1.1. Background

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Beginning in March 1995, the MPI Forum began meeting to consider corrections and extensions to the original MPI Standard document [5]. The first product of these deliberations was Version 1.1 of the MPI specification, released in June of 1995 (see
http://www.mpi-forum.org for official MPI document releases). Since that time, effort has been focused in five types of areas.

    1. Further corrections and clarifications for the MPI-1.1 document.
    2. Additions to MPI-1.1 that do not significantly change its types of functionality (new datatype constructors, language interoperability, etc.).
    3. Completely new types of functionality (dynamic processes, one-sided communication, parallel I/O, etc.) that are what everyone thinks of as ``MPI-2 functionality.''
    4. Bindings for Fortran 90 and C++. This document specifies C++ bindings for both MPI-1 and MPI-2 functions, and extensions to the Fortran 77 binding of MPI-1 and MPI-2 to handle Fortran 90 issues.
    5. Discussions of areas in which the MPI process and framework seem likely to be useful, but where more discussion and experience are needed before standardization (e.g. 0-copy semantics on shared-memory machines, real-time specifications).

Corrections and clarifications (items of type 1 in the above list) have been collected in Chapter Version 1.2 of MPI of this document, ``Version 1.2 of MPI.'' This chapter also contains the function for identifying the version number. Additions to MPI-1.1 (items of types 2, 3, and 4 in the above list) are in the remaining chapters, and constitute the specification for MPI-2. This document specifies Version 2.0 of MPI. Items of type 5 in the above list have been moved to a separate document, the ``MPI Journal of Development'' (JOD), and are not part of the MPI-2 Standard.

This structure makes it easy for users and implementors to understand what level of MPI compliance a given implementation has:

It is to be emphasized that forward compatibility is preserved. That is, a valid MPI-1.1 program is both a valid MPI-1.2 program and a valid MPI-2 program, and a valid MPI-1.2 program is a valid MPI-2 program.

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MPI-2.0 of July 18, 1997
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