Globus to become part of Apache?

I saw this submission/proposal by Globus over at aparche.org. The Globus Alliance is proposing the creation of an Apache subproject for Grid computing with the Globus Toolkit as the basis.

My first feeling was that this could be a good development for the Grid community but then I thought about the issue of standards and wide adoption.

It’s no secret that we here in Newcastle have been advocating for the use of the existing Web Services infrastructure to build internet-scale applications. Of course the Grid application domain requires high-level services (job submission, metadata registries, etc.). We’ve been advocating for such services to be built using basic Web Services technologies. OGSI was the community’s first attempt to build a common infrastructure for all the high-level services. OGSI is now dead but most of its principles have been moved forward and are now part of WS-RF (resource-orientation, exposure of state, lifecycle management of resources, renewal of endpoint references, notification, etc.). The GGF, through the OGSA WG, is promoting the view that WS-RF should be the basis of all the high-level Grid services. This introduces the problem of wide-adoption. With some in the WS community expressing concerns about the approach (see Grek‘s excellent post on “SOAP yes, SOA, no?” as an example) while others have yet to publicly endorse the approach (e.g. Microsoft), I wonder whether the Grid community will have to face more changes in the future for its underlying infrastructure (if WS-RF has to change again to something else). I hope that won’t be the case.

It’s also the issue of standards for the high-level services. Not all of the high-level services have been standardised yet. Is this an area that Apache wants to get involved in? I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see I guess.

Having said the above, any contribution to an open-source organisation of years of work and source-code development has to be a good thing.

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