Useful Sticky Notes

Friday, October 31, 2014

Quick Updates - Development Focus

I apologize for the lack of any new posts over the past few months. I'd been suffering from some health issues that limited my ability to focus on technical matters. It has gotten better now, and I am trying to do some catching up.

It has recently occurred to me that my background of working with HPC tools and codes over a wide range of HPC software stacks and platforms, had left me with a development experience that is ad-hoc and poorly structured. This realization was coupled with the understanding that I now only possess the Mac OS X development environment as the only real convenient platform to work with. I can also do some work on my Windows machine via minGW, but it is really set up as my gaming platform. Finally, I do have Ubuntu on Virtualbox on my MacBook Pro on which to do Linux development, but that is fairly inconvenient. My living environment is also limiting any idea that I pick up a dedicated Linux box as an alternative. Finally, I realized that Mac OS X Darwin is not merely a Linux/Unix variant, but has its own set of internal design choices and implementation that make any naive approach to tool development from a Linux-centered perspective unproductive.

As such, I plan on taking a step back after the long hiatus to properly acquaint myself with Mac OS X internals from the perspective of a tool developer. Over the next few months, I will attempt to document my experiences and what I have learned as I try to implement common HPC tools design idioms. These idioms will include basics like attaching/coupling tool runtimes with user code/binaries at varying degrees of transparency. They will also include library wrapping and override idioms. These idioms will perhaps for the basis for my next article, to give readers a sense of where I am coming from with regards to my own software development background involving tools.

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