[rust-dev] spawn on computer cluster

Niko Matsakis niko at alum.mit.edu
Mon Apr 9 06:41:26 PDT 2012

On 4/8/12 9:25 PM, Mic wrote:
> Hi,
> Does spawn spread the task across computer nodes in a cluster eg like 
> in Julia http://julialang.org/manual/parallel-computing/ ?

Currently, no.

> Any plans maybe also to build spawn on top of MapReduce and HDFS API 
> for Hadoop like in Python 
> http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/pydoop/index.php?title=Main_Paget ?

Currently, no.

We are currently not targeting distributed computing. Some of the 
features in Rust—e.g., unique pointer transfer between tasks—are really 
intended for processes with shared memory.

Nonetheless, the current design would permit a distributed 
implementation: all sendable things are also copyable (and tree-shaped, 
for that matter), which means that they could in theory be efficiently 
serialized and sent over the wire.

However, as we evolve, there are some planned features that do not lend 
themselves so well to a distributed setting. For example, we would like 
to make use of regions to allow the construction of a message that has 
arbitrary shape (for example, a graph) and which can then be sent as a 
whole. While it is of course possible to serialize graphs, it's just 
harder and slower. But I guess that so long as we stick to a strict "no 
shared memory" model (which I think we will) then a distributed 
implementation is always a possibility.

(Data or small-scale task-parallelism, as discussed in the recent thread 
on ray tracing, is a different matter of course. That often only makes 
sense with shared memory. But we don't currently have any features 
targeting this.)


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