[petsc-dev] Julia Petsc Wrapper

Matthew Knepley knepley at gmail.com
Mon Jul 6 08:02:31 CDT 2015

On Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 4:59 AM, Patrick Sanan <patrick.sanan at gmail.com>

> I had a couple of brief discussions about this at Juliacon as well. I
> think it would be useful, but there are a couple of things to think about
> from the start of any new attempt to do this:
> 1. As Jack pointed out, one issue is that the PETSc library must be
> compiled for a particular precision. This raises some questions - should
> several versions of the library be built to allow for flexibility?
> 2. An issue with wrapping PETSc is always that the flexibility of using
> the PETSc options paradigm is reduced - how can this be addressed?
> Could/should an expert user be able to access the options database
> directly, or would this be too much violence to the wrapper abstraction?

I have never understood why this is an issue. Can't you just wrap our
interface level, and use the options just as we do? That
is essentially what petsc4py does. What is limiting in this methodology? On
the other hand, requiring specific types, ala FEniCS,
is very limiting.


> On Sat, Jul 4, 2015 at 11:00 PM, Jared Crean <jcrean01 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  Hello,
>>      I am a graduate student working on a CFD code written in Julia, and
>> I am interested in using Petsc as a linear solver (and possibly for the
>> non-linear solves as well) for the code.  I discovered the Julia wrapper
>> file Petsc.jl in Petsc and have updated it to work with the current version
>> of Julia and the MPI.jl package, using only MPI for communication (I don't
>> think Julia's internal parallelism will scale well enough, at least not in
>> the near future).
>>      I read the discussion on Github [
>> https://github.com/JuliaLang/julia/issues/2645], and it looks like
>> there currently is not a complete package to access Petsc from Julia.
>> With your permission, I would like to use the Petsc.jl file as the basis
>> for developing a package.  My plan is create a lower level interface that
>> exactly wraps Petsc functions, and then construct a higher level interface,
>> probably an object that is a subtype of Julia's AbstractArray, that allows
>> users to store values into Petsc vectors and matrices.  I am less
>> interested in integrating tightly with Julia's existing linear algebra
>> capabilities than ensuring good scalability.  The purpose of the high level
>> interface it simple to populate the vector or matrix.
>>      What do you think, both about using the Petsc.jl file and the
>> overall approach?
>>      Jared Crean

What most experimenters take for granted before they begin their
experiments is infinitely more interesting than any results to which their
experiments lead.
-- Norbert Wiener
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