CS 401 – Week 3
Alright, things are starting to pick up!
The class voted on which project we would be working on for the semester by ranking the projects by preference. Among the possibilities were Irrlicht, Eucalyptus, Firefox, LibreOffice, and VLC. We kept the top 2 for consideration: Eucalyptus and Irrlicht,
Eucalyptus is cloud computing platform that bears many similarities to Amazon’s proprietary EC2 platform. Cloud computing is a huge industry buzz word lately that means a different thing depending on who you ask, so maybe as this semester goes on I will know to define it properly. The big advantage this project has is that our instuctor, Karl Wurst, knows 2 of the developers and they really want us to work on Eucalyptus and will offer us as much assistance as possible. There is an open source and a commercial version of Eucalyptus. Being the FOSS advocate that I am, it concerns me a bit that certain features are witheld and appear only in the commercial product. Maybe it’s because I have nightmares about Oracle and what they are doing to MySQL with open core. On the other hand, it’s great that a company is releasing a (mostly) fully featured product under the GPL 3 license. To work on this project we will be installing some flavor of Red Hat style OS (likely CentOS 6) onto 8 machines and making a cluster out of them. I have never made a cluster before so my inner system administrator is excited to get it up and running. Our goal will be to get a functional “cloud” environment set up running the latest and greatest Eucalyptus 3.0 code, which has not been released into the wild yet. The class will be writing installation documentation and bug reporting, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will be getting some real commits into the code repository by the end of the semester.
The great Karl Wurst (can I have an A, please?) may let some students work on the Irrlicht project as well. Irrlicht is a cross platform 3D library written in C++. The Irrlicht developers are interested in creating a test suite for benchmarking purposes, and they want my class to help write it. As far as resume material goes, I think Eucalyptus will be the more fruitful project. On the other hand, I do dabble in game development and have used a similar library before called OGRE, as well as used the OpenGL C API directly, so I am interested in this project as well. I don’t see myself actually being able to work on this, even if we are given the option as my time will surely be focused on Eucalyptus.
This class is making do all of the good things that I have been too lazy to learn how to use effectively on my own, like writing these blog posts and subscribing to listservs. Listservs are a great resource for project discussion that I never found convenient enough to actually use. Time to change that.