Futhark is going to FOSDEM'17

Posted on December 28, 2016 by Troels Henriksen

FOSDEM is an annual meeting of hackers and others involved in free and open source software development. Taking place in Brussels, I try to attend whenever I am able. Ever since I first started working on Futhark, I hoped to one day present it at FOSDEM. But as FOSDEM is not an academic conference, I wanted Futhark to be useful (or at least usable) before presenting it. While Futhark is still far from done, I feel it has finally reached a level where I am comfortable standing in front of strangers and claiming that this stuff is worth paying attention to. That is, we have flashy demos and enough varied benchmarks to have solid evidence of good performance.

FOSDEM is organised as a large number of parallel tracks, each with their own topic and more or less independently run. I had hoped for a track on functional programming or GPUs, but alas, there was no such thing. Instead, I submitted to the track on high-performance computing., and to my great pleasure (and some surprise), my talk proposal was accepted!

Looking at the other accepted talks, I will be in fine company indeed. Most of the other talks seem to be on fairly mature systems that are immediately useful in existing HPc systems. I hope I will be able to convince my audience of the potential of high-performance functional programming, even if Futhark itself is still quite rough around the edges.