Thursday, April 3, 2008

Google Summer of Code 2008 Project Proposal

 Introduction - The Grid.

Grid computing promises the potential to coordinate vastly distributed computational resources into a coherent whole. In doing so it poses qualitatively novel challenges to the field of technology. The socio-political structure among Grid participants is far from obvious; the software communication protocols are complex; and the actual deployment of a ready service onto a grid is exceptionally non-trivial. 

What is the project? Being a service made easy.

Assuming that we have a working grid at our hands, the development, deployment and maintenance of a service is still difficult. At the moment, the participation threshold for anyone but the technology wiz is simply too high. Thus we aim to create a browser-based user interface with the goal to bridge the gap between the highly domain specific complexities of WSDL/WSRF/etc and a seamless user experience. Imagine a South American student on an XO laptop successfully deploying a Grid service - that's our dream.
Conceptual design: After discovering services by search 
and by browsing the service archives, a service flow is 
easily created by connecting services to each other.  

Why is it a good project? Anything is only as useful as it's used.

In short: Grid computing has huge potentials but is still a young technology and extremely difficult to use. In order to leverage its fullest potential the participation threshold has to be lowered, and the user experience made more pleasant. 
Our particular choice of a browser-based GUI has the obvious benefit of easy distribution and minimal client requirements.

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