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Intel Chief Evangelist Comments on Linux Scheduler

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the little-penguins-everywhere dept.

Operating Systems 178

ByeByeWintel writes "James Reinders is Intel's Chief Evangelist for Intel's Software Development Products. In a recent interview on Devx.com he stated: 'If I could get ONE wish fulfilled would be for OS scheduling to focus on processes, and not threads, for scheduling. And demand that processes manage their scheduling of threads ... There is a lot of opportunity for operating systems to offer these types of control in the 'running of applications' interfaces. I'd like an OS to let me specify the 'world' my application runs in (which processors, how many, etc.) These interfaces are available in Windows at run time (the task manager will let you adjust where a running task can go).'"

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178 comments

Puh-leeeeze! (0, Troll)

mikek2 (562884) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790213)

From TFA: Q: Could you introduce yourself?

James Reinders: I'm Intel's Chief Evangelist [blah blah blah]. Another way to look at it is I'm an engineer who joined Intel in 1989 'cause I thought it would be a cool place to work for a few years. [snip]

Wha wha wha what??

First of all, any job with the word 'evangelist' directly implies 'highly paid fanboy.'
Second, people who use slang contractions in text (i.e. " 'cause") should be shot on site.

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790245)

Settle down scro'!

Don't be hatin' on us, 'cause we be totally rad'!

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (0, Offtopic)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790249)

I believe the idiom is "shot on sight." Physician, heal thyself.

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (0, Offtopic)

mikek2 (562884) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790267)

Ugh... you're right. Stoopid beer! ;)

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790711)

Now, don't go blaming the beer! It's only doing what God created it to do.

Won't someone PLEASE think of the beers?

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (0, Offtopic)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791055)

Won't someone PLEASE think of the beers?

DeBeers are evil and should be wiped off the face of the Earth. Not to be confused with DaBears. They just lose to the Packers all the time.

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790253)

people who use slang contractions in text (i.e. " 'cause") should be shot on site.

I feel the same way about people who can't spell 'sight'. Or perhaps you specifically want him shot on company premises ...

Welcome. (0, Offtopic)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790269)

people who use slang contractions in text (i.e. "'cause") should be shot on site

Right after people who can't tell the difference between "on sight" and "on site".

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790293)

First of all, any job with the word 'evangelist' directly implies 'highly paid fanboy.'
Second, people who use slang contractions in text (i.e. " 'cause") should be shot on site.
First of all, that's not a contraction.
Second, it's on sight, not on site.

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (3, Insightful)

Somegeek (624100) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790309)

An 'Evangelist' is this instance is someone who is a promoter, not a follower. So you are wrong on that count as well as the already noted 'site' 'sight' thing. You might want to steer away from criticizing others for a while...

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790665)

Nah, all he means is he wants it done right there and then; no off-site disposals.

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790475)

i don't think i've ever seen a bigger jerk who's gone out of his way to look like an idiot. you're a sack of crap about should be ignored.

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (4, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790729)

First of all, any job with the word 'evangelist' directly implies 'highly paid fanboy.'

I worked with the Evangelists in Apple Developer Relations, and my direct personal experience tells me that you're full of shit.

Apple's Technology Evangelists are some of the most talented technical marketing professionals I've ever met, and now that I'm an outside developer, they do a great job for me pulling the levers and turning the gears that I need to get my products out the door, connecting our company with customer prospects, and finding and introducing us to other companies that we can collaborate with. I'd hire any of those guys in a heartbeat for either a development or a marketing position, if I could get them out of Apple.

-jcr

Re:Puh-leeeeze! (5, Funny)

macshit (157376) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790821)

Apple's Technology Evangelists are some of the most talented technical marketing professionals I've ever met

Wait a minute, is that a compliment or an insult?!?

Apple Evangelists aren't working for Intel (1)

ThinkTwice (1163901) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791621)

It's easy to be an Apple Evangelists. Look what Apple has done with Intel chips. Cool notebooks, great workstations and even the X-serve trumps similar servers using the same chips from Intel. They design everything better! Look at the similar servers: IBM servers are what you would expect IBM servers to be, solid, expensive and well serviced. Dell and HP servers are almost what IBM's are, but less expensive. Apple makes better servers, but the OS keeps their market numbers low, even though you can run other operating systems, directly or as virtual machines. Sun's Sunfire servers may be a better buy, they are well designed, solid, well serviced, less expensive and I think they are faster at this point in time, but they are not using the Intel chips. Does AMD even have Evangelist's?

the real world, too. (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790217)

If I could get ONE wish fulfilled would be for OS scheduling to focus on processes, and not threads

Yeah, a lot of us feel the same way about the fancy-dressing guys that work over in the sales office.

Re:the real world, too. (2, Funny)

OverflowingBitBucket (464177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790381)

If I could get ONE wish fulfilled would be for OS scheduling to focus on processes, and not threads

Yeah, a lot of us feel the same way about the fancy-dressing guys that work over in the sales office.

