[Mpi-forum] [EXTERNAL] Wording in MPI standard

Rajeev Thakur thakur at mcs.anl.gov
Tue Nov 27 08:48:24 CST 2012

If you search for the word "should" in the document, it is used all over the place. And it does not mean "maybe"


On Nov 27, 2012, at 8:23 AM, Pavan Balaji wrote:

> On 11/27/2012 04:48 AM US Central Time, Jeff Hammond wrote:
>> Is it explicitly defined anywhere that "foo has been started" means
>> "MPI_I*foo has been called by the appropriate MPI rank" or "sufficient
>> matching has occurred such that foo can proceed without additional
>> explicit remote activity"?  Perhaps this text would be more clear if
>> it were more pedantic in this respect, assuming either of my
>> equivalences are correct.
> I think this needs to be clarified -- I always tell people that it needs
> to be matched (even though the standard says it should have "started" --
> what does that mean, if matching has started, but not completed, is it
> considered "started").
>> As for language, while "should" isn't legally enforceable in the same
>> way that "must" or "shall" are, the MPI standard is not a legally
>> binding document and I don't think any MPI implementer wants to be
>> known as the jerk that exploits this loophole to create a formally
>> standard-compliant implementation that screws over users by violating
>> the principle of least surprise in important use cases such as Scott's
>> example.
> I have to agree with Scott here -- "must" or "is required to be" is a
> clearer way to describe it.
> -- Pavan
> -- 
> Pavan Balaji
> http://www.mcs.anl.gov/~balaji
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