Friday, April 17, 2009

ULS-SIG: New Python Special Interest Group


After several discussions at the end of last summer and an incubation in Meta-SIG, Steve Holden, Jim Baker and I are pleased to announce the Python special interest group for ultra large-scale systems. For more about ULS system, you might want to read this post or this one. The SIGs page has been updated, so you can find us there with the rest of them (subscribe and archive links, too), and we've even got our own page :-)

The initial group of interested parties (and thus the first members of the list) represent an interesting cross-section of the Python community, including the following:
  • Jython hackers
  • Twisted hackers
  • Stackless hackers
  • XMPP experts
  • MMPORG developers
  • SOA and Business Process consultants
  • General technology and software companies
The technological umbrella of ULS systems covers a vast array of topics and interests, but basic principle unifying all of these is their potential contribution to making massive, highly distributed systems a functional reality.

One overview of ULS systems research states that we currently don't have an effective understanding of software (it's nature, development, and management) at the scale anticipated for ULS systems. These "fundamental gaps" will hinder the development of such systems until they can be crossed. Doing so will require breakthroughs in many fields with insights and experience gained over time.

Python programmers represent an extraordinary segment of the population: creative, curious, motivated, communicative, and deeply intelligent individuals. Our community is filled with minds that continuously produce solutions for a vast array of problems across a great many disciplines.
If there's any one group out there that could pull this off, I think it's ours :-)

A future post will provide a sketch of areas of interest in Python that are already sneaking up on the gaps outlined in ULS systems reports. There is a lot of software and supporting libraries that have an obvious connection to ULS systems, but even more fun are the ones that don't... and isn't always the darkest corners that yield the most unlooked for surprises?

While you're waiting for that, though, feel free to join us on the mail list!


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