PVM: Retire or not to retire?

M. Edward (Ed) Borasky znmeb at znmeb.net
Wed Dec 3 19:49:53 UTC 2014

PVM in particular and high-performance computing in general are
severely broken in most Linux distros and applications. First of all,
there's licensing - the GPU folk, especially NVidia, aren't willing to
back down as long as their intellectual property strategies are making
them rich. For example, I took a stab at enabling OpenCL on Fedora 21
after seeing it in the release notes and ran into a bunch of bugs and
piss-poor / non-existent documentation.

Second, most of this stuff is "clever hacks" by scientists who aren't
software engineers. I'm somewhat unique - I've spent a big chunk of my
life in scientific applications programming / software engineering,
but most scientists have to be taught the basics - the shell, version
control, etc. - by the likes of the Software Carpentry project.

Personally, I say "go ahead and kick PVM out of Fedora." IMHO a distro
should provide the kernel, compilers and interpreters, installers,
desktops, filesystems, virtualization, etc. and end-user applications
/ language communities should distribute stuff that works on any
distro. Nobody's going to be "the best distro for" bioinformatics,
audio engineering, robotics, web design, etc. - that's not the way
open source works.

On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 10:39 AM, Richard Shaw <hobbes1069 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Is anyone going to scream if PVM get's retired?
> Upstream was last updated in 2009 as far as I can tell...
> It's packaging is atrocious...
> The source is copied to the buildroot and compiled in place...
> It violates the packaging guidelines in multiple bad ways...
> Also see: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1029469
> If someone wants/needs it then they need to step up and fix the open bugs
> and at least make an attempt at getting ti closer aligned to the packaging
> guidelines.
> Thanks,
> Richard
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