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Brian Silvers

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Message 5353 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 1:50:51 UTC - in response to Message 5350.  
Last modified: 8 Oct 2008, 1:56:58 UTC


I guess Matthias is Crunch3rs real name?


Yes. He's linked to on the BOINC pages by his name...


You have to understand that Crunch3r was a volunteer developer at this project and already improved the performance of the official app a lot.


I understand what went on... That's just it, it went on, as in past tense.

I really believe he is a good guy, and you probably are as well, but what comes across to us native English-speakers at times (in PMs that I have had, not this specific situation) is that you seem a bit coy and / or unable to provide direct answers. I can see where this can lead to mistrust, both you of them and them of you...

In my opinion, the best way for you to move forward is to try to help without any attached strings (the "competition"), and if they are not willing to make the changes that you have made, provided your changes produce the same numerical result, then maybe you have a valid complaint.

And I am actually trying to avoid "taking Dave and Travis to school". I just told them, they should do their homework. If we start to discuss the code in the forum, then we will take them to school. And you can bet, it would be embarrassing for them. So it should be really in their own interest to implement the basic improvements alone. It isn't rocket science.


When you are under a tight deadline, the first objective is to just get it up and running. The second objective would be to go back and make it look prettier or run better. We do not know if they had a tight deadline or not, and you could perhaps say that you should write code the most efficient way the very first time, but let me ask you this question: Do you never make mistakes?

They could have ran all these tests completely inhouse. Is it asked too much, that they look to their code for a day or two before opening a Boinc project? For what do we pay our energy bills? Couldn't we spend our crunching power better at other projects?


When a project flat out states that they are Alpha, then you should expect these sorts of things to be present. I know that the code / application over at Orbit was extremely slow and buggy, and it may still be that way. That's why I've stayed away from it.

In other words, if your improvements were still needed at the Beta stage, that should indeed be seen as very poor and downright atrocious if released to production, but alpha-level is somewhat "ok". I know it's not ok because of the apparent poor performance is greatly wasting electricity (where oh where is Dagorath when you need him?), but hopefully you understand where I'm coming from...
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Message 5356 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 2:23:12 UTC - in response to Message 5320.  

at Dave: Is the new app. actually being worked on? It has been a LOT longer than initially said.


It is and we're working what was just said in. We're only going to be doing that calculation once. This is good progress. Now, if the people suggesting that we should get our act together could actually post in the application code suggestion board with code changes that would actually be proactive it would get things done much faster. We did not write most of this code. Astronomy students wrote this because it is essentially their project. We were just given the code to "BOINCify" it. We now have the problem of streamlining it and making it better and any help would be much appreciated. I can see some people have already done such things and my question is why would you hold it back from the community? Make code suggestions! This project is open to the community for the betterment of it. If people who used open source projects just kept the changes to themselves, the project would never go anywhere. We need people to suggest improvements in the code and help us out too.



I think you completely mistook what I asked. There have hardly been any updates on the new app.

What about Cruncher's app? That got shunned for being 'too' fast.
Doesn't expecting the unexpected make the unexpected the expected?
If it makes sense, DON'T do it.
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Message 5358 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 2:55:58 UTC - in response to Message 5353.  

I understand what went on... That's just it, it went on, as in past tense.

Yes, already some months ago. What are the improvements since February/March? Nothing? Nada? Njente?

I really believe he is a good guy, and you probably are as well, but what comes across to us native English-speakers at times (in PMs that I have had, not this specific situation) is that you seem a bit coy and / or unable to provide direct answers. I can see where this can lead to mistrust, both you of them and them of you...

Thanks that you think we are the good guys. But I guess you have to explain the other part a bit.
Did we fail to directly say what we want? I think our profile can't be more direct to be not too offensive. It was there from day zero (before we started to crunch). And I think I really try my best to explain our intentions here in the forum.

In my opinion, the best way for you to move forward is to try to help without any attached strings (the "competition"), and if they are not willing to make the changes that you have made, provided your changes produce the same numerical result, then maybe you have a valid complaint.

The interesting thing is that several guys with some programming experience who have looked into the source code (actually all I know of) simply couldn't believe it. My first question after looking to the code for five minutes was if that is really the right code. But it was.
The most frequent opinion of these guys was, that the project can't know what it is doing. And it is absolutely necessary, that they do know. And it is also the reason we think, just giving them the code does not help in the medium and long term.

