By Donald Becker
As our regular list participants know, I started beowulf.org as a place where everyone interested in the Beowulf architecture -- from parallel computing experts to students -- could engage in far-reaching discussions. Over the years people have hashed out difficult technical problems, challenged each others' assertions, and shared their wisdom in the best spirit of the open source movement. Thanks to the efforts of these champions and enthusiasts, the Beowulf Project has grown from an isolated experiment at NASA to one of the most promising technological paths within the industry, and is celebrating its 10 year anniversary.
The Linux cluster landscape is changing as this vision of technical computing becomes feasible. And the potential of Beowulf architectures goes well beyond numerical computation, and in fact the next few years will undoubtedly prove how much this statement is correct. This also means that new visitors will come to the site from areas of technology different from number crunching.
Accordingly, beowulf.org is about to undergo a similar transformation into the mainstream. Ideally with your continued efforts, we'll maintain the inventive, independent qualities that have made this site such a valuable resource to the Beowulf community.
I'd like to describe the changes and the plans we have for the site. The visual facelift is not as important as the structural changes -- we have created areas to explain the Beowulf Project and approach to newcomers, to provide more resources to everyone, and added a search feature so the listserve archives are more useful and accessible. I hope that in addition to the discussions, you'll tell us about user group meetings and new projects and make suggestions for exceptional projects to be featured in the Showcase.
In the future, our plans are to invite more participation and self-publishing by our experienced members. I'll be sharing this column space with other experts such as Robert G. Brown, John "Mad Dog" Hall, and Thomas Sterling. We'll be integrating a threaded discussion conference with our mail lists. To make the site as current and responsive as possible I'll move to more of a role as editor-in-chief and share the webmaster tasks with others as we make some "under the hood" enhancements. What I am asking from all of you is a tiny bit of patience in the next few months when we will transition towards an even more interesting, and I hope useful, site for the community of Beowulf users.
Here's to the next decade!