[Mpi-forum] Feb 2021 MPI Forum Meeting Plan

Martin Schulz schulzm at in.tum.de
Sun Feb 21 23:57:42 CST 2021

Hi all,


Thanks to Wesley for putting together this detailed description of the meeting this week. I hope this helps lay out what’s the plan for the quite packed meeting this week, Let me reiterate a few items, though:

If you haven’t done so, please register for the meeting (important for voting eligibility!)
We have a long list of items to go through and to be voted on and we would like to get this number down as quickly as possible, so that we get to a stable base again. As Wesley said, the plan is to start today with going through this list quickly and we would therefore ask everyone to look at the list beforehand and to avoid long discussions. This should not mean that you have to agree with everything – if there is larger concern, please raise it (no need to hold back, we want to find problems) and we’ll flag the issue and discuss it later (in the meeting if time allows or in a virtual meeting). This way we can get all non-controversial issue out of the way and reduce the total number of issues to deal with.
As for delaying MPI 4.0 – as Wesley said, everyone should vote as they/their organization sees fit, but based on the conversations in the last meetings there are issues currently that are worth being concerned about. Personally I think, delaying by one meeting to get such larger items fixed (especially where bindings are affected) is worth considering (which would still allow us to release MPI 4.0 for ISC), but we should limit this to these larger items only and not try address other items or even to add functionality. 
However, having said that – should we decide to delay MPI 4.0 and if there are existing known errata items (especially non-controversial ones) that may make sense to include (without causing any further delay), please let us know.
As for the larger items that need to be discussed – I have added them to the agenda. We will go through them after our initial pass of the existing issues (as described above). From what I have seen, there are concrete proposals on the table for each and we will do a preliminary reading and discussion on those. If needed, we will have additional virtual meetings on them – it would be good, though, to get agreement on the possible solution rather sooner than later, to give chapter authors to check for potential side effects and unintended impacts.
As Wesley said, our rules do not require another page by page review of the entire document. However, we have seen extensive changes throughout the document as part of our last review and hence chapter committee chairs (along with their committees, if needed) should go through their chapters and verify that changes had no unintended impact. 
With all the readings and votes on the MPI 4.0 changes, please don’t forget we’ll also have second vote on the side document containing the summary of the semantics of all operation-related MPI procedures

I hope this gives even more background on the planned procedures – if there are any open questions or suggestions, please bring them up at the beginning of the meeting!


Talk to you all in a few hours,






Prof. Dr. Martin Schulz, Chair of Computer Architecture and Parallel Systems
Department of Informatics, TU-Munich, Boltzmannstraße 3, D-85748 Garching
Member of the Board of Directors at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ)
Email: schulzm at in.tum.de




From: mpi-forum <mpi-forum-bounces at lists.mpi-forum.org> on behalf of Wesley Bland via mpi-forum <mpi-forum at lists.mpi-forum.org>
Reply-To: Main MPI Forum mailing list <mpi-forum at lists.mpi-forum.org>
Date: Thursday, 18. February 2021 at 21:00
To: MPI Forum <mpi-forum at lists.mpi-forum.org>
Cc: Wesley Bland <work at wesbland.com>
Subject: [Mpi-forum] Feb 2021 MPI Forum Meeting Plan


Hi all, 


I wanted to give an update on the plan for the meeting next week after our virtual meeting yesterday.


The original plan for the Feb 2021 meeting was to be a Final Ratification Meeting (FRM), which would mean that at some point during the meeting, we would potentially ratify MPI 4.0 and elect officers for the next release of the MPI Standard. The rules for that are in our procedures document on our website and it turns out they handle our current situation very well. The relevant pieces are this:


At the last meeting, we made two lists of items that were not yet fixed. These lists are maintained on agenda and voting page for the meeting: https://www.mpi-forum.org/meetings/2021/02/votes  
The items that we knew about by the end of the December 2020 meeting - Everything on this list that was fixed will be voted on using the same rules as an errata vote.
The items that were discovered after the end of the December 2020 meeting - Everything on this list that was fixed will be voted on using the same rules as a no-no vote.
We will construct another list during the February 2021 meeting to keep track of remaining issues that we see with the document. This list is in the same place as where we tracked the previous work: https://github.com/mpi-forum/mpi-issues/projects/2 
On a separate day from the items in #1 above, we will have a ballot to decide whether the remaining issues should cause us to delay ratifying MPI 4.0. 
Without attempting to editorialize too much (people may vote in whatever way they think is most appropriate), based on the conversations in the virtual meeting yesterday, I would expect this ballot to pass. The ramifications of that are below.
If the ballot in #3 fails (saying the list of remaining items is not blocking MPI 4.0), then we hold another ballot to ratify MPI 4.0.
If the ballot in #3 passes (saying the list should block MPI 4.0), then the February 2021 meeting essentially becomes a Release Candidate Meeting (RCM) like our December 2020 meeting. This means: 
The June 2021 meeting becomes the new FRM meeting for MPI 4.0
The remaining items list becomes the “errata” list for the June meeting and everything remaining on it should be addressed ASAP to allow time to discuss, merge, and generate a new release candidate document for that meeting (tentative deadline for PRs to be created would be April 19th, but they should be created and hopefully merged long before that to avoid similar problems for the next meeting).
Any new items that are discovered before the next meeting can still be added to the second list for a no-no vote.
A new chapter-by-chapter reading is not necessary or required.
Officer nominations will reopen and we will hold elections at the June meeting.

If we do decide to delay MPI 4.0, I don’t think the intention is to “open the floodgates” for every small thing we’ve noticed is wrong in the document. As Bill has said, we’ll never fix every little thing, so right now let’s focus on the major issues that would cause problems and keep doing the rest for MPI 4.1. If there are remaining issues from the previous lists that we’d like to address, go ahead and create the PR for them and we can make a decision later on whether to vote it into MPI 4.0 or 4.1. Either way, the PR will be useful.


In order to get through all of the things above and still have time to discuss the remaining technical issues, we’re going to have to be very aggressive in our timeline for reading all of the changes since the last meeting. As you can see on the votes page, we have 76 issues to be read. In an effort to get those done as quickly as possible, Martin and I will be going through the issues/PRs and asking for input from others as we go (but avoiding context switching from laptop to laptop between each issue). We hope this will give us time to finish the entire set of issues on day one or two.


If there are items that begin to have prolonged technical discussion, we will take that as a sign that the issue needs more discussion with the relevant groups outside of the full-forum meeting time, which is very limited. The interested parties should schedule a separate time to have those discussions and bring the results back in a future virtual meeting over the next month or two.


If you haven’t registered for the meeting for next week, please do so now on the logistics page: https://www.mpi-forum.org/meetings/2021/02/logistics I’ll be updating the attendance page periodically, but keep in mind that the process is manual so it doesn’t happen immediately.


That’s all from me for now. I think Martin had some more thoughts about what to do with the remaining technical items that he’ll address in another email.




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