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Harlan: a Language That Simplifies GPU Programming 195 195

hypnosec writes "Harlan – a declarative programming language that simplifies development of applications running on GPU has been released by a researcher at Indiana University. Erik Holk released his work publicly after working on it for two years. Harlan's syntax is based on Scheme – a dialect of LISP programming language. The language aims to help developers make productive and efficient use of GPUs by enabling them to carry out their actual work while it takes care of the routine GPU programming tasks. The language has been designed to support GPU programming and it works much closer to the hardware." Also worth a mention is Haskell's GPipe interface to programmable GPUs.
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Harlan: a Language That Simplifies GPU Programming

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  • Indian University? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 05, 2013 @05:20AM (#44193195)

    I think you mean Indiana University, mods.

  • by zdzichu (100333) <<zdzichu> <at> <irc.pl>> on Friday July 05, 2013 @05:24AM (#44193209) Homepage Journal

    Holk reveals [theincredibleholk.org] that the name Harlan comes from a mishearing of fried chicken icon Colonel Sanders' first name, Harland, and this association is also why all the file extensions for Harlan programs are .kfc.

  • Change in thinking (Score:5, Informative)

    by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2 AT gdargaud DOT net> on Friday July 05, 2013 @05:27AM (#44193217) Homepage
    I just started doing some GPU programming and the change in thinking that it requires even for very simple things can be hard for programmers. I don't know if this language forces us to think in new terms, but here's a very simple example: we often use arrays of structures. Well, a GPU can optimize computations on arrays but not on structures, so it's better to use structures of arrays... Even is less natural for the programmer. Plenty of small examples like that that don't really depend on the language you use.
  • by Vincent77 (660967) on Friday July 05, 2013 @06:19AM (#44193349)

    There are several languages that are written on top of OpenCL - that is the whole idea of this API. But if your read the article, it seems this guy was the actual inventor of the wheel.

    Same response happened when some guy made Rootbeer and let some marketeer write an alike article [slashdot.org]. It was suggested that you could just run existing Java-code on the GPU, but that was not true at all - you had to rewrite the code to the rootbeer-API. This Harlan-project is comparable: just beta-software that has not run into the real limits of GPU-computing - but still making big promises that in contrary to their peers they actually will fix the problem.
    I'm not saying it can be in the future, but just that this article is a marketing-piece with several promises on future advancements.

    Check out Aparapi [google.com] and VexCL [github.com] to name just two. There are loads [khronos.org] and loads [streamcomputing.eu] of these solutions - many of these wrappers slowly advance to higher level languages, and have been in the field a lot longer.

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer