Let me reiterate my (minimal, compared to other developers) support to the OpenMPI project. If all it takes is to build and run regression tests on a platform to add a feather in the cap, I am willing to do it.
The low interest in Windows platform does not surprise me; most HPC infrastructures use a Unix-like setup, and those few who do use Windows likely use Microsoft's own HPC server and MPI stack rather than OpenMPI.
That said, I believe that we should continue supporting Windows for this one reason, if nothing else: since Windows comes preinstalled on all PCs, new entrants to the field of computer programming are starting on a Windows based machine. By providing Windows support for OpenMPI, we will make the project accessible to the younger generation and ensure they adopt it when they enter the work force. That is another reason that makes me think that just because few people asked for it explicitly, few people are actually using it, as the newbie types usually do not make explicit requests.
Sorry for my late reply; I've been in the MPI Forum and Open MPI engineering meetings all week. Some points:
1. Yes, it would be a shame to lose all the Windows support that Shiqing did.
2. Microsoft has told me that they're of the mindset "the more, the merrier" for their platform (i.e., they'd love to have more than one MPI on Windows, but probably can't help develop/support Open MPI on windows). Makes perfect sense to me.
3. I see that we have 2 volunteers to keep the build support going for the v1.6 series, and another volunteer to do continued development for v1.7 and beyond. But all of these would need good reasons to go forward (active Open MPI Windows users, financial support, etc.). It doesn't look like there is much support.
4. I'm bummed to hear that Windows building is broken in 1.6.x. $%#$%#@!! If anyone wants to take a gander at fixing it, I'd love to see your patches, for nothing other than just maintaining Windows support for the remainder of the 1.6.x series. But per #3, it may not be worth it.
5. Based on this feedback, it seems like we should remove the Windows support from the OMPI SVN trunk and all future versions. It can always be resurrected from SVN history if someone wants to pick up this effort again in the future.
On Dec 6, 2012, at 11:07 AM, Damien wrote:
> So far, I count three people interested in OpenMPI on Windows. That's not a case for ongoing support.
> On 04/12/2012 11:32 AM, Durga Choudhury wrote:
>> Since I did not see any Microsoft/other 'official' folks pick up the ball, let me step up. I have been lurking in this list for quite a while and I am a generic scientific programmer (i.e. I use many frameworks such as OpenCL/OpenMP etc, not just MPI)
>> Although I am primarily a Linux user, I do own multiple versions of Visual Studio licenses and have a small cluster that dual boots to Windows/Linux (and more nodes can be added on demand). I cannot do any large scale testing on this, but I can build and run regression tests etc.
>> If the community needs the Windows support to continue, I can take up that responsibility, until a more capable person/group is found at least.
>> On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM, Damien <email@example.com> wrote:
>> I completely missed the message about Shiqing departing as the OpenMPI Windows maintainer. I'll try and keep Windows builds going for 1.6 at least, I have 2011 and 2013 Intel licenses and VS2008 and 2012, but not 2010. I see that the 1.6.3 code base already doesn't build on Windows in VS2012 :-(.
>> While I can try and keep builds going, I don't have access to a Windows cluster right now, and I'm flat out on two other projects. I can test on my workstation, but that will only go so far. Longer-term, there needs to be a decision made on whether Windows gets to be a first-class citizen in OpenMPI or not. Jeff's already told me that 1.7 is lagging behind on Windows. It would be a shame to have all the work Shiqing put in gradually decay because it can't be supported enough. If there's any Microsoft/HPC/Azure folks observing this list, or any other vendors who run on Windows with OpenMPI, maybe we can see what can be done if you're interested.
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