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Comment: Both Python & R great, yet do check under the (Score 1) 143

To begin with, I'm a Pythonista for much of the time. Even so, I can see how you will probably land in the world of R; here is why:
  • * R comes with reasonable facilities for statistical processing and, on top of that, has important extensions that allow for remarkable features. Example: Setup R language, with snowfall->snow->Rmpi extensions. The result of this would be *fault-tolerant* *scalable* code, within relatively simple codebase. It cannot be overemphasized how much functionality you get out of the box in such setup, with basically zero code changes (in R).
  • * Python is great when it comes to integration with other languages/codebases. It could well be the best scripting language since... the invention of bread. As another poster mentioned, it can also interface with R via Rpy, so it's not at all a black-or-white decision.

In short, both are first-class tools for scientific computing and you should compare and choose them on technical merits basis.

Comment: Memory management (Score 2) 634

by Fotis Georgatos (#46963945) Attached to: Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014
The biggest reason of interest is that it helps non-computer-science scientists write up computational codes, neither having to devote excessive amount of time in memory management, nor deviate from the classic imperative programming model. And, it is also important for a purely non-technical reason: a generation of domain experts in engineering and scientific domains where trained in FORTRAN codes.

As managers of High Performance Computing platforms, we generally take an a-religious approach and deliver to the users all possible permutations of language types that a given community may need. The following is a very common setup, containing both GNU & Intel compilers:

btw. I'm not defending Fortran in any kind of way; ask any Fortran-fun, in which language his compilers are written in ... there is a reason :)

Comment: EasyBuild, it is in Python (Score 1) 172

by Fotis Georgatos (#46941095) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Beginner To Intermediate Programming Projects?
IFF you have even done wget/tar xvf/patch/make/make install - and wondered,
if this process could be ever improved and make sense, you have found your project!

EasyBuild allows you to tame scientific software of the following type:
* Download and build GROMACS over FFTW/3.3, applying patches X,Y,Z, using CUDA for speed.

Here is your initial reference:
And here is the juice:
The code lives across 3 repos on github, I am sure you will find your way.

Comment: Maintenance Windows (Score 1) 294

by Fotis Georgatos (#46777575) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board
Probably all you are missing over there are scheduled maintenance windows.

You give them a list once per month about what is about to change, get a confirmation, proceed with them available on standby for fixes on the spot or, rollback.

Try to think the big picture: how would you maintain the systems, if they were life-supporting medical equipment? Why not give same quality of service?!

Comment: Swap gun 4 cheaper more traditional geometry bits? (Score 1) 311

OK, the rope won't do as much for accuracy as actually working out the math a bit, but nevertheless it WILL be better and more guaranteed result than a shotgun.

Also, if you can curry a shotgun for the post-apocalyptic world, you can as well carry a clay tablet with "355/113" written on it and save on the bullets for the moments that you will be in higher need... (having a monopoly on circular constructions might make you a highly sought target :-P )

Comment: Re:Since i am a Greek... (Score 1) 324

The other Greek fellows that wrote around this article, I'd say that they portray well the different standing of opinions of the greek population at large, and even hint at the cause-effects of this "legal accident".
Most points are valid as opinions but I'd rather emphasize a couple points for clarity:

> In school is surely optional to pray and to attend the one hour per week religion class.

I'd differ in that: at the time I was in high school, the courses about religion WERE compulsory to attend and formed part of the final grade. So, it is a form of coercion. To be fair, most teachers had enough intellect to let things go by without mishaps.

> That "hold of the church over the state" i can not see it - i don't claim that you are lying but you exaggerate the situation.

Hm, we all wish it was the case: Few years ago my father made the claim in a related family debate,
that I am a citizen of a theocratic state. Of course, I gasped at the notion and refuted.

How wrong I was! the first line of the modern greek Constitution starts with: "In the Name of ... Trinity" ! eh!!!
The only think that consoles me is, that our occidental neighbor, Italy, needs to make even more steps for state-religion separation :)

"No matter where you go, there you are..." -- Buckaroo Banzai