/*! \mainpage Documentation for <small>STXXL</small> library
* \image html logo1.png
* The core of \c S<small>TXXL</small> is an implementation of the C++
* standard template library STL for external memory (out-of-core)
* computations, i.e., \c S<small>TXXL</small> implements containers and algorithms
* that can process huge volumes of data that only fit on
* disks. While the compatibility to the STL supports
* ease of use and compatibility with existing applications,
* another design priority is high performance.
* Here is a selection of \c S<small>TXXL</small> performance features:
* - transparent support of multiple disks
* - variable block lengths
* - overlapping of I/O and computation
* - prevention of OS file buffering overhead
* - algorithm pipelining
* \section platforms Platforms supported
* Linux (kernel >= 2.4.18)
* Questions concerning use and development of the \c S<small>TXXL</small> library mail to <A
* href="http://i10www.ira.uka.de/dementiev/" >Roman
* \link installation Installation \endlink
* \page installation Installation
* \section download Download
* - Download gzipped tar ball from <A href="http://www.mpi-sb.mpg.de/~rdementi/files/stxxl.tgz">here</A>.
* - Unpack in some directory executing: \c tar \c zfxv \c stxxl.tgz ,
* - Change to \c stxxl directory: \c cd \c stxxl ,
* - Change file \c compiler.make according to your system configuration
* - name of your make program
* - name of your compiler
* - \c S<small>TXXL</small> root directory ( \c directory_where_you_unpacked_the_tar_ball/stxxl )
* - Run: \verbatim make lib \endverbatim
* - Run: \verbatim make tests \endverbatim (optional, if you want to run some test programs)
* In your makefiles of programs that will use \c S<small>TXXL</small> you should include
* the file \c compiler.make
* file (add the line 'include ../compiler.make') because it contains a useful variable (STXXL_VARS)
* that includes all compiler definitions and library paths that you need to compile an
* \c S<small>TXXL</small> program.
* For example: <BR> \verbatim g++ my_example.cpp -o my_example -g $(STXXL_VARS) \endverbatim
* Before you try to run one of the \c S<small>TXXL</small> examples
* (or your \c S<small>TXXL</small> program) you must configure the disk
* space that will be used as external memory for the library. See the next section.
* \section space Disk space
* To get best performance with \c S<small>TXXL</small> you should assign separate disks to it.
* These disks should be used by the library only.
* Since \c S<small>TXXL</small> is developed to exploit disk parallelism, the performance of your
* external memory application will increase if you use more than one disk.
* But from how many disks your application can benefit depends on how "I/O bound" it is.
* With modern disk bandwidths
* about of 40-60 MB/s most of applications are I/O bound for one disk. This means that if you add another disk
* the running time will be halved. Adding more disks might also increase performance significantly.
* \section filesystem Recommended file system
* Our library take benefit of direct user memory - disk transfers (direct access) which avoids
* superfluous copies. This method has some disadvantages when accessing files on \c ext2 partitions.
* Namely one requires one byte of internal memory per each accessed kilobyte of file space. For external
* memory applications with large inputs this could be not proper. Therefore we recommend to use the
* \c xfs file system <A href="http://oss.sgi.com/projects/xfs/">link</A> which does not have this overhead but
* gives the same read and write performance. Note that file creation speed of \c xfs is slow, so that disk
* files must be precreated.
* \section configuration Disk configuration file
* You must define the disk configuration for an
* \c S<small>TXXL</small> program in a file named \c '.stxxl' that must reside
* in the same directory where you execute the program.
* You can change the default file name for the configuration
* file by setting the enviroment variable \c STXXLCFG .
* Each line of the configuration file describes a disk.
* A disk description uses the following format:<BR>
* \c disk=full_disk_filename,capacity,access_method
* Description of the parameters:
* - \c full_disk_filename : full disk filename. In order to access disks S<small>TXXL</small> uses file
* access methods. Each disk is respresented as a file. If you have a disk that is mapped in unix
* to the path /mnt/disk0/, then the correct value for the \c full_disk_filename would be
* \c /mnt/disk0/some_file_name ,
* - \c capacity : maximum capacity of the disk in megabytes
* - \c access_method : \c S<small>TXXL</small> has a number of different file access implementations, choose one of them:
* - \c syscall uses \c read and \c write system calls which perform disk transfers directly
* on user memory pages without superfluous copy (currently the fastest method)
* - \c mmap : performs disks transfers using \c mmap and \c munmap system calls
* - \c simdisk : simulates timings of the IBM IC35L080AVVA07 disk, full_disk_filename must point
* to a file on a RAM disk partition with sufficient space
* See also example configuration file \c 'stxxl/config_example' included into the tarball.
* \section excreation Formatting external memory files
* In order to get the maximum performance one should format disk files described in the configuration file,
* before running \c S<small>TXXL</small> applications.
* The format utility is included into a set of \c S<small>TXXL</small> utilities ( \c utils/createdisks ). Run this utility
* for each disk described in your disk configuration file.