Re: Broken applications: Could we be honest?
Thanks for your response.
We have the pgi compiler on the head node of a very
old, 32-bit beowulf. I do my production calculations on
a very nice large, 64-bit cluster at a national laboratory, but
my desktop machine had, until about 6 weeks ago, been a
1.4 GHz 32-bit machine. The graphics had become hopelessly
bogged down. So, ironically, our main internal compute engine
is 32-bit and my desktop is 64. Go figure. I'm using my
laptop for most code development and for making xmgrace
figures for publication.
On Sat, Jul 08, 2006 at 05:40:37PM +0100, Jimmy Tang wrote:
> On 7/8/06, Art Edwards <email@example.com> wrote:
> >I have been writing to the list about two applications that
> >are so broken on the AMD64 distribution that they render the
> >box pretty useless. I'm sure one could say that two measly
> >applications are no big deal. However, if you do scientific computation
> >for a living, and two of the primary tools are broken, you now have
> >a rather clumsy paperweight where a computer should be. You could
> >argue that we should simply learn new tools, and we could, but we
> >should really be doing science instead.
> >This brought up the question, who uses 64 bit Linux anyway?
> >Surely gamers do not drive the 64-bit linux community. It can't be the
> >community, seeing that the standard office tool doesn't really
> >work for 64-bit. I would think that scientific and engineering
> >users would drive this community. Besides the instruction set, which
> >can probably give some speed, but wouldn't justify the cost, the address
> >space in 64-bit OS's mean that we can solve much larger problems. Unles
> >not doing some heavy-duty, memory-intensive computation, 64-bits seems
> >to be simply a status symbol.
> >For compute servers the amd64 distribution is fine. All you really need
> >languages (compilers), libraries and decent MPICH. We run our small, 32
> >Beowulf on debian with abandon, and from my experience, I look forward to
> >converting it to amd64 ... with a 32-bit node where things actually work.
> >Unless such core pieces as the debugging tool (ddd) and the data display
> >(xmgrace) are working, it is dishonest to pretend that the 64-bit version
> >is ready for testing. It would be very nice if you, and other distro's,
> >to put appropriate caveats on the websites, saying that 64-bit is really
> >ready for the prime-time desktop. That way, we could make better
> At the risk of imposing what we do at our work place onto your work flow, i
> find that users generally should have access to better debuggers/profilers
> than what ships with standard gnu distros. presumably if you are doing
> scientific computations, you probably have access to a commercial compiler?
> i know that the portland group compilers ship with a fairly good gui
> debugger if you are not satisfied with gdb (in parallel attached to each
> running process)
> also shouldnt users be using programs like xmgrace on their local
> workstations? again with out trying to impose my workflow to yours, i find
> sometimes users do silly things on the head node on clusters, and I tend to
> try and get my users to do post analysis etc... stuff that can run serially
> on their own desktops whenever possible.
> Jimmy Tang
> Trinity Centre for High Performance Computing,
> Lloyd Building, Trinity College Dublin.