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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly a good choice for learning OpenCL
OpenCL Programming Guide is the 2nd book (to my awareness) being published, which deals with the new and exciting standard by the KHRONOS Group: OpenCL. The goal of this book is to provide the reader with an extensive walkthrough of the standard, providing explanations to complement the standard's specs. The authors of the book dim it "a pragmatic guide for people...
Published on 12 Aug 2011 by Liad Weinberger

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rewrite of the docs
This book is just a rewrite of the OpenCL specification - wouldn't really recommend it. Would definitely recommend Heterogeneous Computing with OpenCL which is much smaller and better written. Also, this book doesn't talk about thing such as device fission. It does however provide a good overview of the whole OpenCL ecosystem, and, gives a very good outline of memory,...
Published on 14 Jan 2012 by Redundant Tramp


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly a good choice for learning OpenCL, 12 Aug 2011
By 
Liad Weinberger (Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
OpenCL Programming Guide is the 2nd book (to my awareness) being published, which deals with the new and exciting standard by the KHRONOS Group: OpenCL. The goal of this book is to provide the reader with an extensive walkthrough of the standard, providing explanations to complement the standard's specs. The authors of the book dim it "a pragmatic guide for people interested in writing code", and that it is.

The book is at its first edition, and it shows. Throughout the book there are typos, and what can only be explained as 'copy & paste' originated mistakes. Some of the code samples contain generic errors such as memory leaks or incorrect remarks, and some of the figures simply do not convey the intended concept, or are erroneous. The majority of errata I personally reported dealt with these types of errors, which are arguably acceptable (for a first edition) as they are not regarding the focus of the book, however, the book also contains some errata that does touch the actual focus, like an incorrect explanation (e.g. reported issue #14 on pg.132, and reported issue #4 on pg.65), or incorrect usage of returned information (e.g. reported issue #8 on page 88).

On the other hand, the book does provide good insight on a vast portion of the standard. Although it claims to cover the entire spec, the level of this coverage is inconsistent and in some aspects completely lacking (e.g. the explanation of clEnqueueTask() could have been accompanied with a concise example, but in turn ended up as a short sub-section). On the portions with most interest, i.e., OpenCL's support for data-parallel algorithms, the book does provide extended information, and adds to the OpenCL specs, by clarifying the concepts.

The 2nd part of the book, which was added rather close to the final release of the book (from the eyes of a SafariBooksOnline RoughCuts reader), provides 9 case studies of OpenCL usage. Some of these are purely pedagogic (e.g. chapter 15), but some provide more real-world examples of how OpenCL can be used, and optimized (especially for a GPU). These add another dimension to the book, and contribute to its relevancy.

On a closing note, I do think that the book is worth the while. It is currently the best option besides reading the specs, to learn the OpenCL APIs and OpenCL C programming language, and despite the shortcomings I've mentioned, it does manage to provide the gist of OpenCL, and add insight to the standard.

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Proper disclosure: OpenCL and GPU programming is what I do for a living.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great tutorial and reference, 8 Nov 2011
This is one of the best sources of info out there for OpenCL, and is well worth picking up if you intend to do any OpenCL programming. It's got a few errors and errata but this is to be expected from a first edition, and they're all pretty obvious to spot and correct. It would get 5 stars if not for these errors.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rewrite of the docs, 14 Jan 2012
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Redundant Tramp (Peterborough, UK) - See all my reviews
This book is just a rewrite of the OpenCL specification - wouldn't really recommend it. Would definitely recommend Heterogeneous Computing with OpenCL which is much smaller and better written. Also, this book doesn't talk about thing such as device fission. It does however provide a good overview of the whole OpenCL ecosystem, and, gives a very good outline of memory, execution etc. Useful if you dont have the ability to print the specification.
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