When you are under a tight deadline, the first objective is to just get it up and running. The second objective would be to go back and make it look prettier or run better. We do not know if they had a tight deadline or not, and you could perhaps say that you should write code the most efficient way the very first time, but let me ask you this question: Do you never make mistakes?

I know what tight deadlines are, trust me. But how long is MW now up and running? When was the last change to the code? Of course I do mistakes, too. But at least I'm trying to correct them in a timely fashion.

When a project flat out states that they are Alpha, then you should expect these sorts of things to be present.

Buggy would be ok, unoptimized would be ok for alpha. But the way the MW code looks like is not ok, even for alpha. Remember, my version is also still unoptimized. I just cleaned up the worst things without changing the overall structure of the app. It can't be my task to teach the project how to write an application. After all, they have to be able to do it themselves. Otherwise this project would really be FUBAR.
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Brian Silvers

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Message 5359 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 4:29:59 UTC - in response to Message 5358.  
Last modified: 8 Oct 2008, 4:32:18 UTC


I really believe he is a good guy, and you probably are as well, but what comes across to us native English-speakers at times (in PMs that I have had, not this specific situation) is that you seem a bit coy and / or unable to provide direct answers. I can see where this can lead to mistrust, both you of them and them of you...

Thanks that you think we are the good guys. But I guess you have to explain the other part a bit.


Again, these are from past PM interactions across a few different projects. Without going into specifics, what I can say is that there is a consistent theme of giving a little bit of information and then expecting me to fill in the gaps. I'm not that intimately involved in the coding aspect because I have been involved in business logic for quite some time and just don't remember enough about scientific theories / laws to be of any good to anyone without some time to relearn, which I do not have the time right now. When I'm left with a "you figure the rest out", I basically stop thinking about the subject.

I do understand you may have a point about how they perhaps should be able to pick up and go, but my very brief look at the code, which I've just admitted that I'm not good at science stuff, but a brief look seems like a lot of this stuff was just ported straight in. There's a built-in assumption that if someone hands you code and has made a claim that it works, you probably are not going to do a lot of code review. If you did not retype the code and either just did a copy/paste or just straight brought in the .h and .c and/or .cpp files (I haven't looked at the entire zip yet), you may not have even looked at the code thoroughly. A lot of your borderline case of negligence hinges on how the code was presented to them.

I guess my point is, you do not know the circumstances for sure. They are asking for help now. Take them at their word. If they prove otherwise, then that is a different discussion for a different day...

Remember, my version is also still unoptimized. I just cleaned up the worst things without changing the overall structure of the app. It can't be my task to teach the project how to write an application. After all, they have to be able to do it themselves. Otherwise this project would really be FUBAR.


See, the problem is that many people are screaming wanting this done NOW. To satisfy those people (which appears to include yourself), they want to be pointed to the general areas that you (collectively) feel are inefficient.

If you don't want to rewrite the code for them, fine. At least tell them the general areas. Above all else, stop using the "us vs. them" language of a "challenge" to see who is better. That's not really all that productive.
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Profile[AF>HFR>RR] Black Hole Sun
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Message 5361 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 9:39:02 UTC

Hi all,

If I may add my 2 (euro) cents, one should never forget this is volunteer computing.
- On user side, we want our efforts to be used at their best. Because our efforts are time and money (electricity bill, hardware). But not only as we all have an interest into the science of the different projects (otherwise we wouldn't crunch for them): knowing that our efforts efficiency could be improved in such a drastic proportion is somewhat frustrating.
- On project side, never forget what is Boinc: a meaning for money-less projets to exist. If a project had funds, it would not need us: it would just buy or hire Crays to do the stuff. Money-less also means that a project requires the best balance between science, programming and hardware concerns. As far as I can guess from my Boinc experience, projects generally have scientific skills, poor programming skills and "hope it can deal with" hardware.

Now just imagine you're the scientist: your concern is science accuracy, above anything else. As no one can be an expert in all domains and as projects do not have enough funds to hire high level coders, programming is always "conservative". Check, double-check, million-check a result to be sure it is accurate. This can even lead to errors as you may compute several times something using different methods.

Milksop at try experiment proves MW coding needs a huge improvment. We crunchers deserve a better app for our $/€/£ spent crunching on this project. The project science deserves a better app. I think we all agree with that.

