[TUHS] Do Interface specifications such POSIX or the LSB Still Matter

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Sat Feb 17 04:36:14 AEST 2018

On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 10:45 AM, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> Meh, not really.  Until Git ate our market, we supported everything you
> might imagine.  Windows, MacOS, Linux-{x86,x86_64,sparc,ppc,itanium,mips},
> AIX, IRIX, HP-UX, Solaris.
> Source base of 2.6 million lines of code and docs.
​Did you have messaging (Co-Arrays, MPI or SHMEM) mixed in?  I'm guess
not., but your system is (was) extensive so I'm asking....
Commercial HPC code from folks like Western Geco, Ansys, Pam and the like
Within a manufacturer these can differ.   Want to run both Pam Crash and
Fluent -- be careful, their MPI's libraries were (may still be) mutually

> ​....​
>  We limited our stuff to very basic
> ​ ​
> stuff
​Yup -- very wise.   Simple library to insulate you from OS.
Did you shipped statically bound or use *.so's
Also how much are you dependant on OS databases (password & credential
libraries and other things  stored in /etc, /usr/lib or /var)​?
​This is were even within Linux, life can get messy pretty fast.​

> I think it gets harder the more "fancy" you get.  If you are doing
> commandline/compute stuff it's pretty easy.
​Agreed... but multi-thousand costing/leasing @ dollar/euro codes because
they save you millions at the design, or before you drill time, tend to
have a high bar.


> Want video?  Oh, my.

> Want sound?  Oh, my.
> I don't see any standard trying to fix that cross platform, windows and
> Linux are too different.  Though maybe the Linux on windows stuff solves
> that?  I dunno.
In the old days, I was just trying to be consistent within UNIX flavors so
we created POSIX.
These days, ​I'm just trying to be consistent within Linux ... so I've
tried to use LSB to define something for an ISV that they can rely.

> Netflix does a lot in AWS.  And they care about performance.  But they
> code around the variance that you get from containers, I could see that
> as an issue for the old school fortran people.
​Good .. you get it.​

> I'm sort of struggling to see what problem it is you want to solve.
​Without revealing the ISV, I know very well know HPC ISV that used to have
a >>Linux<< only test matrix of over 140 perminations before they could
release and they only supported RH and SuSE.   But between different
manufacturers, distributed file systems, interconnect, messaging stacks,
compilers *et al​*

*​ *it got messy very fast.​

We helped to that down to a much smaller number today and I think they now
may even include Ubuntu, but maybe not; because most of the
commercial folks are traditionally RH or SuSE (HPC moving to a more cloud
oriented deployment have cause the push for Ubuntu support by the ISVs).
But most commercial folks doing traditional scientific work loads run their
own clusters (and are not cloud based )-- for a number of reasons.  As I
said, they like the HW by themselves, they tend to use fabrics for the
interconnect *etc*...

Thanks again,

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