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From: Jeff Squyres (jsquyres_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-10-24 17:00:46


On Oct 11, 2007, at 3:04 PM, Amit Kumar Saha wrote:

>> But I have had the opportunity to look at the documentation
>> support for
>> some of the other MPI distributions. In particular, the LAM/MPI
>> documentation seems the most interesting so far.
>>
>> http://www.lam-mpi.org/using/docs/
>>
>> They provide a User Guide
>> http://www.lam-mpi.org/download/files/7.1.4-user.pdf
>> an Installation Guide
>> http://www.lam-mpi.org/download/files/7.1.4-install.pdf

Heh. I wrote all of these. :-)

>> and a number of internal API guides.
>>
>> The User Guide chapters include
>>
>>
>> Release Notes
>> Getting Started
>> Supported MPI Functionality
>> System Services Interface Overview (is there an Open MPI equivalent?)
>> Command-line Quick Reference
>> Information about internal modules
>> Debugging with TotalView and other debuggers
>> Troubleshooting
>> Misc details

>> The whole thing, in pdf is about 120 pages.

It took a long time to write. :-)

>> How close does this outline fit into Open MPI? How much internal
>> details
>> would be useful to users?

I think it's a reasonable outline for Open MPI as well -- I think the
topics are more-or-less MPI-independent. And even if they weren't,
Open MPI is a direct descendent of LAM/MPI, so the topics are
definitely relevant.

But then again, I'm slightly biased. ;-)

We have the LaTeX source for all of those docs if it would be
helpful. I.e., the content can be cut-n-pasted into a new format (I
think we all agree that LaTeX is not the way that we want to go for
OMPI docs).

>> They also have some LAM/MPI specific tutorials at
>> http://www.lam-mpi.org/tutorials/

Some of these, transmorgified for OMPI, would also be useful.

>> All of this looks like an interesting model to follow.
>> Comments?
>
> This seems a reasonable model to follow, basically because it
> addresses the problem of learning to use MPI from scratch - right from
> installation to debugging.
>
> I think we can split the docs into sections.
>
> One section should target end-users - ranging from newbies, to
> power users.
>
> Another section could be for developers, parallel programming
> researchers- Internal details of the Open MPI can be a part of this
> section and will be best done with some help from the Open MPI
> developers.

I'd like to target end-user documentation first. Once that is
significantly under way, then perhaps we can talk about developer
documentation.

Note that by "end user", I mean the following groups of people:

- people who build and run MPI applications
- people who write MPI applications
- system administrators who install Open MPI

And by "developer", I mean:

- people who develop Open MPI

More specifically, "people who write MPI applications" is covered in
"end user" documentation -- not "developer" documentation. The
distinction is because I do not want to re-hash the MPI standard in
Open MPI documentation.

-- 
Jeff Squyres
Cisco Systems