[Developers] Proposed Cactus Timer API Completion

Erik Schnetter schnetter at aei.mpg.de
Sat Aug 7 09:51:27 CDT 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Saturday 07 August 2004 16:11, Jonathan Thornburg wrote:
> Hi, Steve,
> Quoting from your E-mail of Thu, 5 Aug 2004 18:49:22 +0200 (CEST):
> > Here is the latest version of the proposed completion of the Timer
> > API.
> I'm sorry, this is just not detailed enough.  After rereading it
> many times I am still guessing at some details of what the functions
> do.
> Could you perhaps post your draft of an actual API, i.e. with
> actual C and/or Fortran function prototypes?  Some sample client
> code showing typical usage would also be VERY useful in understanding
> how the various pieces fit totether.

It is, in my experience, very cumbersome to have this kind of 
conversation over email.  It is very difficult to distinguish between 
someone criticising in order to improve, and someone criticising 
because he doesn't like the idea.  Given the current state of timers -- 
as Jonathan also mentioned in another email regarding their 
documentation -- I think that improvement is in order.

With Cactus, it often seems that no one actually puts in the work, 
because no one has time, and as soon as someone proposes a change and 
discusses it in some detail, suddenly everybody feels competent to 
argue and propose changes.  That is not to say, Jonathan, that your 
comments are worthless; you have, as usual, pointed out the weaknesses 
in Steve's description with your eagle's eyes.  (However, I've talked 
to Steve about the his proposed API, and I think most of your questions 
can be answered with "Steve wants to do what you already think is the 
better alternative".)

And thus, here are my two cents:

1. Let us stop discussing things to death before they are implemented, 
because this means they won't get implemented in the end, which means 
that the whole discussion was just a waste of time and energy.  
Instead, start by implementing something imperfect but useful, and 
improve it incrementally.  A single day spent using a feature often 
saves a month of theoretical discussions.

2. Let us keep the discussions on this list to a minimum.  Instead, let 
us try to talk to each other face to face, or during conference calls.  
A single hour spent talking personally often saves a month of email 

We should, above all, not forget that one of the main objective of these 
discussions here is to motivate people to spend more time on improving 

- -erik

- -- 
Erik Schnetter <schnetter at aei.mpg.de>   http://www.aei.mpg.de/~eschnett/

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