for clusters is to use whatever you
>want. You can usually find thread libraries or MPI libraries for that
>language. Of course, it's always best if you code in Fortran :)
Jim Lux 

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