Now, flaming at the project admins will never make things go better: they do not have the computer skills (or time) to make the code better. Proving the possible efficiency and telling them "work on your f*cking code or I leave" is not enough. Here, computer skills are on user side, science skills are on project side. WORK TOGETHER !

All projects are interested in efficiency gains for their apps as long as science remains accurate. But those who know how to perform this need to explain/prove this to the scientists.

Nothing else to be said I think: work together.


Black Hole Sun

PS: for project admins (not only MW's), publishing your apps code would definitely help you. There are skilled guys out there who are ready to help improve your app efficiency preserving science accuracy. Not being skilled in computer stuff is not a fault: you're gifted in science. Albert Einstein himself neeeded to learn how to walk ;)
On my side, I'm not skilled either in coding nor science: I'm just an humble volunteer who woud like to participate as best as I can to projects that I find interesting.
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Message 5362 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 12:09:36 UTC - in response to Message 5361.  

they do not have the computer skills (or time) to make the code better.

That's probably one of the problems ... they should have both time and skills:

a) It is a project of computer scientists, just change the "milkyway" in the project's url with "www" and you end up here:
The Computer Science Department at RPI consists of 24 faculty, renowned nationally and internationally for their work. Major research areas include bioinformatics, computational science and engineering, computer vision, database systems, networking, parallel computing, pervasive computing, robotics, semantic web, software design, and theoretical computer science. The Department confers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. Currently there are about 440 undergraduates and about 85 graduate students. For more information about the department, see our annual report.

Sounds like enough skills for me ...

Now to the time part: It is their own project, if they do not have time for it they should not have started it.

cheers

Opteron
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Message 5364 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 12:29:54 UTC - in response to Message 5359.  

what I can say is that there is a consistent theme of giving a little bit of information and then expecting me to fill in the gaps. I'm not that intimately involved in the coding aspect because I have been involved in business logic for quite some time and just don't remember enough about scientific theories / laws to be of any good to anyone without some time to relearn, which I do not have the time right now. When I'm left with a "you figure the rest out", I basically stop thinking about the subject.

You are not supposed to fill in the gaps. That's the responsibility of the project. I guess most people forget who runs this project. It is the Rensselaer Computer Science Department. They may not have written the code in the first instance (the astronomy students are guilty), but they should understand the brief hints and should be able to correct the inefficiencies of the code. They had almost a year for it now! In my opinion, every computer scientist who ever had a beginners course in structured programming should be able to get a factor of 10 out of the app even without any hint. If they would rewrite the app in a clean way I'm sure we could see speedups beyond factor 100 compared to the current state. Considering the shortness of the actual code, it should be doable in a week or so if one has a plan, what one really wants to do.

When I talk to my colleagues in some technical terms, it is clear they understand me, but someone not from the field is somehow lost. But here, I'm telling them something about their field (not mine) and they are still lost? WTF!?!
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Message 5366 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 12:58:25 UTC - in response to Message 5362.  

The Computer Science Department at RPI consists of 24 faculty, renowned nationally and internationally for their work. Major research areas include bioinformatics, computational science and engineering, computer vision, database systems, networking, parallel computing, pervasive computing, robotics, semantic web, software design, and theoretical computer science. The Department confers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. Currently there are about 440 undergraduates and about 85 graduate students. For more information about the department, see our annual report.

Sounds like enough skills for me ...

Now to the time part: It is their own project, if they do not have time for it they should not have started it.

All-too-true spoken!
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Message 5368 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 14:18:17 UTC - in response to Message 5366.  

The Computer Science Department at RPI consists of 24 faculty, renowned nationally and internationally for their work. Major research areas include bioinformatics, computational science and engineering, computer vision, database systems, networking, parallel computing, pervasive computing, robotics, semantic web, software design, and theoretical computer science. The Department confers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. Currently there are about 440 undergraduates and about 85 graduate students. For more information about the department, see our annual report.

Sounds like enough skills for me ...

Now to the time part: It is their own project, if they do not have time for it they should not have started it.

All-too-true spoken!


If that were the case then there would be maybe 2 or 3 Legitimate BOINC Projects that should have ever been started, there has to be a learning curve and maybe it's a longer curve at some projects than others.
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Message 5370 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 15:57:40 UTC - in response to Message 5368.  

there has to be a learning curve and maybe it's a longer curve at some projects than others.

