Linear Algebra Package for Parrot VM
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A linear algebra library package for the Parrot Virtual Machine


The goals of the Parrot-Linear-Algebra (PLA) project are to develop a good,
high-performance linear algebra toolset for use with the Parrot Virtual
Machine, and programs that run on top of Parrot. In pursuit of these goals,
high-performance PMC matrix types will be developed, along with interfaces
to the BLAS and LAPACK libraries for high-performance operations.

In addition to these core goals, PLA may also provide a series of ancillary
tools that are similar in implementation to it's high-performance core

== STATUS ==

PLA is being actively developed. It has core PMC types that build, a build
and installation system, and a growing test suite.

PLA currently provides these PMC types:

* NumMatrix2D

    A 2-D matrix containing floating point values.

* PMCMatrix2D

    A 2-D matrix containing PMC pointers

* ComplexMatrix2D

    A 2-D matrix containing Complex values, optimized to store complex values
    directly instead of using an array of Parrot's Complex PMC type.

* CharMatrix2D (Testing)

    A 2-D character matrix that doubles as an array of strings with
    fixed-row-length storage.

PLA does not yet offer matrix or tensor types with more than two dimensions.


PLA has several dependencies. To help manage dependencies, you may want
to install Plumage

This is not a dependency, just a convenience.

Each PLA release will target different versions of the various dependencies.
See the file RELEASES for information about individual releases and their

Here are a list of dependencies for PLA:

* Parrot 2.7.0

    PLA is an extension for Parrot and requires Parrot to build and run.
    Releases of PLA will target supported releases of Parrot. Supported
    releases are typically X.0, X.3, X.6, X.9. Releases for Parrot can be
    retrieved from

    Development between releases will typically target the latest supported
    release, though it may begin to target more recent development releases in
    anticipation of the next supported release.

    PLA expects a built and installed Parrot. For more information about the
    installation process


    PLA depends on either CBLAS or ATLAS. The BLAS library is written in
    Fortran, so C language bindings are all translations of the Fortran
    interface. Unfortunately there is not a good, standard way of translating
    the Fortran source to C API bindings, so not all libraries that provide a
    C API for BLAS will have an interface compatible with PLA. We are working
    to be more accepting of small differences in various interfaces, but this
    work is moving slowly.

    PLA may eventually support direct linkage to the BLAS library, instead of
    requiring a C language implementation (CBLAS or ATLAS). This is not
    supported yet but is on the roadmap.

    We recommend the ATLAS library for current development and testing work.
    On Ubuntu or other Debian-based distros, you can type this incantation to
    get it automatically:

        sudo apt-get install libatlas3-base
        sudo apt-get install libatlas-base-dev

    On Fedora you can type:

        sudo yum install atlas-devel

    Notice that the default vesions of the atlas library are only generally
    optimized. If you are able, try to use a platform-specific variant (such
    as "-sse2" or "-3dnow") for better performance. See the ATLAS homepage for
    more information:


    LAPACK is a library of linear algebra routines which rely heavily on the
    local BLAS implementation. For more information about LAPACK, see the
    project homepage at:

    LAPACK bindings are currently in development.

* Kakapo

    Kakapo is a framework library for the NQP language. PLA currently uses
    Kakapo to implement it's unit testing suite. You can build and install
    PLA without Kakapo, but you will need the framework to run the test suite.
    You can obtain Kakapo from it's source code repository on Gitorious, and
    get documentation from its project page on Google Code:

* Other

    Currently, PLA is only tested to build and work on Linux and other
    Unix-like systems with all the aforementioned prerequisites. The setup
    process pulls configuration information from your installed version of
    Parrot, so it will attempt to use the same compiler with the same
    compilation options as Parrot was compiled with. If another compiler
    absolutely needs to be used, there may be a way to specify that, but no
    documentation about the process exists.


To get, build, test, and install Parrot-Linear-Algebra, follow these steps
(on Linux) once all the prerequisites have been prepared:

    git clone git:// pla
    cd pla
    parrot-nqp setup.nqp build
    parrot-nqp setup.nqp test
    parrot-nqp setup.nqp install

Testing only works if you have Kakapo installed on your system. To install,
you may need root privileges on your system. There is currently no known way
to build or deploy PLA on Windows.


    + /
        + dynext/      : Location for generated libraries
        + examples/    : Example programs in various languages
        + ports/       : Generated information about porting
        + src/         : Source code
            + include/ : Include files
            + lib/     : Library files
            + pmc/     : PMC definition files
            + nqp/     : The NQP bootstrapper
            + rakudo/  : Wrapper files for use in Rakudo Perl 6
        + t/           : Tests
            + methods/ : Tests for methods
            + pmc/     : Tests for various PMC types
            + testlib/ : Common test library


Original versions were developed as part of the Matrixy project by Blairuk.
Some parts of the test suite were provided by Austin Hastings.
See the file CREDITS for updated information about contributors.