If there ever was a case for a "+1 Brilliant" moderation option or a final moderation of (Score:6 Funny), this is it.

Re:the real world, too. (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790551)

So, what happens when you search "(Score:6 Funny)" site:slashdot.org, on Google?

Re:the real world, too. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790599)

Try (Score:5 Troll)

I don't understand (4, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790235)

I'd like an OS to let me specify the 'world' my application runs in (which processors, how many, etc.) These interfaces are available in Windows at run time (the task manager will let you adjust where a running task can go).'"
Isn't this *exactly* what numactl gives you (hint, you don't have to run numa for numactly to allow processes to be bound to specific sets of processors).

Re:I don't understand (2, Interesting)

EvilGrin666 (457869) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790297)

Isn't this *exactly* what numactl gives you
Well yes, exactly. numactl will do this. However his bone of contention appears to be that there is no pointy clicky interface a la Windows TaskManager to do this. So I'm slightly puzzled why he's making out that there is a deficiency in the OS when the fact is that it's purely a lack of features in the window manager...

Re:I don't understand (1)

Bryan Ischo (893) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790441)

While I don't dispute in any way what you say, I'd like to point out that 'numactl' is not the most obvious terminology for a feature that applies to all platforms, NUMA or not. If it really is so general purpose as to support what the Intel guy is talking about on all platforms, then it should either be renamed, or there should at least be another interface with a more approprate name whose implementation calls into the numactl interface.

Obviously if what you say about numactl is true, then this Intel guy should have found out about it before asking for this kind of functionality, regardless of how confusingly termed it may be, so that's not really an excuse for him.

The name doesn't need to be obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790693)

Is the name 'ls' obvious? Is 'cat' obvious?

The names of tools don't need to be obvious, they just need to be memorable.

Because you see we have this fantastic brain thing that happens to be absolutely marvelous at associative searching of an immense word space, so any fairly pronounceable word becomes recallable after you've used it once or twice.

Most of what that guy wrote is total bollocks, and that includes the technical part about scheduling. I'll leave that for another post though.

Re:The name doesn't need to be obvious (5, Funny)

ricegf (1059658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791125)

Is the name 'ls' obvious? Is 'cat' obvious?

Well, sure. 'ls' gives you a catalog of files on the disk, while 'cat' lists one or more of the files' contents. But Windows' 'dir' is much harder to remember - it just means "Drrr, I wonder what's in this folder?"

Re:I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790751)

We can call it "Freedom Giver" but then recode it into a DRM kernel module. What do you think?
Point being, names mean shit - people don't like certain ones only because they arn't familiar (Gimp, Pidgin, etc). Get over it.

Re:I don't understand (2, Insightful)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790903)

Clearly, you expect too much from someone who's job title includes the word "Evangelist".

Re:I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20791747)

> I'd like to point out that 'numactl' is not the most obvious terminology

Well, there is also the taskset program which I think does basically the same things as well...

Re:I don't understand (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790783)

I just hope the emphasis remains on a scheduler that "does the right thing" instead of requiring manual specification of these things to get acceptable performance for most situations. (I'm sure there are cases where manually pegging particular processes to particular CPUs is a good thing, but I can't think of any offhand).

So do it (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790243)

I hear Intel has some engineers who you could get to implement this. If you don't completely botch it, you might even get it into Linus' tree.

It's Free Software, you can add whatever you want.

Re:So do it (0, Flamebait)

rlbond86 (874974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790371)

And this, ladies and gentleman, is why all Linux users are perceived as elitist, arrogant bastards.

Re:So do it (5, Insightful)

teknognome (910243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790463)

It's elitist and arrogant when directed at a regular user, but when it's directed at some official person of a company that does contribute to Linux projects, it's a bit different.

You think maybe they have other things to do? (0)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790767)

I mean it seems that Intel does one or two other things like, oh, I dunno develop processors, motherboards, NICs, video cards, RAID controllers, drivers for those, compilers, profilers, and a few other things. Perhaps they really don't have the time or interest to devote to that project.

Sorry, but the "Do it yourself," attitude is just bad. Even assuming it is directed at the extremely small segment of the population that has the level of programming knowledge required (usually it isn't) that then assumes that they have nothing better to do with their time. Sorry, not how it works.

Part of having a successful product is listening to what people want and working to implement that. Now maybe you think that the devs shouldn't care, that it should just be whatever it is and there shouldn't be any thought given to making it what people want, unless said person is willing to do that. Fair enough, that's a valid stance. However if you take that stance, then do go evangelising Linux as a replacement for Windows or an everyman's OS. Realise that if that is how things are to be done, it is a sysadmin/geek OS and will never be otherwise.

Either way is ok, there's nothing wrong with saying "We are all about DIY, if you aren't willing to do it, don't expect other people to), you just have to recognise that is a viewpoint inconsistent with "We believe this is something everyone could and should use."

