Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Future of GJSieve?

There is a question mark in the title for two reasons.

For one, I have wondered for some time if the naming convention is particularly relevant anymore. Originally, GJSieve was named for its two developers, in order of their actual contributions to the application as of about 5 March 2012, which is the earliest date at which I can find actual source code for the absolute first (and therefore most elementary) version of GJSieve. The G stands for Gabriel and the J for Jaska (me!)

I came up with the idea, of course, but Gabriel actually wrote the original rough draft of the program. Thus, he was listed as a developer on the Google Code page we used to use as a main project site. Since we no longer use Google Code, he is not included as a developer at all. He has also not actually done anything relating to GJSieve or other NCPrime applications (beyond moral support and encouragement) since that initial design phase.

There is also the question of whether GJSieve (and therefore MuPuPriNT) is actually a "sieve" at all. Wikipedia says that, from a computational number theory perspective, a prime sieve works by:

...creating a list of all integers up to a desired limit and progressively removing composite numbers (which it directly generates) until only primes are left. This is the most efficient way to obtain a large range of primes; however, to find individual primes, direct primality tests are more efficient.
What GJSieve actually does is test one number at a time at a specific k and n (for Proth numbers, in this case). Thus, it is more accurately styled a "direct primality test" in this context.

If I were to rename GJSieve, it'd be called NCProth or something to that effect, since "NCPrime" is the name of this software development label as a whole.

Another idea is to stop development of GJSieve as a standalone entirely, since it does nothing that MuPuPriNT cannot!

However, I think a more viable course of action is to develop an entirely new application, which could still be called GJSieve, that asks for a specific value of n and then a range of k, and then generates a large array of Proth integers for each k at that n and subsequently tests all of them using any of several fast testing methods to see which (if any) out of that array are possible primes. Then it'd be a true sieve!

This is not merely an idea - it's actually going to happen. I just haven't started yet, that's all.

I will, as mentioned, continue calling it GJSieve as a tribute to Gabriel, who did after all get me interested in programming on my own and was responsible for the initial design of GJSieve up to version 0.3a way back in March of 2012.

That's all on GJSieve for now.

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