[Rd] parallel::mclapply() dummy function on Windows?
jfox at mcmaster.ca
Sat Oct 8 14:48:57 CEST 2011
I don't have an opinion about whether what Tim wants to do is a good idea,
but was responding to his comment that he would need "parallel=FALSE flags
all over the place." Why could he not simply define
mclapply <- if (.Platform$OS.type == "windows") base::lapply else
in his package?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-devel-bounces at r-project.org [mailto:r-devel-bounces at r-project.org]
> Behalf Of Martin Morgan
> Sent: October-08-11 8:16 AM
> To: John Fox
> Cc: ttriche at usc.edu; 'Prof Brian Ripley'; 'r-devel'
> Subject: Re: [Rd] parallel::mclapply() dummy function on Windows?
> On 10/07/2011 06:03 PM, John Fox wrote:
> > Dear Tim,
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: r-devel-bounces at r-project.org
> >> [mailto:r-devel-bounces at r-project.org]
> > On
> >> Behalf Of Tim Triche, Jr.
> >> Sent: October-07-11 3:05 PM
> >> To: Prof Brian Ripley
> >> Cc: r-devel
> >> Subject: Re: [Rd] parallel::mclapply() dummy function on Windows?
> >> On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:25 PM, Prof Brian Ripley
> >> <ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk>wrote:
> >>> Why would it make it easier? And how could using a dummy for 'most
> > users'
> >>> (who are on Windows) offer them 'good parallel support'?
> >> Good point. Most of my users are on unix, because my use of
> >> mclapply() is primarily to expedite processing of raw scanner data.
> >> Only a handful of users for the packages that call mclapply() are on
> >> Windows. Right now, I default to having parallel=FALSE flags all
> >> over the place, but I'd prefer
> > for
> >> the default to be "go as fast as practical in the common case", i.e.,
> > Unix.
> >> It would have been more accurate for me to say "I would like to
> > parallelize
> >> by default, without having the methods fail on Windows in the default
> >> configuration" than to claim that I want "good parallel support" for
> > Windows.
> >> When I have tried using the foreach/doMC combination in the past, it
> >> has
> > not
> >> worked out satisfactorily, so I don't know how well I can support
> >> Windows users... period.
> > Why don't you just apply the approach you initially suggested in your
> > own package, defining mclapply() the way you want it?
> Hi John et al.,
> Individual packages will become littered with ad hoc solutions,
> without, for instance, the wisdom and experience of Prof.
> Ripley about platforms or environments in which it is appropriate to use
> mclapply. For instance, Tim's pseudo-code if (Windows) ... translated as
> (.Platform$OS.type == "windows") doesn't sound like its the correct test;
> exists("mclapply", getNamespace("parallel"))
> but probably more. Also, doesn't parallel's name space differ between
> platforms, requiring the package author to import(parallel) rather than
> better practice of importFrom(parallel, mclapply) ?
> > I hope this helps,
> > John
> >> Take a look at e.g. package 'boot' to see how to offer alternatives.
> >> (A
> >>> version that uses 'parallel' is pending on CRAN, or see
> >>> http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/pub/**R/boot_1.3-3.tar.gz<http://www.stats
> >>> .o
> >>> x.ac.uk/pub/R/boot_1.3-3.tar.gz>.) Package 'parallel' may in future
> >>> offer a higher-level abstraction layer that makes offers such a
> >>> choice,
> > but
> >> as the 'boot' code shows, deciding what to send to the workers in a
> >> snow- style cluster is not simple.
> >> It seems similar to what I do (off topic: why do you use the file
> > extension
> >> '.q' for all of the R/S code files?): pass flags around. I suppose I
> >> was just being lazy, but I would love to default to "go as fast as
> >> without having Windows users get left out in the cold (unless they
> >> add
> > flags
> >> to their function calls).
> >> Thank you for your suggestions, I will look into this further.
> >> --
> >> Tim Triche, Jr.
> >> USC Biostatistics
> >> [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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