New classes of high-performance applications currently being developed require unique capabilities that can only be resolved by metacomputers, being composed of multiple high-performance computing sites, geographically distributed over various locations or even continents. In this work, we briefly presented the complexities introduced to parallel applications by metacomputing environments. We then concluded that existing approaches to parallel programming fail to deliver reasonable metacomputing applications because they either expose too much complexity detail, prohibiting maintainability, performance tuning, and reuse of code, or they hide too much complexity detail, resulting in inefficient programs, contradicting the primary goal of metacomputing: application speed.
As (the only?) suitable approach to the construction of metacomputing applications, we then presented the concept of component-based programming and proposed the structure of a metacomputing toolkit. As the subject of our ongoing work is to concretize and implement suitable metacomputing components, we are looking forward to soon seeing the Albatross taking off and flying at full speed over wide-area computing platforms.