Monday, June 2, 2008

Hitchhikers Guide to the Open Grid Forum

Also called OGF 101, this session was a crash course in what OGF is doing and what they’re trying to do. Counting me, there were 24 newbies in the room—people from Australia (not just me!), America, Asia and Europe; from the arts, science and business—each of whom is interested in what grids can do for their projects.

The session was run by Joel Replogle, the Program Manager for OGF and one of only three paid OGF staff (the whole thing is run by volunteers!). In his intro, Joel stressed one big word: “open”. OGF, he explained, are an open community working towards the rapid evolution and adoption of applied distributed computing, a.k.a: grids.

The other big word was “focus”: “We’re not trying to boil the ocean,” Joel explained. “We need to identify and focus on which exact specifications are required.”

And what’s the point of having specifications at all? Interoperability. And the push towards grid technology that you can use without requiring a PhD in computer science. “As a user, you don’t want to have to learn everything,” Joel said. “Standards help to make everything much more interoperable. Our target is interoperable software, and interoperable standards that work well.”

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