Re:You think maybe they have other things to do? (5, Insightful)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790877)

Either way is ok, there's nothing wrong with saying "We are all about DIY, if you aren't willing to do it, don't expect other people to), you just have to recognise that is a viewpoint inconsistent with "We believe this is something everyone could and should use."
There's nothing necessarily incompatible with those viewpoints. The point isn't necessarily "write it yourself," but to take ownership of the need and get it done, perhaps by paying others. You can then go about writing to others and say "You should use this stuff, and we can help make it better for your needs." Its a silly belief that other people are going to fix your problem for free if you sit there wishing loud enough. Open source projects are truly successful not when you take responsibility for listening to what people want, but allowing the public to take ownership in the software that could address their needs.

Re:You think maybe they have other things to do? (4, Insightful)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790889)

I should point out that SGI has done exactly this: on behalf of their customers they go about fixing scalability problems in Linux. The results are quite interesting -- eight thousand CPU computers and the like. To give credit to the Evanglist, perhaps he was hoping coworkers and superiors at Intel would recognize the need and step up.

Re:You think maybe they have other things to do? (1)

netcrusher88 (743318) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791883)

To give credit to the Evanglist, perhaps he was hoping coworkers and superiors at Intel would recognize the need and step up.

An interesting point. I would say he's definitely trying to get someone to step up, and Intel does have the people who could do just that... (be good for the multi-core market)

Re:You think maybe they have other things to do? (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791765)

Yes, but if you have to pay someone to make the modifications you want done, and then pay them to maintain those modifications and to port them whenever something they interface with randomly changes, then you've got cost, probably quite substantial cost. If you're going to pay a quite substantial cost for redevelopment, and you aren't going to make modifications yourself you may as well get a close source product and pay the company to make the modifications that you want them to make.

Re:You think maybe they have other things to do? (2, Interesting)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791917)

Yes, but if you have to pay someone to make the modifications you want done, and then pay them to maintain those modifications and to port them whenever something they interface with randomly changes, then you've got cost, probably quite substantial cost
Yes. People, on a large scale, don't work for free. Especially talented ones capable of correctly implementing something like per-cpu scheduling hints. What you can do to minimize the cost is pay people to get it into upstream. Moreover, the source code availability in the first place vastly increases competition. It's much easier to patch linux than to design an operating system people want to run software on that also happens to provide scheduler tweaks you like. In the closed source system you're negotiating with a small set of people that have access, while the Linux kernel's open source gives you a much wider set of alternatives, driving down prices in effect. Try negotiating with Microsoft to add a feature you like. If it's possible at all, consider the price they'd likely charge.

Open source isn't necessarily priceless. Education, talent, and time are still scarce resources. Open source just provides hired hands a platform for their interests and spare time, and a shared base to work from. If you're in IT for cheap labor, I still encourage you to look to offshore.

The problem is (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791813)

That's not realistic for most people or companies.

For people it is twofold. The first is not knowing even how to go about it. You really think a non-technical user knows how to go about having software or features written? Hardly. They wouldn't know who to hire. The second problem is one of money. I'd love to have a nice OSS audio/video editor written. Basically I'd like to have most of Sony's Vegas and some of Cakewalk's Sonar. That's be just great, I'd even be willing to pay. The problem is I wouldn't be willing to pay enough. I'd be willing and able to pay, at most, the cost of both of those packages. Unfortunately, I know the scale of such a project and I realise you are talking probably 6-7 figures for development assuming you want it done well (which I would). I'm afraid I can't swing that. Also I'd only want to pay on contingency, as in I have ot like the results. I can't afford to pony up my cash for something that might not work out, not when there are alternatives out there that I know work.

As such it is extremely unfeasible to expect people to pay for development of OSS. They haven't the knowledge or the money to do so.

So what about business? Well there the money is available, if it needs to be (at least for large enough businesses) and the knowledge should be as businesses should be able to research things they need. However there you run in to lack of reason. So let's say I need a package like this for my company. I decide to have one made and pay a lot of cash for it. Why should I let any of you have it then? Either it is something that helps me do business better, in which case I should keep it to myself to get an edge over competitors, or it is something that's marketable, so I should sell it. In either case, having spent the money and thus getting to dictate the terms, there's no real reason to open it to the world.

That's the problem. It is just unreasonable to expect people to want to pay for things like this especially since one of the big talking points I see for free software is how it's cheaper.

You just shouldn't tell people to "DYI" or "Buy DYI." Those that can and want to will. I mean I've yet to meet someone that said "What, you mean because I have the source I can use my programming skills to modify it? Shit I never knew." Those that want to, do, hence we have the OSS we do. However, if you want it as the mainstream, dominant stuff, those that don't have to be respected.

I don't want to write a video editor, I can't I don't have the skill and I'm not interested in spending the time. However I want a good one. I'm willing to pay only as much as I have to (or I suppose I should say my employer is) which is about $500 in this case. If that isn't sufficient funds, and if you aren't will to have them ex post facto, then I'm afraid the commercial solution is more attractive.

