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OpenMP at SuperComputing 08

By Archive User posted Thu November 20, 2008 12:14 AM


Originally posted by: Michael_Wong

The OpenMP Birds-of-a-Feather session at SC08 was very well attended. The room was full to overflowing, with approximately 60-80 people. while OpenMP had BOFs at SC in prior years, this is actually the first year that OpenMP has had a Booth on the Exhibitor floor as well.

The BOF had many elements, including what is new in OpenMP 3.0. They were:
1. Welcome and summary of ARB news
- 5 mins
- Larry Meadows

2. The three greatest things about OpenMP 3.0 and the three most
important things left out of OpenMP 3.0
- 15 mins
- Tim Mattson

3. Tasking
- 10 to 15 mins
- Alex Duran

4. Extending the OpenMP profiling API for OpenMP 3.0
- 10 to 15 mins
- Oleg Mazurov

5. Announcements:
- 5 mins total
- IWOMP'09 announcement - Matthias Mueller
- OpenMP book examples - Ruud van der Pas

6. Panel "How to kill OpenMP by 2011"
- 35 mins
- Moderator:
Larry Meadows
- Panelists:
Tim Mattson
Bronis de Supinski
Christian Terboven
Jesus Labarta

7. Wrap up
- 5 mins
- Larry Meadows

For a description, you can find lots of detail here, including a downloadable summary card of the 3.0 Specification.


I met a number of people during my afternoon session manning the booth on Wednesday 2-6 pm, including one of the original founder of OpenMP, an instructor on using OpenMP in graduate courses as well as a consultant, among many others. I invite them all to drop me a note here so we can continue our discussion.

One thing that was surprising to many folks was the many compilers that already have 3.0 implementation, despite the specification ratifying only in May 2008. The companies with 3.0 implementation includes IBM, Sun, PGI, and soon Intel. Note I am just reading this from the net and have no insight into other company's or even my own company's release schedule. GNU should have something by 4.4. Same disclaimer.

One thing that happened at the OpenMP BOF was a panel discussion on How to Kill OpenMP by 2012. This is kind of a fun session, especially at the end of a long day to not take yourself too seriously. The point is to showcase all the wrong ways in spreading a de-facto standard.

I have had some experience working with language designs through my various roles as standard rep, and compiler writer. So I thought I would give my $0.02 here on How to Kill OpenMP by 2012:
10. Don't implement the specification as stated.
9. Make it impossible to nail down ambiguities by having no way of addressing defects.
8. Ignore the user forum or suggestions
7. Add everyone's favorite feature, no matter how marginally useful.
6. Make the process as non-transparent as possible, so no one knows when you are ratifying, or even what you are doing.
5. Debate endlessly, on anything, not necessarily having anything to do with the language.
4. Design a feature as completely as possible before releasing it
3. Make no concession when taking a stance on objecting to someone's feature.
2. Form close-nit elitist groups and follow the NIH syndrome.
1. Don't organize any meetings, and when there are meetings, don't follow any rules.

Seriously, I have not found this to be a problem in any of the committees that I am a part of. Otherwise, we would not have made any progress. But we can always do better.