Friday, March 27, 2020

Zoom Distributed Systems Reading Group

A couple days ago, I tweeted this out, and was surprised how well this was received.
The involvement level distribution looks healthy. One third wants to follow offline, one third likes to attend the discussion session live, and the remaining will get more involved in the reading group by doing their readings and some volunteering to present papers.

We will start the Zoom DistSys Reading Group on Wednesday April 1st (no joke!) at 15:30 EST and meet regularly every week. We announce our meeting links (password protected) at

Following a very brief presentation of the paper, we will start discussing the paper together. After we identify 4-5 interesting questions/directions to dig deeper, we will go into breakout sessions, so that each group can work discuss on the question. At the end, we will gather again, and get summaries from breakout sessions. (I have been using this reading group format for my seminars and was very happy about it.)

We will use Google docs to collect comments, and to help the breakout sessions work on their questions together.

I will be recording the Zoom session and upload it on YouTube. After the meeting, I will write a blog post summarizing our understanding and findings of the paper, providing links to the video recording and Google documents.

Preparation before the Zoom meeting

The paper we will discuss is: Gryff: Unifying Consensus and Shared Registers. You can download the paper freely here. Here is a link to USENIX NSDI'20 presentation of the paper, and a link to the presentation slides.

This paper got on my radar after writing a summary of a related paper, Hermes: A fast fault-tolerant and linearizable replication protocol.

Aleksey will present the paper. Here is a link to his one page (for some definition of a page) summary for Gryff.

We like to collect questions about the paper before the Zoom Discussion. Please use this Google Document to write questions you like to get resolved about the paper. We will be using this document also as the discussion/collaboration document during the Zoom session.

Aleksey created a Google/YouTube account for distsysreading, and if you have suggestions/comments you can email to the distsysreading gmail address (just add to the name).

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