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\title{Netlib news: greetings}
\author{Eric Grosse}\date{}
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{\sloppy
This is the first in a quarterly series of columns about {\tt netlib}.
Never heard of it? Then read: Jack J. Dongarra and Eric Grosse,
``Distribution of mathematical software via electronic mail'', {\em
Communications of the ACM} (1987) 30, 403-407.
Or, if that's too much trouble, just send e-mail containing the line
``help'' to the Internet address {\tt netlib@research.att.com} or uucp
address {\tt uunet!research!netlib}. A few minutes later, assuming you
have speedy mail connections, you will receive information on how to
use netlib and an overview of the many mathematical software libraries
and databases in the collection.
Each column in this series will start with a background discussion of
how netlib is run, applications in other fields, security horror
stories, and so on. The second half of column will briefly describe
recent additions to the collection and important updates of old codes.
If there are specific topics you would like to see addressed in future
issues, let me know.
Strictly speaking, this column only applies to the netlib running at
Bell Labs in New Jersey. If you're accessing the copy at Oak Ridge, or
Oslo, or Wollongong, or perhaps elsewhere, then the files should either
be there already or will show up shortly when our semi-automatic
procedures resynchronize the collections.
This first column provides a nice opportunity to publicly thank our
sponsors. The U.S. National Science Foundation provided an early grant
to help get us started, and implicitly helps by funding the national
network. AT\&T has donated machine resources, communication
facilities, and my time. Sequent generously loaned a machine, operated
by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to support netlib. The Norwegian
government, through a grant to Petter Bj{\o}rstad, purchased a machine
to provide service to Europe. The ACM agreed to redistribution of its
Collected Algorithms, and Algorithms Editor R. J. Renka arranged for
prompt updates. SIAM contributed its membership database. To all
these groups and the many others who contribute, the community owes
thanks.
Naturally, this thanks should not be expressed in the form of a lawsuit
if you're unhappy with some piece of software. None of the
organizations had anything to do with the content, and even the editors
make no claims about the suitability of the software for any purpose.
That's the meaning of the disclaimer ``Anything free comes with no
guarantee.''
On the other hand, don't be completely frightened off by this warning.
The mathematical algorithms in netlib include some of the most
sophisticated and robust methods to be found anywhere. Just remember
that a healthy skepticism is appropriate when you get software from any
source.
\section*{Recent additions}
{\bf PLTMG} edition 6.0 is a package written by Randy Bank, UCSD, for
solving elliptic partial differential equations in general regions of
the plane. It features adaptive local mesh refinement, multigrid
iteration, and a pseudo-arclength continuation option for parameter
dependencies. The package includes an initial mesh generator and
several graphics packages. Full documentation can be obtained in the
PLTMG User's Guide, newly published in the SIAM Frontiers in Applied
Mathematics series.
This library consists of a number of Fortran files and a few C files,
most of which (aside from the graphics) are machine independent. Since
the package is rather large, it has been made available via {\tt ftp
research.att.com}, for those who have Internet access. Log in as {\tt
anonymous} and {\tt cd dist/pltmg}. You must uncompress the .Z files
once you have a copy of them. Someday we plan to make all of netlib
available by ftp.
Version 2.1 of the {\bf dhrystone benchmarks} in Ada, C, and Pascal is
a new release from Reinhold Weicker, replacing the earlier (1984)
version.
Source code and runtime libraries for the {\bf Fortran-to-C converter}
are now available, courtesy of Stu Feldman of Bellcore, David Gay and
Norm Schryer of AT\&T Bell Labs, and Mark Maimone of CMU. Since last
fall, you have been able to exercise f2c by sending netlib a message
whose first line is {\tt execute f2c} and whose remaining lines are the
Fortran 77 source that you wish to have converted. Return mail brings
you the resulting C, with f2c's error messages. During the initial
experimental period, incoming Fortran is being saved in a file. Don't
send any secrets!
The {\bf na-digest} directory is an archive of the NA-NET Digest, an
electronic mailing moderated by Gene Golub and Cleve Moler. File names
are of the form v87n1. (Starting with 1990, names are of the form
v90n01, to simplify sorting.)
{\bf VFFTPK} Version 2.1, May 1990 is a vectorized package of Fortran
subprograms for the fast Fourier transform of real sequences, by Roland
Sweet and Linda Lindgren, NIST Boulder, and Ronald Boisvert, NIST
Maryland. It is a vectorization (for transforming multiple sequences)
of the package FFTPACK (Version 3, June 1979) written by Paul N.
Swarztrauber of NCAR.
{\em This was written 27 July 1990 and is intended to be co-published
in the electronic NA-NET Digest, the SIAM News, and the SIGNUM
Newsletter. The author is in the Computing Science Research Center at
AT\&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill NJ 07974, USA. He can be reached
by email at {\tt ehg@research.att.com}.}
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