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Subject: Re: [ublas] New uBLAS maintainer
From: Tom Vercauteren (tom.vercauteren_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-03-30 12:25:30

Hi David,

It is really nice to hear that things are moving on the uBLAS front! I
have been looking at the feedback you got from the list and realized
that some of my own needs did not show up yet. I contribute to a large
open-source project called ITK ( ) that would benefit from
using a strong linear algebra library. uBLAS could be a solution
provided that some additional features appear.

1) Ease the use of uBLAS as a standalone library. Being able to easily
extract uBLAS from boost would help large projects ship with an
embedded uBLAS version.

2) Provide open-source, BSD-like, versions of standard linear algebra
algorithms such as sparse and dense matrix decompositions, matrix
functions and so on. The Boost license is really one of the key
advantages of uBLAS. Using bindings is often useful but can be a pain
since other linear algebra packages are often not BSD-like (many are
either GPL or LGPL) and are thus difficult to use in BSD projects.

3) Provide a unified API for these linear algebra algorithms with a
means of easily switching between different backends (basic open
source implementation included in uBLAS or external "binded"
implementation). This would make uBLAS usable without external
libraries but would also allow it to benefit from optimized
implementations when they are available elsewhere.

My two cents,

On Sun, Mar 14, 2010 at 22:44, David Bellot <david.bellot_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> Dear uBLAS users,
> recently Gunter Winkler asked for someone to take over the maintenance of
> the uBLAS library. As a fervent user of uBLAS and a strong believer in Open
> Source and Free Software, I decided to propose myself as the new duty man. I
> will therefore have the honor to be in charge of uBLAS and will do my best
> to make uBLAS reach its goals of versatility, performance and ease of use.
> Let me quickly introduce myself: my name is David Bellot, I hold a PhD in
> Computer Science and do research (currently in the finance world) on Machine
> Learning and probabilistic artificial intelligence, hence my strong interest
> in uBLAS.
> First of all, I want to say a big Thank You to Gunter for all the great work
> he did on uBLAS and a personal Thank You to help me getting on-board and
> starting my new duty as uBLAS maintainer.
> I would also like to talk about potential projects for the next versions of
> uBLAS. For that purpose, I hope everybody will be interested in bringing new
> ideas, wishes and even new pieces of code:
> (1) as you can imagine, in machine learning, one often needs to "randomly"
> access to sub-matrices. A good framework is already in place for
> matrix_view, I would like to extend it so that to make it as versatile as it
> is in other libraries or even Matlab.
> (2) after reading last week emails, I think we could provide basic
> implementations of a few standard algorithms like inversion, solvers, etc...
> (3) bindings are a hot topic. Let's be pragmatic: it's not supposed to be
> part of uBLAS but having a standard interface would add a strong value to
> uBLAS. And, I am like others, I want to play with my brand new nVidia card.
> (4) another hot topic which is a recurrent complain about uBLAS: the product
> of 2 matrices. Do we want prod(A,B) or A*B. Let's think about it because
> other libraries implemented A*B in a very efficient manner too.
> (5) Bindings for big libraries are also important and subject to discussion.
> I think we have to work more on the interface between all standard libraries
> when it is needed because, at the end of the day, people also want to use
> uBLAS to make computations with existing standard and not just write brand
> new algorithms.
> (6) I will join Gunter in his effort to provide new documentation, covering
> more topics, with tutorial and advanced topics. uBLAS is a great library and
> a good documentation is of primary interest. That is one of the most
> important topic for me (yes, way more than prod(A,B) versus A*B)
> Please everybody contribute with your own ideas and desiderata.
> Let's work and make uBLAS simply the best.
> With my Best Regards,
> David Bellot
> --
> David Bellot, PhD
> david.bellot_at_[hidden]
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