That's just how it goes with most people. You tell them you'll give them a perfect Office replacement for free, they are interested. You tell them they can have Office for free if they are willing to put in thousands of hours of work modifying OO code to make it that way, or paying big dollars to a team to do it, they will just go buy Office.

Re:You think maybe they have other things to do? (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790899)

Meh. I don't speak for anyone else. I speak for myself. I say if you have a need for feature X then add it. If you're not willing to invest the time (or money) to make feature X more than a "gee, I wish" request then you don't really have a *need* for it. As for this "We believe this is something everyone could and should use" crap, for a start, I don't speak for anyone but myself, and I think Free Software is something a lot of people can find a use for, and if you can't, then don't use it. If, however, you just meant that end users might have a need for feature X but they're unable or unwilling to make that feature a reality, well, that's what the commercial distros are for. Go nag your Redhat representative.

Ok, that's completely fine (0)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791849)

However you then lose the right to bitch if someone DOESN'T choose your chosen product. I don't at all have a problem with the people who see Linux as the wild west of sorts, where it's a "Do what you want, do it yourself," kind of world. The problem I have are with the people who think that but then except that everyone should come play and be happy doing it. These are the people that will try to get me to switch to Linux, and then when presented with the things I need that I can't have that get angry with me and tell me "Well then write that yourself!" No, screw you, I've other things to do with my time even if I was a programmer (which I'm not).

All I'm saying is if you want Linux to really be a Windows killer, if you want it in every home, then part of what you have to do is drop the DIY attitude. That doesn't mean doing everything anyone asks for, it means two things:

1) Listening to what people want, and making an effort to give it to them. Worry less about what you want, more about what they want. Doesn't mean do whatever someone says, just consider what they say, try and meet their needs as best you can.

2) Not ever telling someone to DIY. Don't have the attitude and give off the impression that they should do it themselves. Because what they probably will do themselves is use something else.

So in this case I'm not saying that this should be done for Intel, however what shouldn't be done is just telling Intel to do it. It should be taken under consideration. If Intel wants to do it, they'll do it, if not someone else should consider it. Considering doesn't mean committing, just consider. If you decide not, that's fine. However saying "DIY" is just abrasive. It says you don't care at all and aren't going to listen.

People's (and companies who are made of people) feelings are important, though some geeks don't seem to wish to acknowledge that. Telling someone to do it themselves is often something that they will take as an affront and a dismissal.

Re:Ok, that's completely fine (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791911)

Fair enough. If you try to switch to Linux and discover it doesn't have what you need then go back.

As for considering people's ideas, yeah, great, developers do that, all the time. The problem is when the developer says "look, it won't work" and the people harp on about how right they are. That's often when the DIY attitude comes out, because nothing says "you were wrong" like running code.

Re:You think maybe they have other things to do? (1)

OverflowingBitBucket (464177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790935)

Sorry, but the "Do it yourself," attitude is just bad. Even assuming it is directed at the extremely small segment of the population that has the level of programming knowledge required (usually it isn't) that then assumes that they have nothing better to do with their time. Sorry, not how it works.

On the other hand, there is no shortage of people complaining that a feature that they want is not present in a piece of software, yet expect someone else to write it for them. Or demanding "Linux isn't ready for the enterprise, now someone go develop features X, Y, and Z to appease me".

I think the angle is that they are a large company with many developers who are quite capable of implementing such a thing, should they wish. I viewed QuantumG's comment in a much more positive light- as in "because the source is open, you can add whatever new features you want!" rather than "nick off, do it yourself". I found the comment neither arrogant, nor elitist, nor representative of such.

Re:You think maybe they have other things to do? (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791617)

I found the comment neither arrogant, nor elitist, nor representative of such.


Indeed, and surely a comment that encourages the poster to get involved in the project (i.e. the Linux kernel) and explore their ideas of where it should change is the opposite of elitist. Elitist would be "it's good enough already, and it's not your project so push off or else".

Re:You think maybe they have other things to do? (3, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791423)

Part of having a successful product is listening to what people want and working to implement that. Now maybe you think that the devs shouldn't care, that it should just be whatever it is and there shouldn't be any thought given to making it what people want, unless said person is willing to do that. Fair enough, that's a valid stance. However if you take that stance, then do go evangelising Linux as a replacement for Windows or an everyman's OS. Realise that if that is how things are to be done, it is a sysadmin/geek OS and will never be otherwise.
So you mean that Microsoft will actually listen to every suggestion someone makes and consider implementing it?

Either way is ok, there's nothing wrong with saying "We are all about DIY, if you aren't willing to do it, don't expect other people to), you just have to recognise that is a viewpoint inconsistent with "We believe this is something everyone could and should use."
Why exactly? Every proprietary company pretty much says "we do this for money, if we don't want to implement it go fuck yourself."

