January 2015

The name of ROSE

Dan Quinlan, the LLNL researcher who leads ROSE, can remember when users worried about the hidden changes his team’s tools were making to their code as it was debugged and optimized.

“I used to tell them, ‘I’m just trying to give the things you write more meaning – I’m not changing anything,’” he says. His group came up with a motto: “Your program under any semantics-preserving transformation is equivalent.” Thus the name of the ROSE project is an allusion to the line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

“We like to think it’s what Shakespeare really meant to say,” he says.