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From Junru Shao <junrushao1...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [MXNET 2.0 Wishlist] [DISCUSS] Single build system
Date Fri, 05 Apr 2019 18:58:36 GMT
I agree with Tianqi and Marco. Probably what should happen is to let cmake
be the default in some minor release, and completely deprecate makefiles in
2.0.

On Fri, Apr 5, 2019 at 10:23 AM Marco de Abreu <marco.g.abreu@gmail.com>
wrote:

> I think this is rather about the depreciation of the make based build
> system. We currently have make and cmake in parallel but with diverging
> feature support.
>
> -Marco
>
> Tianqi Chen <tqchen@cs.washington.edu> schrieb am Fr., 5. Apr. 2019,
> 11:42:
>
> > I am in favor of using CMake. And I personally think CMake is not
> something
> > that has to be introduced in a 2.0. It can simply be part of a minor
> > release.
> >
> > Tianqi
> >
> > On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 10:31 AM Kellen Sunderland <kellen@apache.org>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hello MXNet devs,
> > >
> > > I'd like to start a thread discussing what our build system should look
> > > like in MXNet 2.0.  I'd propose that although the current make system
> has
> > > served us well in the past, we remove it along with the bump to 2.0.
> The
> > > end goal I'd like to see is that we have a clean build system, without
> a
> > > bunch of conditional logic that makes contributing and testing MXNet a
> > > simpler process.  Additionally I'd propose we target a minimum cmake
> > > version of 3.7 for reasons described below.
> > >
> > > First I'd like to give some context on why I'd propose we don't just
> > switch
> > > to cmake, but we also target a relatively new version (version 3.7 from
> > > Nov, 2016) of cmake.  The largest benefits in making this change would
> > > apply to CUDA builds where cmake itself has quite inconsistent
> > > functionality between versions.  One persistent annoyance I've had with
> > > cmake is that we've had conditional logic for the FindCUDA command
> which
> > at
> > > one point targeted some modern cmake features, but then in subsequent
> > > versions of cmake the way these features works was tweaked, and now I
> > find
> > > these cmake features are consistently broken to the point that I
> require
> > a
> > > bunch of -D defines to compile properly or to use an IDE.  An
> additional
> > > CUDA related issue is that every time there's a new SM added to NVCC we
> > > have to make a few source changes to support it.  I could see this
> being
> > > problematic for users who may suddenly realize that due to their
> > > compilation settings, they may not actually be enabling the features
> they
> > > think they are with their shiny new GPUs.
> > >
> > > As an alternative if we, for example, target cmake 3.7 at a minimum,
> and
> > we
> > > want to find cuda and then build a list of reasonable PTX/BINS we could
> > use
> > > the following command[1]:
> > >
> > > ----
> > > FindCUDA(...)
> > > ...
> > > CUDA_SELECT_NVCC_ARCH_FLAGS(ARCH_FLAGS 3.0 3.5+PTX 5.2(5.0) Maxwell)
> > >   LIST(APPEND CUDA_NVCC_FLAGS ${ARCH_FLAGS})
> > > ----
> > >
> > > Simple, concise, and it would help to make the building experience more
> > > consistent across platforms, build environments and IDEs (looking at
> you
> > > CLion).  We'd of course need to do a little experimentation work to
> make
> > > sure that this does indeed work as intended, and can replace the
> > currently
> > > complex findCuda logic we have in our build systems, but for the sake
> of
> > > the proposal let's assume these cmake commands do indeed work
> > consistently
> > > as documented from cmake 3.7 onwards.
> > >
> > > To give users a chance to update their tooling I'd also suggest we
> begin
> > > warning users at least a release in advance that make based builds will
> > be
> > > deprecated in MXNet 2.0 so they can begin migrating to cmake.  I'd also
> > > want to display deprecation messages for unused cmake flags (such as
> the
> > > profiler flag) for a release before the 2.0 release, and then remove
> them
> > > in 2.0.
> > >
> > > Of course not all users have cmake 3.7 on their systems, some of our
> > > employers force use to use ridiculously outdated linux distributions.
> > The
> > > good news for these users is that if we can offer Docker compilation
> with
> > > an image that has a supported version of cmake and we should be able to
> > > build a portable binary that work even with very old distributions of
> > > Linux.  Additionally installing cmake from source is also fairly
> > > straightforward [2] and works quite well on older distros in my
> > experience.
> > >
> > > Looking forward to hearing what others think.  Any preferred build
> > systems
> > > that you all would want to use?  Is cmake the right system to
> centralize
> > > on?  If so, is version 3.7 a reasonable minimum version to target?  Is
> > the
> > > 2.0 release a good point at which we can think about simplifying build
> > > logic?
> > >
> > > 1: https://cmake.org/cmake/help/v3.7/module/FindCUDA.html
> > > 2: https://github.com/Kitware/CMake
> > >
> >
>

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