You expect every fucking suggestion to be implemented? If not then what DO you suggest? The developers simply say that they are going to do X, if you want to do Y then you need to do it yourself. You can't implement every bloody possible feature in the damn universe, which is apparently what you want. Instead they implement what they think meets their own goals. They claim that this is enough to work for everyone. It isn't perfect for everyone but NOTHING ever is, if someone wants a feature desperately they either need to implement it themselves or find someone else to do it.

Re:You think maybe they have other things to do? (2, Insightful)

killjoe (766577) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791825)

>Sorry, but the "Do it yourself," attitude is just bad.

It's great. That's what open source is all about.

>Part of having a successful product is listening to what people want and working to implement that.

Ah I see where you got confused.

Linux is not a product. It's already successful.

Re:So do it (0)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790487)

I know what you're getting at but your wrong and OP is right. here is a guy from one of the leading/largest tech *developing* companies in the world. He has ample resources available to do this and should just do it instead of bitching about it.

Now if he had been the IT purchasing guy for some tech *using* company that really wanted to switch to linux, but were having problems that could be solved by this, and the community had said "if you want it go make it, bitch" to this non-tech person from a tech *using*, not tech *developing*, company then, yeah, you'd be totally right.

Re:So do it (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790501)

So, you want something (that, btw, already exists in Linux) and you expect someone to come to your rescue and implement it for free.

Come on... It's not that Linux users are elitist, arrogant bastards. It's that a lot of computer users never quite get that you cannot expect some software to form out of thin air. If you want something you can't do yourself, you may could and wait until someone who can do it also wants to do it. If you really need it, it would be best to pay someone to do it right away.

Re:So do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790531)

I think you have it backwards. It is elitist for Intel, a multi-billion dollar company, to demand that a bunch of volunteer hackers implement the features they want in Linux for their benefit.

Don't jump to conclusions (1)

mce (509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790631)

Nope, you complainers got it backwards. This is a tech expert in his area, saying that he would want OS developrs - which he is not - do change their ways. Being the expert that he is, he is very much entitled to say that. What's more, he would still be entitled to say that even if he were in charge of the OS. Note that he doesn't say: "go out and do it for me because I'm lazy and don't want to pay". For all we know, he might be busy pulling "evangelical" levers to get it done at Intel and we are just observing one of those levers in action. Besides, he said "OS" not "Linux". It may come as a surprise to some of you, but Linux is not the only OS in the world.

No conclusions being jumped to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20791385)

Intel is not offering to fund such a venture. They expect these volunteers to be at their beck and call whilst claiming to know best. Unless Intel is going to hire a cadre of developers or otherwise pay a bounty for this, demanding a bunch of volunteers to do their dirty work is pretty elitists.

Re:So do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20791589)

By you and you alone. But then, we regard you as a choir-boy sodomizer, so it all balances out.

Really a sad comment on society (3, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791941)

> And this, ladies and gentleman, is why all Linux users are perceived as elitist, arrogant bastards.

You are right. The way free software works is that if you want something done, you either do it yourself, or you pay somebody to do it for you.

Somehow, this has become at odds with mainstream society. People have come to expect that if you want something done, you whine about it for long enough, and someone else will do it for you.

It is a society of builders and whiners.

I know which side I'm on.

Re:So do it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790507)

Way ahead of you.

$ sudo apt-get install schedutils
...
Unpacking schedutils (from .../schedutils_1.5.0-1_amd64.deb) ...
Setting up schedutils (1.5.0-1) ...
 
$ man taskset | cat
Reformatting taskset(1), please wait...
TASKSET(1) Linux User's Manual TASKSET(1)
 
NAME
      taskset - retrieve or set a processes's CPU affinity
 
SYNOPSIS
      taskset [options] [mask | list ] [pid | command [arg]...]
 
DESCRIPTION
      taskset is used to set or retrieve the CPU affinity of a running pro-
      cess given its PID or to launch a new COMMAND with a given CPU affin-
      ity. CPU affinity is a scheduler property that "bonds" a process to a
      given set of CPUs on the system. The Linux scheduler will honor the
      given CPU affinity and the process will not run on any other CPUs.
      Note that the Linux scheduler also supports natural CPU affinity: the
      scheduler attempts to keep processes on the same CPU as long as practi-
      cal for performance reasons. Therefore, forcing a specific CPU affin-
      ity is useful only in certain applications.
 
      The CPU affinity is represented as a bitmask, with the lowest order bit
      corresponding to the first logical CPU and the highest order bit corre-
      sponding to the last logical CPU. Not all CPUs may exist on a given
      system but a mask may specify more CPUs than are present. A retrieved
      mask will reflect only the bits that correspond to CPUs physically on
      the system. If an invalid mask is given (i.e., one that corresponds to
      no valid CPUs on the current system) an error is returned. The masks
      are typically given in hexadecimal. For example,
 
      0x00000001
              is processor #0
 
      0x00000003
              is processors #0 and #1
 
      0xFFFFFFFF
              is all processors (#0 through #31)
 
      When taskset returns, it is guaranteed that the given program has been
      scheduled to a legal CPU.
 
