January 2009 Archives

Perl Monger Parallelism

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I have a modest proposal for making GSOC2009 the best and most productive year so far for The Perl Foundation.

There are currently 340 Perl Monger groups worldwide. If 10% of the Perl Monger groups world-wide could agree to find just one student application each, we would have 34 student applicants for 2009, more than double that of last year! Last year we had way more mentors than students, which was obviously a problem of getting the word out to prospective students.

Also, the community didn't "parallelize" and much of the burden of making GSOC2008 happen fell on the shoulders of Eric Wilhelm of PDX.pm, who herded cats and walked on tight-ropes to make everything happen. Thank You, Eric.

This year we need to harness the vast energy that is the global Perl community and focus our energy on things that strengthen us, not divide us. This year is gearing up to be a very exciting year for the Perl (and Parrot!) communities, the first full implementation of Perl 6, Rakudo, is getting ever closer.

Finding great students is the first step to a successful GSOC2009 and the 10% of .pm groups that help the Perl community find them will very much catalyze the process and ensure a happy and healthy Perlsphere.

Who's up for it?

See what people are talking about right now with this #gsoc tag aggregator and start networking in the community with Twitter or Identi.ca with the #perl tag.
I have started to hack on Math::GMP::SWIG, as a first step in trying to re-implement things with GMP that most Crypt::* modules use Math::Pari (the Perl interface to Pari) to accomplish. Mostly they have to do with testing primality, factoring integers and doing basic arithmetic operations as well as floor, sqrt and log on Big Numbers. You can grab the git repo with

git clone http://leto.net/code/Math-GMP-SWIG.git

The first thing I have implemented is nextprime, which returns the next prime larger than a given $x. This breaks the dependence of Crypt::Primes on Math::Pari's nextprime function. The reason that many people have voiced concerns over Perl continuing to use Math::Pari is that Math::Pari is extremely sensitive to new versions of Perl. Basically, a new version of Math::Pari must be made for almost every new version of Perl because it depends on XS internals that occasionally change. Math::Pari is written in XS, so it is a challenge to maintain.

A SWIG interface to Pari could be possible but I am more familiar with GMP and so I decided in that direction. I wrote some code in 2001 that calculated Pi with Ramunjan's famous formulas using GMP.  One algorithm gets 8 digits of precision per iteration and the other 14 digits per iteration.

I am preparing a TPF Grant proposal for this, so if any one has comments or suggestions, please comment or email me personally.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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