|Volume 7, Issue 1 -
Java Grande Forum Progress Highlighted at Workshop
Following up on its first meeting in March 1998, the Java Grande Forum met May 9-10 in Palo Alto, California, to review progress and coordinate future efforts to make Java the best programming environment for Grande applications. Grande applications are large-scale, computationally intensive problems typically found in science and engineering research.
Java Grande involves the use of the Java language for high-performance applications such as modeling and simulation, parallel and distributed computing, data-intensive computing, network computing, and computational grids. The Java Grande Forum, made up of 30 leading experts from academia, industry, and government, was formed in March 1998 with the goal of developing community consensus and recommendations for making needed changes to Java and establishing standards for Grande libraries and services.
"Java has the potential to be a better environment for Grande application development than any previous languages, including Fortran and C++," says Geoffrey Fox, CRPC researcher and Director of the Northwest Parallel Architectures Center (NPAC) at Syracuse University. "Our language changes and frameworks are designed to realize the best-ever Grande programming environment."
Organized by Fox and George Thiruvathukal and sponsored by Sun Microsystems, the May forum drew 30 participants. The meeting led off with technology updates from Sun Microsystems and IBM that focused on compilers. Fox and Thiruvathukal followed with an overview of the Java Grande Forum. The participants then broke into two working groups for several parallel and plenary sessions. Roldan Pozo and Ron Boisvert of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) led a group on "Numerics and Libraries" and CRPC researcher and computer science professor Dennis Gannon of Indiana University led another group on "Applications and Parallel/Distributed Computing."
The groups divided their resulting action items into three categories:
Among the proposals discussed was a Java Grande application benchmark suite with kernels and more substantial entries. There was significant discussion on the importance of a Java framework for computing, which would be a set of interfaces to support seamless computing or the ability to run a given job on any one of many different computers with a single-client interface. A typical community research activity is the study of the scaling of the Java Virtual Machine (VM) to large applications or understanding the tradeoffs between Java thread and distributed VM forms of parallelism.
Two more meetings of the Java Grande Forum will be held this year--August 6-7 in Palo Alto, California, and November 13 during SC/98. For more information, see http://www.javagrande.org/ or http://old-npac.ucs.indiana.edu/projects/javaforcse/javagrande/index.html.