[Beowulf] How Can Microsoft's HPC Server Succeed?

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Sat Apr 5 09:28:38 PDT 2008


On 4/4/08, Joe Landman <landman at scalableinformatics.com> wrote:
>
>
> Sadly, when I taught some HPC usage/programming classes a few years ago at
> my alma mater, the students varied between knowledgeable scientific
> computing users in chemistry/physics/biology, to people who "knew" Java and
> C++.  The latter couldn't program in C for some reason.  No. Really.  Stop
> laughing.  (for those that don't get it, C++ is C with some extra stuff
> added on ... they are for all intensive porpoises, the same language if you
> ignore OO stuff, generics/templates ...)
>
> I'm sympathetic with C++ programmers who "can't program in C". It's
trivial for me to code in C++: I can just write K&R C, it compiles and does
what I want, because C is (with minute exceptions) a subset of C++. The
reverse is not the case: C++ is a large language (compare Stroustrop's book,
which looks like the Wheeler Misner Thorn holding down RGB's desk, to
Kernighan & Ritchie; and Thompson's formal definition of B is like 3 pages).
Few people know all the formal definition of C++, much less all the standard
libraries; most work effectively with a subset. People who think of writing
to a file as piping through a stream may not be aware of "printf" or "putc",
and they need not be; unless you asked them to write someting that would
compile in ANSI C89. However, I would expect that a competent C++ programmer
could **learn** C pretty quickly.

Peter
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