Sun Microsystems high-performance research software project

John Ravella johnr at
Thu Mar 22 19:57:31 CET 2007


On Mar 22, 2007, at 5:23 AM, Torbjorn Granlund wrote:

> John Ravella <johnr at> writes:
>   The Sun engineers assigned to this project are committed to work
>   within the communities guidelines so contributed code would serve
>   all supported platforms--they they are interested in maximizing
>   performance on Sun, but I don't believe they plan contributing
>   Sun-only code.
> Ah, we should not be surprised if some Sun developed PowerPC and
> Itanium assembly improvements for GMP pops up?  :-)
> (For those that don't know: GMP's speed depends to a large degree on
> processor specific assembly code.)

I was not aware of this and could be a problem under the guideline of  
"no platform specific code". SUn is interested in porting and/or  
tuning GMP to a grid platform rather than a single computer--where, I  
assume, the assembler code would be needed. BTW: Does GMP run on a grid?

>   Although I cannot speak for Sun's business plans, they have  
> expressed
>   interest in hosting a select number of these applications in their
>   SunGrid hosting centers and providing compute power back to the
>   research user communities--your users.
> Our users will be happy.

Sun would also be happy.

> But your statement might be based in a misunderstanding.  GMP is not
> "a corporate product" of any company, such as the company that hosts
> this mailing list.  There is no company that will benefit from a
> computer vendor project on making some GMP improvements.

Sun does not care if GMP is a "corporate product" only that it's used  
and popular to perform research. Sun's efforts are aimed at the user  
community--not a company.

> I am migrating the GMP project away from the domain--the web
> site has already moved to and the mailing lists
> will move soon.  The idea is to de-associate GMP from Swox and thus
> avoid misunderstanding.

This is not a problem.

> If Sun has plans for making GMP more useful for their benefit, it will
> not necessarily help the GNU project's GMP library.  I know some Free
> Software projects have maintainers that are in academia, with funding
> in place and plenty of time for accepting external patches.  Other
> projects, GNU/Linux is a good example, are partially funded by support
> contracts, which are an incentive for integration of external patches.
> Neither is is the case for GMP.  There are no already paid for
> developer resources that can take care of corporate GMP patches.

Forgive me but I do not understand the tone of this conversation.   
Would the GMP community be interested in Sun's contributions if they  
conformed to the community's governance and without preconditions?

> -- 
> Torbjörn

John Ravella
johnr at

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