[erlang-questions] Erlang and/or MPI
Jesper Louis Andersen
Sun Jun 30 21:21:24 CEST 2013
On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 3:26 AM, Richard A. O'Keefe <>wrote:
> Except for commands typed at the shell, Erlang is compiled, not
> And there is a native code generator; c(File, [native]) does the trick if
> native code generation was enabled at build time.
> And the native code generator exploits -spec declarations (and some type
> inference) to avoid boxing floats some of the time.
It is bytecode interpreted to be precise. It is faster than blind
AST-interpretation, but it is not really what I would call compiled in the
sense of compiled-to-native-code. The native code generator can help for
certain types of programs, but it does not yield enough speedup to make it
interesting in my opinion.
> So Erlang might well make good sense as a language for prototyping an
> application, even a floating-point one, to the point where you can do
> some benchmarking and find out where the time is really going.
For prototyping, Erlang is definitely an excellent vehicle. Haskell could
be even better in this situation though.
> My experience has been that Fortran is *still* the King if you want
> serious floating-point performance, and modern Fortran is a serious
> modular programming language. GNU Fortran has _nearly_ caught up
> with the 2003 standard, which saw some serious additions to the language.
> Coarrays are part of the 2008 standard, and gfortran support for them is
> still incomplete, which is a pity, because they look extremely useful
> for this kind of problem. I haven't personally used the Intel Fortran
> compiler, but I've used the Intel C compiler, and Intel's Parallel
> Studio _looks_ impressive. I see the HPCWales systems have the Intel
Good point about Fortran.
> What's often an issue in floating-point calculations is algorithm design,
> and good facilities for managing abstractions may be more important than
> raw floating-point speed. Haskell is pretty good here, and there are
> some interesting libraries, like the beginnings of support for Geometric
> Algebra. There's certainly an HMM library (version 0.04, so be warned).
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