[Haskell-cafe] Haskell for Physicists
jack at 0x6a.com
Wed Sep 30 16:00:55 EDT 2009
Khudyakov Alexey wrote:
> В сообщении от Среда 30 сентября 2009 23:08:02 вы написали:
>> Yep, sure did. I just hit `reply' assuming haskell-cafe was in the
>> reply-to. I do that more often than not it seems.
>> Going back to the OP, what area of physics, and how on earth are you
>> going to convert years of fortran users to haskell?
>> I mean, in particle physics (were I came from) it seems as though only
>> recently have they moved from fortran to C++ (note: C was skipped).
>> There are things written in python (like Athena) but, well..., they are
>> unreliable crap (I do like python though).
>> In fact, when I was in undergraduate, not 4 years ago, a PhD student was
>> writing his big QCD project in fortran from the ground up. I'm not even
>> familiar enough with fortran to attempt such a thing (I would have used
>> C). Case in point, I think there are some areas of physics that exist
>> as a communal project (i.e. experimental particle physics) and because
>> of this, you are limited to the tools and data used by your peers
>> (Athena, Geant4, etc...). It is really hard to introduce anything new.
>> So I guess my advice would be to avoid Haskell as a 'replacement' for
>> anything to a physicist (including mathematica -- which I never liked
>> myself). They will immediately ignore you. Approach it as a new tool,
>> and focus on what it can do that software-x can't.
> I'm particle physicist too. And sometimes I think that it would be better if
> they stay with fortran. Object-disoriented which is done in C++ scares me.
> Random segfaults in ROOT, or even worse segfault loops...
> It's possible to use safety as argument for haskell. Type safety, no
> As for existing code there are two strategies.
> First is to dump all code into Geneva lake. There are environmental concerns
> of course. And it's difficult to throw away "tested" code.
> Second one - do not touch it and use haskell for small isolated tasks. It's
> easier to do this in smaller experiments. I use haskell to process
> experimental data with reasonable success. Code is much cleaner and easier to
> understand that C++ code.
> In fact I just reworded your statement
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> Haskell-Cafe at haskell.org
Root has pissed me off more times than I can remember. I've also done
lots of Geant4 work (my thesis work actually), and that is a steaming
pile of OO confusion. Geant4 is getting close to 40MB of source, and it
is still nothing more than a library of interfaces to interfaces to
.... to the CLHEP C++ library. It is OOP gone mad. Not to mention
that if anyone asks for a feature implemented, it gets implemented.
There are features in the geant4 library that I'm sure even geant4
developers don't know about.
Functional programming should be the to-go tool in physics, but it
isn't. Somewhere down the road, someone thought OOP was the messiah and
worthy of a fortran replacement. I fail to see the logic in this.
If anything I would start by scolding the physicists in the room on
their programming practices. Then introduce Haskell as you wish. If I
were to give a talk about programming to physicists, the first words out
of my mouth would probably be "I'm embarrassed by you all."
Ok I'm done, I think you all get my point. A comp-sci minor should be
required for every physics major.
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