Re: amber-developers: Testing Amber Tools

From: Scott Brozell <>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 10:30:15 -0700 (PDT)


On Tue, 6 May 2008, David A. Case wrote:

> On Mon, May 05, 2008, Scott Brozell wrote:
> > Apparently management decided boost was worth the cost,
> come know that Wei (not "management") decides what happens with
> gleap. I don't have a clue about how/why boost is needed for gleap, nor how
> we merge boost bugfixes into our code, nor what we will do when Wei gets run
> over by a bus and no one else understands how that code works.
> Let's at least get a check in configure_at for version 1.1 that checks for
> gcc/g++ >=3.4 on cygwin/linux (and maybe version 4.x on Solaris and MacOSX),
> and skips gleap compilation with an appropriate informational message if a
> compliant compiler is not available. (Not clear to me where we stand
> with AIX.)

subsequent developments in this thread indicate that management does
have influence; so I added bug 87 for this.

> > Management cant face that C++ is a better C.
> My point: C++ allows (encourages) people to write code that I can't read or

It is really hard to believe that you cannot read or debug C++.
As for the unnamed people, are they using C effectively, eg,
using -Wall, testing often, committing routinely ?

> debug. And I'm not the only one in this situation. If you get good returns
> by allowing flexible code, or less susceptibility to errors, fine.
> Too often,

What other evidence exists ?

> what you get looks like
> > The code mixes C and C++ headers, mixes iostreams with fprintf
> > statements, and still calls malloc/calloc to allocate arrays. As far as I can
> > see, it sends the wrong type arguments to calloc(). It provides a facility
> > for making natoms an unsigned long long variable(!), but never bothers to
> > check the return from calloc(), which might seem prudent if your system has
> > more than 4 billion atoms. and so on.
> For *this particular problem* (read a data file, calculate and print a result,
> quit) my view is that the language bears some of the responsibility here.

This problem is easier to write in C++ in my view.
Probably elsize started from a C program and got augmented.
Possibly worse than started from fortran 77 and augmented with f90,
but I wonder whether it's mostly just garbage in, ...

> Plus, it is the only program in Amber10 that requires C++: we could reduce our
> compiler requirements to just Fortran90 and C if this could be rewritten.

Reducing compiler requirements is worthwhile.
I'm interested in the data of user experiences. So far bug 56 and
bugfix2 don't persuade me that C++ has more user burdeon than language X.

Received on Sun May 11 2008 - 06:07:31 PDT
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