What's the Status of the Linux Version?

Using Dyalog under 'nixes

What's the Status of the Linux Version?

Postby Dick Bowman on Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:36 pm

Having another of my periodic looks at Linux, installed Ubuntu a few days ago and found things looking an awful lot better than last time I tried a desktop Linux - got the impression that it could be a viable environment for personal desktop applications now.

But looking at the traffic here there doesn't seem to be a lot happening.
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Dick Bowman
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Re: What's the Status of the Linux Version?

Postby AndyS|Dyalog on Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:31 am

Dyalog APL is built each night for all platforms from the same source, and QAd using the same QAs. Clearly there is a fair amount of "if it's Windows do this else do that" in the code, but the heart of Dyalog APL is the same on all platforms - so conversations about matters such as classes etc apply equally well to Dyalog APL on any platform. Workspaces and component files are binary compatible and Conga runs happily under UNIX too.

The UNIX versions (including Linux) do not have a GUI front end .. it's still character based. However they, like the Windows versions, will support R-IDE in future. We also are examining the possibilities of extending the .Net bridge to Mono and Java (more about this at Dyalog '11 !) which will make the Linux version more attractive for client and server applications.

We use the Linux version in house for various systems, including the online tutorial at http://tutorial.dyalog.com. The UNIX versions have the ability to fork the current process (4000⌶: the child being an exact clone of the parent) and can change their effective userid (4001⌶) which means that you can bind to restricted ports as root, and then change the effective ID to that of a normal user; this adds significantly to the security of the application, and is similar to the model that Apache and other webservers use.

Running an APL service on Linux requires much less resource than on Windows .. the tutorial VM runs with 100MB RAM, 4GB disk and about 1/10th of a CPU. You would need rather more to run under XP/W7, and considerably more to run a version of Windows Server.

As to whether Linux is now a viable personal desktop environment I'll merely say that I run Windows at work, and Linux at home .. and for what I use them for, each is fine, each having its limitations and benefits .. what is best (IMHO) in either case is to run virtual machines so that I can run both at the same time on the same box.
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