[Numpy-discussion] Dropping support for Accelerate/veclib?

Pauli Virtanen pav at iki.fi
Tue Jun 11 04:22:37 EDT 2013


numpy.distutils provides support for Accelerate+veclib on OSX,
but does not provide Fortran compiler flags that ensure that
the Fortran ABI used is compatible. As a result ASUM, SDOT,
(apparently also DDOT), and other common BLAS functions
return garbage when called with the wrong ABI.

This breaks parts of Scipy. (There's some code to hack around
this --- it worked on earlier versions of OSX, but apparently
is unreliable on 10.8, demonstrating that this approach is just
too brittle.)

Moreover, third-party module developers who use Fortran will not
be aware of this issue, so it may also break 3rd party code.

As far as I see, the options are:

1. Add -ff2c (or whatever is the correct flag for Accelerate)
   to the Fortran flags on OSX.

2. Drop support for Veclib/Accelerate.

I think Accelerate was also incompatible with multiprocessing,
which would weigh for option 2.

Pauli Virtanen

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