A rather exciting post hit the fedora-advisory-board today. It’s about enabling a Fedora grid architecture, not dissimilar from grid.org or other community distributed computing efforts, but entirely run in typical Fedora fashion — meaning free as in beer and speech for everyone, end-to-end.
Users of Fedora could design, create, and participate in a wide variety of computing tasks to be shared throughout the community. This model has already proven effective throughout the commercial sector. But in Fedora’s case, this initiative relies on completely open source technologies already a part of the Fedora software repositories, and is end-to-end free just as with everything in Fedora.
It would be pretty easy to have an additional firstboot module, much like smolt, where users could opt in to the grid and select from a menu of groups in which to participate. Then you could donate your spare compute cycles to worthy efforts — how about helping with the evaluation of drugs to treat children’s diabetes or cancer? Possibilities abound.
I encourage people to get involved in the discussions and the efforts to make this yet another Fedora success story about the power of completely open code, community, and process.
UPDATE: Did you know, according to this post in the fedora-advisory-board thread, that there’s an internship available to work on security implementation for such a grid beastie?
Pretty cool idea, I agree.
One technical note – I’d like to move away from the architecture of asking these kinds of things in firstboot and instead have a system where after you’ve installed Fedora, you land on a “What’s next?” web page where you can sign up for things like smolt, grid, join mailing lists, etc. Or maybe it’s not a web page but instead a native app.
It’s funny you mention this, because it plays right into the design of a new desktop app that I’m working on designing (well, *documenting* the design, since I can claim the lofty post neither of developer nor designer). This app would be modular to an extent that should easily allow the addition of this kind of functionality.
I don’t want to say more yet, only because it will force me to put it to the wiki page instead of locked up here on my blog. After I finish the draft, count on seeing another blog post from me. Maybe you’ll be interested in helping actually bring the idea into being? 🙂