[Pipet Devel] Re: Zope and the PiperNet

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Fri Aug 3 17:22:14 EDT 2001

Michael and Tres,

The way Piper is structured, as you may have seen in our documentation, Zope
may best work as backend-ware, making use of Piper as middle-ware (and
frontend-ware).  Programs and systems that fill this role in Piper are called
"processors", since they process the data/workflow.  Currently, the program
Overflow, a high-speed but localized dataflow system, is our reference
processor, and one of Piper's initial tasks is to distribute and interconnect
Overflow instances around the Internet.  But, as I said, Piper is being
developed to use all sorts of programs or systems as processors.

Having spoken with Jarl a bit about authentication, it seems that processors
or their plugins/wrappers will have to play some role in authentication.  So,
it is good that Zope has its own way of doing that.  One of our tasks will be
to develop an authentication scheme that will work with Zope and many other
processors.  But, I am not the security expert here.  I'll leave further
discussions to Jarl.

However, regarding BEEP and peer-to-peer communications, if Zope is to work on
the PiperNet, the program must leave network management to Piper.  So, we can
use BEEP, but Zope would have to be agnostic to whatever we're using.  IOW,
Zope would not use BEEP directly.  Again, this is Jarl's area.

Regarding the GUI and how nodes and networks are represented graphically,
which *IS* my area, the Piper GUI has been forged by repeatedly asking how
"such and such a task" can be represented this way.  We have something that we
believe is very flexible.  It will be interesting to see what requirements
Zope may have, and it should result in an even better GUI.  I'm open to ideas
and look forward to working with Zope in this area.

J.W. Bizzaro                                jeff at bioinformatics.org
Director, Bioinformatics.org        http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff
"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we
should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention
of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."
                   -- Benjamin Franklin

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