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Open Source Cluster Application Resources

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First of all, let me introduce myself. I am Geoffroy Vallee, scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and chairman of the OSCAR project since few weeks. As chairman, i will try to publish a “bulletin”, each month, highlyting few interesting points. It can be ongoing developments, current unknown features or even related projects.

This month, i will present a specific point i would like to focus on for the next OSCAR releases: the isolation of a small and simple core, and the separation of the GUI and other OPKGs from the core. The goal, doing so, is to ease the development of new core features: no need any more to test the core with all the OPKGs, core developers can focus on the features they are working on. It should also allow us to develop a “validation” tool: a tool that tests the core features and validates the different APIs. Such a tool should release more often the OSCAR core and also guarantee stability.

What about the non-core OSCAR components? They can simply follow their own development cycle. Doing so, new contributors can help, join the project without to have to “play” with the OSCAR core. I think a key idea is to separate the different tasks and make contributions more efficient shorting the release cycle.

In fact, this has been discussed since a long time, even before i joined the project. Nothing new. But i think, based on the current status of the project, that it is the good time to implement it. Lately, few developments have been done in that direction, the two in top of my mind are:

  • we started the effort for the separation of the GUI code from the core Perl modules (Bug #416, #462),
  • Wesley Bland is currently working on a modification of Configurator in order to be able to use it both with the CLI and the GUI (Bug #459).

Before to be able to really implement the separation of the core from other OSCAR components, few current tasks need to be completed. The three major ongoing tasks are: (i) the release of OSCAR-5.1 (hopefully all critical bugs have been fixed), (ii) the creation of on-line repositories to host binary packages (binary packages currently overload our SVN server, slowing down all new developments), and (iii) the merge of branch-5-1 (the branch used for the release of OSCAR-5.1) and trunk (used for developments).

As you can see, we have a lot of exciting plans with the plan to continue to improve OSCAR and the OSCAR user experience.