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

Ed Hill ed at eh3.com
Mon Aug 21 18:32:17 PDT 2006

On Sun, 2006-08-20 at 23:50 -0400, Robert G. Brown wrote: 
> On Mon, 21 Aug 2006, Jonathan Ennis-King wrote:
> > The other option is the Unix-like strategy suggested by rgb, where for
> > example the computational part is completely written in C, and then the
> > pre and post-processing which benefit from a GUI are written in some
> > other language (e.g. Java), or strung together from other unix tools and
> > wrapper languages.
> Or a library-based strategy.  If you take your core code and develop a
> plain old reusable library out of it with a fairly straightforward API
> (which takes a lot of programming discipline and a certain amount of
> practice, I think, but isn't particularly difficult) then you can USE
> the library in a variety of UIs. 

Yes, absolutely!  Good codes should evolve into libraries.  They should
*aspire* to become libraries.  :-)

And really good libraries should try to make themselves amenable to
cross-language binding...

These language discussions so often appear in "or" expressions (this
language "or" that one) when so many useful things can be done in an
"and" manner that leverages the good bits (read: mostly the libraries,
not necessarily the language features themselves) that already exist in
other languages.

I want to be able to write codes that can make use of the vast existing
C and C++ libraries for, say, I/O or computational geometry or "systems"
type programming while simultaneously using existing Fortran routines
for building and integrating big systems of equations derived from PDEs,
ODEs, etc.  And, if at all possible, I'd like to do it without having to
manually flatten and then re-assemble every single bit of information to
some sort of least common denominator pointer-to-array-of syntax when I
pass between the two.

But maybe thats too much to hope for...


Edward H. Hill III, PhD
office:  MIT Dept. of EAPS 54-1424;  77 Massachusetts Ave.
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