[IPython-dev] Discussion on Bruce Eckel's blog

Glenn H Tarbox, PhD glenn at tarbox.org
Thu Mar 20 10:15:14 EDT 2008

Perhaps its early and maybe I should wait a couplea hours before
responding to this...  My understanding is that Bruce Eckel is a serious
guy and someone due respect...

But the post is silly.  I really don't know where to start and I think
he should just delete it and we should forget it exists.  

Is he trying to discuss the issues of parallelism, threading, co-routine
abstractions, inter process-communication?  In the same brief blurb  he
discusses and mixes all four.  Makes mention of the GIL and how java
multithreading through co-routines (stackless???) are... what?  I got
confused even parsing the words.  none of these issues are related at
the level of the post.

Stack frames, threads, processes, IPC and netowrking are, clearly,
related but wildly different subjects... not to mention that none of
these have anything to do with solving parallel computing problems other
than we might want to use multiple computers and electricity...

Is the point that some of the packages mentioned make serializing
objects easier?

And IPython1?  Sure, there's a notion of a redesign to embrace actual
parallel computation issues, and even a couplea examples of how one
might use asynchronous models to implement map-reduce (or scatter-gather
or whatever) 

But the IPython1 effort is mostly about embracing the asynchronous model
(read Twisted) with a sugary sweet layer of IPython to make it a bit
less painful.  Unless I missed a bunch of documentation somewhere
(certainly possible given the state of the documentation), this hardly
rises to: "a powerful architecture for parallel computing," 

So, please, lets not get into a debate over this article.  Its trivial
and muddled.  and lets certainly not believe our own line of BS if
someone did say something like this to Bruce.  IPython1 has a notion
that there should be an architecture and even some early examples... but
there's no new model, no power other than doing stuff correctly with
modern tools.

Hell, I'm not even sure Bruce got the relevant points about Numpy
right... maybe he spent a few too many hours in the lobby bar and needed
to spew a pre-defined number of words to justify the travel expense.


Glenn H. Tarbox, PhD
glenn at tarbox.org

On Thu, 2008-03-20 at 03:07 -0700, Fernando Perez wrote:
> Hi all,
> this may interest several of us here, since ipython is mentioned more
> than once.  By pycon'09 we'll have much more than 'claims' to present
> :)
> http://www.artima.com/forums/flat.jsp?forum=106&thread=227073&start=0
> Cheers,
> f
> _______________________________________________
> IPython-dev mailing list
> IPython-dev at scipy.org
> dev

More information about the IPython-dev mailing list