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Subject: Re: [OMPI users] MPI and C++ (Boost)
From: John Phillips (phillips_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-07-07 01:21:46

Terry Frankcombe wrote:

> I understand Luis' position completely. He wants an MPI program, not a
> program that's written in some other environment, no matter how
> attractive that may be. It's like the difference between writing a
> numerical program in standard-conforming Fortran and writing it in the
> latest flavour of the month interpreted language calling highly
> optimised libraries behind the scenes.
> IF boost is attached to MPI 3 (or whatever), AND it becomes part of the
> mainstream MPI implementations, THEN you can have the discussion again.
> Ciao
> Terry

   I guess we view it differently. Boost.MPI isn't a language at all. It
is a library written in fully ISO compliant C++, that exists to make
doing an otherwise complex and error prone job simpler and more
readable. As such, I would compare it to using a well tested BLAS
library to do matrix manipulations in your Fortran code or writing it
yourself. Both can be standard conforming Fortran (though many BLAS
implementations include lower level optimized code), and neither is a
flavor of the month interpreted language. The advantage of the library
is that it allows you to work at a level of abstraction that may be
better suited to your work.

   For you, as for everyone else, make your choices based on what you
believe best serves the needs of your program, whether that includes
Boost.MPI or not. However, making the choices with an understanding of
the options strengths and weaknesses gives the best chance of writing a
good program.


PS - I am not part of the MPI Forum, but I would be surprised if they
chose to add boost to any MPI version. Possibly an analog of Boost.MPI,
but not all of boost. There are over 100 different libraries, covering
many different areas of use in boost, and most of them have no direct
connection to MPI.

PPS - If anyone would like to know more about Boost, I would suggest the
website ( or the user mailing list. Folks who don't
write in C++ will probably not be very interested.