Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fork GMP?

The suggestion to fork GMP seems to pop up regularly, due to some unfortunate ways in which that project currently runs. A fork of GMP would need a new name and might have the following goals:

  • Have a regular release cycle,
  • Officially support OS X and Microsoft Windows,
  • Not be useable by Maple/Mathematica/Magma, i.e., change the license of the combined work from LGPL to GPL,
  • Be very friendly to new developers and their ideas for patches,
  • Have a referee system, since technical knowledge about the inner workings of GMP is quite difficult,
  • Everything would done in public, with public mailing lists, code repositories, bug trackers, etc,
  • And be binary compatible with the official GMP for as long as possible.

The fork might be called MPIR: Multi-Precision Integers and Rationals, which is a name that is similar to the name of MPFR, the floating point library that builds on top of GMP.

Let's hope that forking GMP is not necessary!