The right tools for the job

Reading through some of the most interesting papers at the upcoming SC06 show. Yes, we will be there wandering around. I read an interesting paper from the originators of mpiBLAST. They had a great quote about developing very high performance computing tools, specifically in terms of tying multiple other tools together. They used Perl to do this. For good reason. Here is the quote:

Many of our design choices proved to be good ones. For example, the choice to use perl scripts to glue existing tools together was crucial to having GreenGene operational during SC|05. If we had attempted to implement the needed functionality directly in C or C++, development time would have exceeded the time available. In exchange for faster development, however, we had to tolerate higher utilization on the head nodes.

I am not trying to denigrate C/C++. We find that when we need to stitch complex interacting programs together that using Perl, and Perl based frameworks such as Catalyst for MVC applications, makes development easy and supportable, while allowing us to leverage the awesome power of CPAN.

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