[Numpy-discussion] [SciPy-Dev] Upcoming revision of the BLAS standard

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris at gmail.com
Wed Nov 15 10:25:31 EST 2017

On Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 8:37 PM, Nathaniel Smith <njs at pobox.com> wrote:

> Hi NumPy and SciPy developers,
> Apparently there is some work afoot to update the BLAS standard, with
> a working document here:
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DY4ImZT1coqri2382GusXgBTTTVdB
> DvtD5I14QHp9OE/edit
> This seems like something where we might want to get involved in, so
> that the new standard works for us, and James Demmel (the first author
> on that proposal and a professor here at Berkeley) suggested they'd be
> interested to hear our thoughts.
> I'm not sure exactly what the process is here -- apparently there have
> been some workshops, and there was going to be a BoF today at
> Supercomputing, but I don't know what the schedule is or how they'll
> be making decisions. It's possible for anyone interested to click on
> that google doc above and make "suggestions", but it seems like maybe
> it would be useful for the NumPy/SciPy teams to come up with some sort
> of shared document on what we want?
> I'm really, really not the biggest linear algebra expert on these
> lists, so I'm hoping those with more experience will jump in, but to
> get started here are some initial ideas for things we might want to
> ask for:
> - Support for arbitrary strided memory layout
> - Replacing xerbla with proper error codes (already in that proposal)
> - There's some discussion about NaN handling where I think we might
> have opinions. (Am I remember right that currently we have to check
> for NaNs ourselves all the time because there are libraries that blow
> up if we don't, and we don't know which ones those are?)
> - Where the spec ends up giving implementors flexibility, some way to
> detect at compile time what options they chose.

Somewhat unrelated, but it would be nice to have 64 bit integers. That is
already possible with compiler flags, but it would help if there was an
easy way to tell what the compiled library was using.

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