has released GridIron XLR8 1.0, a development tool and runtime infrastructure designed to simplify the creation of distributed computing software. GridIron XLR8 runs on several platforms including Mac OS X.
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Distributed computing provides a way for large numbers of networked computers to share the task of calculating computationally intensive data. Numerous examples of distributed computing have been developed over the years, including high-profiles examples like searching for signs of alien life in deep-space radio signals, doing protein analysis, and breaking complex encryption cyphers.
GridIron co-founder, President and CTO Steve Forde hopes that XLR8 will “get distributed computing out of the lab and into mainstream use.” He envisions the technology being used to help professional animators and even home computer users with complex tasks.
The XLR8 environment sports three components: a way to embed distributed computing technology directly into an application; a peer-to-peer architecture called AutoGrid; and an API (Application Programming Interfaces) for software developers to use. The API itself is easy to use, according to the developer: All of the job control logic is handed through six functions.
GridIron XLR8 is also being distributed for free — it’s only once a developer has integrated XLR8 into their software and are ready to release it that they have to upgrade their license to use and commercial distribute the technology.
The XLR8 APIs themselves are available for C/C++ and Java. The software supports Mac OS X, Red Hat Linux, and various flavors of Windows. Visit the Web site for more details.