OPTIONS
      -p, --pid
              operate on an existing PID and not launch a new task
 
      -c, --cpu-list
              specifiy a numerical list of processors instead of a bitmask.
              The list may contain multiple items, separated by comma, and
              ranges. For example, 0,5,7,9-11.
 
      -h, --help
              display usage information and exit
 
      -V, --version
              output version information and exit
 
USAGE
      The default behavior is to run a new command with a given affinity
      mask:
              taskset [mask] -- [command] [arguments]
 
      You can also retrieve the CPU affinity of an existing task:
              taskset -p [pid]
 
      Or set it:
              taskset -p [mask] [pid]
 
PERMISSIONS
      A user must possess CAP_SYS_NICE to change the CPU affinity of a pro-
      cess. Any user can retrieve the affinity mask.
 
AUTHOR
      Written by Robert M. Love.
 
REPORTING BUGS
      Report bugs to <rml@tech9.net>.
 
COPYRIGHT
      Copyright (C) 2004 Robert M. Love
      This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is
      NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
      PURPOSE.
 
SEE ALSO
      chrt(1), nice(1), renice(1), sched_setaffinity(2), sched_getaffinity(2)
 
      See sched_setscheduler(2) for a description of the Linux scheduling
      scheme.
 
schedutils Apr 2003 TASKSET(1)

Is James clueless? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790257)

James doesn't seem to acknowledge that such features already exist in Linux as well. Additionally Linux has __FAR__ better support of NUMA system management. Many Opteron-based systems are NUMA as well as many high end Intel-based servers. Is he just oblivious?

Re:Is James clueless? (1)

bobbuck (675253) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790891)

Is there anyway to use the NUMA features to make Linux do something sensible on a dual core processor?


Right now on 2.6.20 the scheduler so broken that I can run 3 identical tasks on a Turion X2 and the second one gets 100% and the other 2 get 50%. It will stay that way as long as I let them run. I like Linux but that's terrible.

Re:Is James clueless? (2, Informative)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791151)

I've had no such issue with the .22 kernel, so likely this is being hammered out as time goes on.

BAD headline (3, Insightful)

rmdir -r * (716956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790261)

Nowhere in the article does he /ever/ mention the Linux scheduler.

Resume your regularly scheduled Con vs Ingo flamewar.

Re:BAD headline (1)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790573)

My Con vs. Info flaimwar is scheduled using the staircase scheduler, not the regular one.

Sorry, I couldn't resist...

Oh, man (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790263)

I scheduled an interview with linux a while back. It was all like, "LINE UP", and I was like, "WUT?", and it was like, "What's your priority?", but I was all like, "interupt, bitch", and it was like, "cool, SWAP", and I was all like, "I'm in ur processor, executin' my code".

Re:Oh, man (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790667)

How long have you been waiting for a story about process scheduling so that you could post that comment?

which processors (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790291)

I'd like an OS to let me specify the 'world' my application runs in (which processors, how many, etc.)
Doesn't Solaris do this already?

Re:which processors (1, Troll)

mrsbrisby (60242) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790359)

I'd like an OS to let me specify the 'world' my application runs in (which processors, how many, etc.)
Doesn't Solaris do this already?
So does Linux, which makes his statement moot, and indicates he is an idiot or an asshat.

Re:which processors (1, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790571)

So does Linux, which makes his statement moot, and indicates he is an idiot or an asshat.

OR maby you don't understand what he is asking for.

Re:which processors (2, Informative)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790533)

Doesn't Solaris do this already?

Yes, and has for at least a decade. As has SGI's IRIX and probably a lot of other operating systems. (Linux would be included in that list based on the comments here.)

Re:which processors (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790861)

Not only that, Sun junked the multi-level scheduler idea in Solaris 9. In Solaris 8 (unless you linked to the alternate thread library named something like /usr/lib/thread/libthread.so) a multithreaded process could have M threads, that would run on N kernel processes (light-weight processes or LWPs). The one process (the one started from main(), etc...) would schedule the threads itself on its N LWPs.

In other words, while a call to pthread_create() would start a new, separate thread of execution in *your* process, but may or may not start a new kernel-level thread that would run your new execution thread. And a user-level scheduler would schedule your threads on your LWPs. The kernel would schedule the LWPs.

Sun junked this because it doesn't scale well when you get into hundreds of heavyweight processes and thousands of threads and/or LWPs.

In Solaris 9 (and the "alternate thread library in Solaris 8), each separate call to pthread_create() spawns an LWP, and there's only one scheduler - the kernel's. There's no longer on in each multithreaded app. (And yes, there were ways to get this one-to-one behavior in Solaris 8 and earlier, but that's not the point...)

