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[Caml-list] Request: matrix_init function in Array
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Date: 2003-02-13 (17:29)
From: Brian Hurt <brian.hurt@q...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Request: matrix_init function in Array

Here's my problem with a matrix module: when I see a module named Matrix,
I immediately think linear algebra- BLAS.  A full-on BLAS implementation
might be usefull, but probably way more work than most people think it 
would be to do right.  Oh, doing it the obvious way would be simple enough 
for anyone who passed linear algebra.  Doing it right gives you a 10x or 
better speed up.

Two papers anyone who *wants* to do a full-on Ocaml BLAS should read 
(IMHO) are:

(BLAS isn't the only, or necessarily even the best, interface)

(Shows the importance of blocking *and* copying in matrix operations)

Throw in vectorizing kernels using SSE-2, and you've got yourself a fair 
bit of work there.


On Thu, 13 Feb 2003, Chris Hecker wrote:

> >I don't agree with you: a Matrix module would definitively end
> >questions and requests on trivial functionality about matrices.
> I just reviewed 10384 messages to caml-list from the past 2 years.  Of 
> around 40 separate questions containing the word "matrix", only 3 (or 5 
> being incredibly generous) would even be affected by having a Matrix 
> module, and it's not clear they'd be answered.  And that's ignoring any new 
> questions that might be generated by the module's existence itself if it's 
> implemented.
> The point is that a) there are just not many questions pertaining to this 
> topic, and b) any Matrix module you guys implemented would either be a toy, 
> or it'd take forever to write and still not please people who really use 
> matrices for real work (which account for 90% of the questions referenced 
> above).
> As far as I can tell (unless I'm missing a bunch of caml-list messages), 
> the questions relating to this on the caml-list are simply not worth a 
> Matrix module that takes even just a couple days of the core caml team's 
> time.  I can name probably 20 equivalently sized tasks that would help way 
> more people who are trying to use caml and answer way more future 
> questions, and that only the core team can do.
> Now, if you just have a hankering to write a matrix module, that's cool, go 
> for it.  But if you goal is to spend 2 days and solve as many caml 
> programmers' problems as possible, this is not the place to spend it.
> How about this as a counterproposal:  I will personally, promptly, and 
> tirelessly answer any and all matrix related questions on the caml-list for 
> the remainder of 2003 if you will work on something more important?  :)
> The key thing is that anybody on this list could write the Matrix 
> module.  There are lots of things that only the core caml team can do.
> Okay, I'm done wasting your time.  Sorry if this came off as rude, I didn't 
> intend it that way.
> Thanks,
> Chris

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