PathScale EKO Path 5 not for FreeBSD anymore?

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PathScale EKO Path 5 not for FreeBSD anymore?

O. Hartmann-4
A while ago - approximately three years from now, i was looking for a
GPGPU capable solution for usage on FreeBSD and I stepped into the
compilers from PathScale which are supposed to handle OpenACC (like
OpenMP #pragma omp, but in this case #pragma openacc instead).

Well, there was hope since PathScale obviously had a FreeBSD commercial
solution. It was in BETA stage that time, I applied for getting a
testing copy, but never got an answer, even having had contact to
Christopher Bergström, CTO at PathScale.

Looking today at Phoronix,

(http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=pathscale_ekopath_5beta&num=1),

I read this benchmarking and followed the links which say that PathScale
opensourced their compiler suite a while ago

(http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=pathscale_ekopath4_open&num=1)

I was curious and looked at PathScales website where I found three years
ago also FreeBSD mentioned as a supported platform, but see foryourself,
what supported platforms today mentioned there:

http://www.pathscale.com/ekopath-compiler-suite

Well, at the end, this means there is simply no binary or package that
could be installed easily for scientists interested in that compiler.

I do not know whether there are motivations to produce a FreeBSD 10/9
compatible package from the newly emitted PathScale EKO Patch 5 Beta
compiler sources, which are available at github:

https://github.com/path64/compiler

Well, the official website of PathScale doens't mention FreeBSD anymore
and this must have a reason why they droped support or any intention to
support that OS. From the perspective of a "user", I'm the lonely
"idiot" within kilometres using FreeBSD for my day-to-day scientifice
work and sacrifice myself not having GPGPU capabilities. Something is
really going into the wrong direction here.

I'm very interested in the reasoning why PathScale droped FreeBSD and I
guess it would be nice to reveal the reasons.

Am I blind or is this again another erosion process of an operating
system usefull even for scientific purposes?

Well, I'm aware that my posting triggers again a lot of emotional
discussions (I guess), since it did in the past. I try to evaluate the
situation from the perspective of a "user", not someone who needs to be
a Os engineer to use an OS. It is a kind of deep running frustration to
see how the next great compiler suite for scientific purpose is simply
vanishing - as it did with the NAG compilers which were offered for
freeBSD as well as other OSs at the end of 1990s. Now there is no
offering anymore.

Regards,
Oliver


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Re: PathScale EKO Path 5 not for FreeBSD anymore?

Anton Shterenlikht
Oliver

I try to use FreeBSD for day-to-day numerical
work, as far as possible. I have to complement
it with linux cluster systems, largely due to
a range of compilers available there.

Anyway, keep me posted if you get anywhere with this.

Anton
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Re: PathScale EKO Path 5 not for FreeBSD anymore?

O. Hartmann-4
Am 02/20/13 10:09, schrieb Anton Shterenlikht:

> Oliver
>
> I try to use FreeBSD for day-to-day numerical
> work, as far as possible. I have to complement
> it with linux cluster systems, largely due to
> a range of compilers available there.
>
> Anyway, keep me posted if you get anywhere with this.
>
> Anton
Hello Anton.

The good German wine was talking yesterday, I guess. On PathScales
EKOPath 4 website, FreeBSD and OpenSOLARIS are still mentioned and its
HMPP, not OpenACC, that is used inline code. I have first to
apologize for the depressive mood I spread around.

It is EKOPath 5 BETA (webpage) that doesn't mention FreeBSD as supported
platform - as one can easily see and watch at the intro page right
bottom corner.

The "community" of FreeBSD systems is decreasing from year to year and
as David Chisnall reported in a reply on my posting, it seems to be a
"mindshare" thing. Too many people are talking about "business" -
business isn't the motivator, science is and this may be a special view
of my country. BSD was developed at Berkeley in a very scientific manner
and therefore it is a very strong "logical" system - apart from the crap
Lnux started with.