And this guy's saying we should go back to that?

Sorry, but Sun knows a lot more about massively parallel architecture than Intel does. Intel lives in a world where 8 CPUs is a lot.

Intel's Chief Evangelist (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790397)

And I'm gonna tell ya... I'm gonna tell all the people here-a, that the Lord has come... Amen! Yes indeed, and the Glorious Pentium IV has arrive-ed! Praise be to Pentium! And lo, the sheep of the field will line down-a with the process, and the thread-a will be managed by the application!

Oh, don't be fooled by the Devil... No-a! AMD is the sign of the Beast-a! And he shall be cast out of heaven! Raise-a your hands to the heavens and press CTRL-ALT-DELETE!

Re:Intel's Chief Evangelist (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790747)

Wonder if Dean would get upset if KDE evangelists took up saying "Kamen" after every KDE praise? Wonder if the Flying Spaghetti Monster had anything to do with the naming of North Dumpling Island?

Sorry, bit offtopic but couldn't resist.

Hello?? (0)

Safiire Arrowny (596720) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790435)

The word Linux doesn't even appear anywhere in that entire article.

Hello!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790525)

It was a two page article, you fool!

from page two of TFA:
How does TBB interact with the OS scheduler? I guess you read the recent discussion about two Linux schedulers...

James Reinders: TBB sits on top of the threading interfaces offered by operating systems. An enhancement we are working on, is to tackle the problem of interaction with the OS by providing 'affinity' requests to lock threads to particular processors. This seems like an obvious optimization, but once you try it you find it is anything but obvious sometimes. There was a paper a couple years ago which showed that using affinity made runtimes more predictable but raised the average runtime because it stole control for the OS--and that the OS was making optimization which the program did not. So leaving it to the OS the runtimes varied more widely, worse and best cases were more extreme, average was better--and overall it looked less predictable than using affinity. This whole area needs a lot more investigation.

Re:Hello?? (4, Insightful)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790577)

The word Linux doesn't even appear anywhere in that entire article.
Yeah, it does, almost to the end of the article... on Page - 2. But that is irrelevant. Yet another summary that has little or nothing to do with the article, Which actually focuses on Intels Threaded Building Blocks. I really hate misleading summaries. I know that some have issues with the signal to noise ratio of "news" to marketing or old news, but really, a good summary means you could, at least, skip over the stuff you didn't want to read....

Processor Affinity (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790633)

Try Robert Love's "run" command... Processes can be started or moved to any CPU or collection of CPUs.

Slashdot would be kicked out of Journalism School (5, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790635)

Not only is it obvious that the submitter didn't read the article but by posting it its obvious that the 'editor' didn't either! Jebus! It's about a library template that Intel provides to developers! Linux gets a passing mention on the second page but other than that coincidence the writeup has nothing to do with the real article! And then there are people tagging the article as 'clueless' - I hope they meant the submitter because if they meant the article then ironically they would have been showing their own 'cluelessness'.
This is the first time I've felt a need to complain about /.'s integrity btw even though I've seen more articles fly-by that shouldn't have over the years.

Re:Slashdot would be kicked out of Journalism Scho (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791509)

Not only is it obvious that the submitter didn't read the article but by posting it its obvious that the 'editor' didn't either! Jebus!..
So, I take it you're new here?

Re:Slashdot would be kicked out of Journalism Scho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20791615)

I'm working on a Slashdot "killer" which will be out by end of October. Posting as anon for obvious reasons (although editors can probably see my IP and correlate to my account, oh well).

Beside better editors and articles, what else would you like to see changed in Slashdot? Would those changes make you move to another site?

I'm really willing to give this a shot. Slashdot isn't that horrible, just the noise is way too much, and it takes way too much time to find the good stuff hidden in there. It doesn't have to be like that.

Please let me know, thanks!

Re:Slashdot would be kicked out of Journalism Scho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20791737)

I've actually thought about something like that, and mostly given up hope. Eventually, every worthwhile tech discussion site becomes flooded with noise.

The problem is, when a site becomes popular among a group of people who aren't morons, the second-rate hacks find out about it and start going there to fit in, because it's the new "cool" place to be. So, for a few months, there will be intelligent conversation, and then all the tards move in, and you eventually end up with crap. It's happened to Slashdot, Digg, Reddit, and most of the others.

Re:Slashdot would be kicked out of Journalism Scho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20791769)

Would those changes make you move to another site?
No, sorry.

Re:Slashdot would be kicked out of Journalism Scho (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791975)

I'm working on a Slashdot "killer" which will be out by end of October.

You won't be the first to try. You'll might end up about like Technocrat [technocrat.net], with most stories getting only a handful of comments.

P.S. I'll take the overs on the 'out by the end of October' part.

