Nathan Bullock wrote:
My gosh. Your subject line nearly gave me a heart attack!
Hi, I was just doing a Google search on my name and I
ran across a site that actually had a reference to
Obsequi a program I wrote almost three years ago now.
I thought the program had been forgotten a long time
ago (forgotten might not be the right word, I'm not
sure if it was ever remembered).
Anyway I was just wondering how John Criswell ever ran
across such a low profile program, and why he decided
to include it into the llvm source tree? I would be
interested to know. I hope it wasn't just for a
Not at all.
Several years ago, I became very interested in abstract board games. This led me to the University of Alberta GAMES Group, among other web sites. As I'm sure you know, Obsequi is available for download from there.
I originally compiled Obsequi with LLVM in hopes that we could use it for testing an optimization called Automatic Pool Allocation (http://llvm.cs.uiuc.edu/pubs/2002-06-AutomaticPoolAllocation.html). Automatic Pool Allocation, we believe, will work very well with programs that heavily use linked data structures. While I haven't checked Obsequi's code specifically to see if it uses lots of linked data structures, I figured there was a good chance that it (and other board game programs) did, as many of these programs use mini-max to find solutions, and mini-max can be implemented using linked data structures.
So far, we haven't used Obsequi with Automatic Pool Allocation. But we did add it to the LLVM test suite as a regression test (to ensure LLVM can keep compiling it). Additionally, it's adjustable problem size is useful as we often want to get long runtimes out of programs for use in benchmarking (it's hard to make comparisons when a program takes 0.01 seconds to run).
By the way I ran across an article on llvm a couple of
months ago on slashdot. Kudos to the entire group
working on it, it sounds quite interesting.
Thank you for the kudos, and another thank you for writing Obsequi and letting us use it!
ps. What is the Ph.D. program like at the University,
what sort of funding is available, etc? I have thought
about doing a Ph.D. but have never been brave enough
to give up my full time job.
That I can't really answer (I'm a research programmer here). Perhaps someone else in the group can?
Thanks again for writing. It's very cool to hear from you.
-- John T.