[Numpy-discussion] Fortran was dead ... [was Re: rewriting NumPy code in C or C++ or similar]

Yung-Yu Chen yyc@solvcon....
Tue Mar 15 12:01:19 CDT 2011

On Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 12:10, Christopher Barker <Chris.Barker@noaa.gov>wrote:

> On 3/15/11 8:33 AM, Charles R Harris wrote:
> > There really isn't a satisfactory array library for C++. The fact that
> > every couple of years there is another project to produce one testifies
> > to that fact.
> And I think not just the fact that there is not one, but that perhaps
> C++ the language, or maybe the culture, simply doesn't support that way
> of thinking.
> I've been slowly arriving to the conclusion that that is no place for
> C++ in programming. If you really need to twiddle bits, use C. If you
> need high performance numerics, use Fortran. If you need high level
> complex data structures, use Python.
I can't agree more.

I really love the capabilities Fortran provides for quick array operations,
especially floating-points.  What I think Fortran is still lacking is better
support of C pointers and structures.  I once wrote all number-crunching
code in Fortran and then interfaced it from Python, but the long argument
list is too annoying.  I then translate everything to C, which makes life
much easier.  I also get the bonus of straightforward porting to CUDA (and
OpenCL when it's ready).

Column-majoring of Fortran arrays is also annoying, but manageable.

C++ has its strengths.  But as the mixing-language approach is becoming more
and more mature, I think C++ will gradually lose ground.


> And the fact that using all these in the same program is pretty easy
> makes it all possible.
> -Chris
> --
> Christopher Barker, Ph.D.
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Yung-Yu Chen
PhD candidate of Mechanical Engineering
The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
+1 (614) 859 2436
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