I think it is unwise to talk about philosphy at this moment. The fact
is, that I'm the only one in my department that is using FreeBSD on two
remaining servers (one is a small storage server) and my personal lab
workstation - my private systems are all FreeBSD, but that is not the
matter here.

The equipment I bought when we had to spend money on the project's
funding is quite "impressive" for a under the desk workstation - I
guess. We also had the chance to purchase a Dell Precision 7500
workstation with a TESLA 2075 board and two 6-core Westmere CPUs at 2,6
GHz with 96 GB RAM - for modelling and rendering purposes (sometimes our
scientific work in the planetology field requires to do PR for funding,
so we render also ...). Having FreeBSD in the first place on that box
everything worked quite well, since the drivers were applicable to the
provided hardware, even the TESLA card was accepted by the nVidia BLOB.
But that's it. We swapped to Suse Linux since the developer working on
that system required OpenCL thriving the GPU for large DTM rendering.

Our cluster system (Rocks) is pure Linux. We have a lot of Dell stuff
around here, equipted with expensive iDRAC modules. They're supposed to
get accessed via JAVA. From FreeBSD/Firefox, I can not start the console
due to a JAVA error. Dell rejects support, since FreeBSD isn't
supported. Yes, and this is the meaning of platform indepenedency ... It
is also a political thing.

Another thing, that seems unlogical is the MIT/BSD/CDDL versus GPLv3
licensing issue.
FreeBSD, as the other *BSDs, are supposed to have the most "advanced"
licensing model in terms of academic freedom and even for companies
benefit from such a free licensing model. GPLv3 is curcified as the evil
license and even companies which have an interest protecting their code
should look at the BSD systems - but the fact is: Linux all over the
place. What is wrong with this picture? The opinion shared within THIS
community or a real blindness?

Funding companies or professional developers for developing KMS, GEM and
other stuff is one thing. Why is there no effort to fund students
working on their Diploma Thesis or Dissertation with regards to develop
methods, code or functionality to FreeBSD in a "wide and open manner",
so that it can be used platform independend? It is just an idea and it
is a question that the FreeBSD Foundation has to answer and to decide on.

The other very bad thing is the information I have to gather. Somehow I
feel lost when looking for software for my work, even it is very
popular. Gathering informations from many places - as it is with "WHICH
PROFESSIONAL COMPILER WORKS ON FREEBSD WITH PROFESSIONAL HIGH
PERFORMANCE MATH LIBS" is horrible and time consuming. try it on Google
with the tag "Linux" makes you happy within seconds.

And back to our case. For instance, meshalb is a very powerful tool used
by many people working with point cloud data. Since more than half a
year that port is broken on FreeBSD and that drove to scientists away
from my FreeBSD installation to Linux - where is works perfectly -
magically.

Well, we have now devel/freeocl in the ports to provide a bit OpenCL
stuff on FreeBSD - but on the CPU, not the GPU. My next attempt is to
provide a port of devel/pocl, which isn't fit for FreeBSD in version 0.7
as there is a typo regarding amd64 and the x86_64 terminology, but those
guys from Finnlandia are very, very nice and also PRO(!) freeBSd, so
they told me that there is alsready a patch in the GIT. I haven't had
the time to look at this since I'm consumed due to writing my thesis at
the moment, but THERE IS STUFF of interest, but if it is a
lonely-hunter-work only and the interest of the community is so low on
such stuff even of the professional people hired to code for FreeBSD,
then ... well, I lack in the necessary words.

I'm too young to talk with the old guys from the great time of X11
(Leffler) or BSD (McKusick) and all the pioneer work done in that time,
but the great spirit seems to be lost due to "companies" and this
golden-valve-people attitude of money, money, money.

Sorry about the last sentence, as i said, philosphie in a depressive
mood can be devastating.

Well ...

regards,

Oliver





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Re: PathScale EKO Path 5 not for FreeBSD anymore?

Mark Felder-4
I've been talking to others and it seems that several of us are convinced  
that BSD is back on the uptake, so I wouldn't be so quick to mark its  
demise. :-)
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