Available through POSIX pthread and RT extension (4, Informative)

EMB Numbers (934125) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790735)

I think that what Intel's Evangelist wants is already available through standard POSIX pthreads and the POSIX-RT extensions.

man pset_create, pset_assign, or pset_bind.

I just checked and it seems that Solaris, HP-UX support this POSIX feature. Maybe it's only Linux that is non-standard: I found ythis quote: http://developers.sun.com/solaris/articles/solaris_linux_app.html [sun.com]

"Both Linux and the Solaris OS support the notion of binding a process or thread to a processor. Linux allows binding to a set of processors for non-exclusive use of those processors. The Solaris OS allows binding to a set of processors for exclusive use, (that is, CPU fencing), but does not allow binding to a group for non-exclusive use (except via Solaris Zones?). Linux does not have a mechanism for CPU fencing, though implementations can be found on the web (see, for example, the CPUSETS for Linux page on the bullopensource.org site). The Linux system calls that are processor affinity based are sched_setaffinity(2) and sched_getaffinity(2)."

its called "scheduler activations" (5, Informative)

paulbd (118132) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790805)

what is being discussed is called "scheduler activations" within the CS community (or was). its an old idea. i did some work on a real-world (hah) implemention back in the early 1990's when i worked at UWashington. google it. Solaris actually added this design at least 10 years ago (plus or minus 2 years). its a very cool OS design, but can also be hard to get the implementation right; it also requires both kernel and userspace implementations.

the basic idea is that the kernel doesn't try to decide which threads within a task/process should run. as long as the process is scheduled to have access to a CPU, whenever its about to block (e.g. on disk i/o) or to be granted a processor from another task, the kernel tells the user space scheduler what is going on. scheduling is then done in user space, where maximal knowledge about the applications internal design and thread priorities can be easily accessed.

there are several papers on this design, ranging from Tom Anderson's "original" through reports on various implementation efforts. it was certainly fun trying to write a user space context switch routine that has to be reentrant itself, not to mention trying to deal with priority inversion issues. i think sun simply worked around the latter problem with some design assumptions/limitations, but i don't know for sure.

Re:its called "scheduler activations" (4, Funny)

anticypher (48312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791175)

it was certainly fun trying to write a user space context switch routine that has to be reentrant itself, not to mention trying to deal with priority inversion issues

I haven't worked in that field in some number of decades, but I'm going to have nightmares because of that phrase. You heartless Bastard, at least warn us that the path to madness lies within your post.

the AC
sits here rocking back and forth, afraid to google what Tom Anderson's later works covered, but knowing I'm about to lose my weekend to this

Re:its called "scheduler activations" (1)

davek (18465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791177)

user space thread scheduling? Sign me up, linus. There is not a better example of process empowerment.

Another over-paid Jack-Ass (0, Flamebait)

HW_Hack (1031622) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791351)

I did my hard-time at Intel designing shit (thats a techinical term) - this guys just another over-paid suit who's over stayed his welcome - taking up space - money - and oxygen from the folks who actually do shit (another technical term). I did some good shit (more techincal terms) at Intel but the best day was when I ejected out of my cube and moved on ..... that is one fucked place.

linux scheduler? (1)

ImTheDarkcyde (759406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791567)

Surely I'm not the only one who didn't see any mention of linux in the summary, and clicked the article and did a search for linux/nix only to find nothing?

Virtual Machines? (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791597)

Would a virtualization layer fulfill this? VMware's ESX is essentially an OS in itself so it has schedulers that schedule VMs, which is a lot like processes. Inside the VM, the guest OS then schedule its own processes. So maybe the answer is to write and ship application inside virtual appliances. This is just me pondering.

Re:Virtual Machines? (2, Interesting)

jeremiahbell (522050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791673)

Putting all programs inside virtual machine like wrappers could work to keep the programmer from having to worry about scheduling in a scenario where the processes handled their threads, and it may also have good security implications. A major problem is malicious programs gaining access to the RAM, and trying to ferret our your hard-drive encryption key for example. Putting all programs in a locked Box might be a great way to fix the problem. Despite the performance penalty I believe this may be the future.

one wish... (0, Flamebait)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791675)

If I could get ONE wish fulfilled would be for OS scheduling to focus on processes, and not threads, for scheduling.

One wish, and THAT'S what he'd choose? That's effed-up. Evangelize a new set of priorities! Infinite wishes, dumb-ass!

Chief Evangelists Department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20791683)

Rumor mill: Intel is in the process of creating the Chief Evangelists Department. This innovative organization will hire all participants in this excellent debate for the positions of Chief Evangelist. According to the rumor all posters will be contacted by email.

Ignorant Comment (1)

polyex (736819) | more than 6 years ago | (#20791731)

Ok, this is a knee jerk response from someone not reading the article yet, so forgive me in that regard. I was to understand from someone else that every thread in Linux is actually a separate process and therefore carries with it a performance hit for multi-threaded applications VS say BSD systems. Thats second hand information from a Sun developer who thought it was a terrible idea.
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