Extensible network-based application framework
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README

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. <revmischa@cpan.org>