Is there a Blue Cheetah in your future?
Parallel universe of code
Massively Parallel Technologies (MPT) thinks it has the right stuff to change almost everything you’ve come to know and love (or, more likely, hate) about application development.
It's putting together an entire suite of offerings – really an entire ecosystem – that will supposedly revolutionize application development, beginning with code writing and collaborating with others all the way through to selling the end product and making bank on it.
In this webcast, we discuss MPT's analysis of the problems it sees with current app development and claim that Blue Cheetah-based prescription is the cure. As you’ll see, there are several components to its ecosystem, but we mainly discussed their beta Blue Cheetah Cub product.
Cub isn’t a new language or anything like that: it is a mechanism that separates the task logic of the program (the input, processing, output stuff) from techie coding bits – the ‘if/then statements’ and stuff like that. The end result is code that’s parallel, tested, and totally documented (which is a big deal too).
We are talking here about automatic coding, and automatic parallel coding at that. To me, this is a big deal. In my talks with MPT leading up to this webcast, we discussed the difficulty of writing truly parallel code – something that MPT has spent a lot of time thinking about. With Blue Cheetah, it has developed a product that writes the code and ensures that it’s as parallel as possible. This is a pretty big advance.
Of course, there is no shortage of companies making big claims in this industry. What got my attention is the people involved with MPT, most notably Gene Amdahl – he’s on their board of directors and has taken an active role in development.
Amdahl raised the performance bar with his line of IBM-compatible mainframe systems back in the day and he's the Amdahl of “Amdahl’s Law”, which deals with parallelism and estimating speed-up on multi-processor (or even core) systems.
MPT also has a set of patents, centered on the topic of parallelism and data communications, which it is using to build out the Blue Cheetah offerings.
Other products in the Blue Cheetah line will make it easier for developers to collaborate by ensuring that the various code streams will easily fit together and even make sure that everyone gets the proper cut of sales. It’s a nice feature, and could certainly help developers who are looking for a way to work with others on code that will eventually be sold. MPT is even talking about an app store that will take these applications to market.
The compelling part of the MPT story is the technology and automation it brings to the tasks of code generation, documentation, and parallelization. If it can just bring this part of it home, then it will have the world beating a path to its door. The collaboration aspect is a good thing too, along with the app store, but the potential of the coding pieces overshadows all of the other components.
In this webcast, we’re covering a lot of ground in a shortish amount of time. MPT, being a start-up, can’t talk in huge detail about every aspect of what it's going to be releasing in the next year - so this webcast is more of an overview than a deep analysis.
As it progresses, assuming everything works as advertised, I’ll do some follow-ups with Team Cheetah, and we’ll get the lowdown on how the products work with real customers.
Take a look at the MPT Blue Cheetah webcast and, as always, let me know what you think…