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The grids development platform aims to provide a common foundation for network-based applications. It is designed to be open, cross-platform and powerful, providing a standard set of protocols defining modern components of any net-aware application, including cryptography, redundant client/server architecture, data storage and distributed communication. Software can be more than just the sum of its parts, if coherently organized into a related collection of functionality the result can be a powerful tool for rapidly creating modern and useful projects. There are many examples of great features in many varied programs, but it is rare to find a single application combining more than a few cool libraries. This is of course due to the fact that few programmers have the time to learn the ins and outs of key fingerprints and cryptography, or distributed services, or don't feel like reinventing the wheel for the nth time. That being said, we now are fortunate enough to live in an age where software modularity and re-usability is a mature foundation for commercial-grade software. One only has to look at CPAN or the Apache project to find more incredibly useful tools than could ever be consumed. So many people have already "done the hard work", it's time that developers and end-users started reaping the rewards. Why should things like encryption, a robust client-server architecture, platform agnosticism, or verifiable identity be bonuses or goodies in modern software? The main goal of grids is to build a new foundation of network-aware software and include a new set of assumptions. Just as the invention of HTML let developers focus more on their content and worry less about font rendering, widget toolkits and sockets, so should modern practices be assumed. By default, all data transmitted over the wire in grids is encrypted with plausible deniability using OTR. Data structure serialization is incorporated, meaning you never have to worry about anything but a passing familiarity with deserializing JSON or Google ProtoBuf. Making your network service distributed among many machines is not much different from an irc network. Native grids applications can run on any system with a grids implementation, and the reference implementation will run on any platform with a perl interpreter and c compiler. A grids virtual machine is included and can run grids-native applications in a handy sandbox. It is now the second decade of the 21st century, if we can't have flying cars it should at least be possible for lazy programmers to make cool apps. Grids itself is not a piece of software, it is a collection of protocols and specifications. Since this project is still in the early stages there is no formal spec, but one will be forthcoming when all the requirements and scope of a basic platform are hammered out. For now the perl libraries posted here are the reference implementation. If anything here sparks your interest, we would love to have more people contributing ideas and code. The details of what will be encompassed are still to be worked out, and we are very interested to hear what other developers desire. If you're interested please send an email to a project maintainer. - Mischa S. <email@example.com>