Concerning the code it appears more to (be a) flatline.
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Message 5376 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 19:29:37 UTC

Hi everybody haven't been around here in a while, what the heck happened?

There's a whole new team devoted to source code complaints and not getting your way? LOL you guys!

Well whatever it takes to get your point across I guess.

Question: Are our own compiled apps. supposed to be approved by the admins? That is the requirement right?
So it can used?

Or is this the nerd eqiviliant of the wild west round here? :P


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Message 5377 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 19:52:18 UTC - in response to Message 5376.  

...Or is this the nerd eqiviliant of the wild west round here? :P


*ROFL* +1...
Lovely greetings, Cori
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Message 5381 - Posted: 8 Oct 2008, 21:19:33 UTC - in response to Message 5376.  
Last modified: 8 Oct 2008, 21:19:54 UTC

Or is this the nerd equivalent of the wild west round here? :P
I guess you need some kind of "compensation" after you have seen the code ...

Just look in Milksop's profile for an example ...
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Message 5588 - Posted: 24 Oct 2008, 4:31:04 UTC - in response to Message 5309.  

While you are intent on getting the science correct with a revised app (which might also succeed in leveling a decidedly unlevel playing field -- speak about correct science), make sure to revise the fixed credit scheme so as to not appear to be a credit over science sort of project. The optimized applications make MilkyWay look to the larger BOINC world to be something of a scam project. I am assuming that is not an objective of this project. Heck, the *non-optimized* standard application is close to 2x most project credit schemes.

As to Cruncher and Milsop, if their intended goal was simply to get your attention and action, I think they have done that and could simply back off. Perhaps that wasn't the full range of their intent.....




It's just that we've said over and over that this isn't about an optimized application and people still keep asking about it. That isn't our intent. Our intent is to get the science correct.


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Message 5589 - Posted: 24 Oct 2008, 7:48:39 UTC - in response to Message 5588.  

As to Cruncher and Milsop, if their intended goal was simply to get your attention and action, I think they have done that and could simply back off.

Why have you asked for the new app then? If we got the project to some action you surely have a new official app now. No?
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Message 5607 - Posted: 25 Oct 2008, 1:12:47 UTC - in response to Message 5350.  

I guess Matthias is Crunch3rs real name?

Crunch3r is the Scorpion King! I knew it!
me@rescam.org
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Message 5609 - Posted: 25 Oct 2008, 5:53:09 UTC - in response to Message 5589.  

I asked for a new app for three reasons.

1) To get a more efficient application -- assuming the science it produced meets the accuracy tests of the project folks (those accuracy tests might be different than yours -- I don't know, but they have suggested something like this).

2) With a new application, the project folks would be compelled to adjust their credit scheme so as to not generate unbelievably high credit per cycle results -- which is what you are getting (and, as I noted, even with the existing standard application the credit per cycle numbers are at the upper edge -- or perhaps beyond -- what other BOINC applications are getting. The standard application here gets me nearly double what the *optimized* SETI application gets me on the same system.

3) As a function of the revised credit scheme and a more efficient application you would have not only achieved *your* stated goal, but also your credit numbers would fall into line with the rest of us humans (though I don't expect there would be any adjustment to your existing numbers) which might quiet down the other BOINC participants who watch the rankings and are increasingly aware of outlier credits being generated by this project.

From what I've read, the project folks are working on a revised application but have encountered some data checking errors with the optimized code and are trying to work thru that. From what I understand, this is a relatively small time project and so their resources are likely quite limited (which may be why the existing standard code appears so sloppy to you).


As to Cruncher and Milsop, if their intended goal was simply to get your attention and action, I think they have done that and could simply back off.

Why have you asked for the new app then? If we got the project to some action you surely have a new official app now. No?


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Message 5611 - Posted: 25 Oct 2008, 8:13:09 UTC - in response to Message 5609.  

I don't expect there would be any adjustment to your existing numbers

Maybe you will be surprised ... ;)
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Message 5623 - Posted: 26 Oct 2008, 6:23:55 UTC - in response to Message 5611.  

Could be, though I don't see the point -- there is no 'governing body' for BOINC and it is pretty clear that the folks running this project lack the resources or inclination to get 'corrective' or 'punitive'.

I don't expect there would be any adjustment to your existing numbers

Maybe you will be surprised ... ;)


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Message 5984 - Posted: 6 Nov 2008, 14:35:07 UTC



Any progress on the new application, estimated release date,, problems etc...

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