Roadmap 2016

Josef Söntgen josef.soentgen at ...1...
Mon Jan 11 22:08:01 CET 2016

Hi everyone,

just before Norman finalizes the roadmap I want to make some remarks
myself. It is always easy to point out single features or even
applications that one might want to have in or use on Genode and those
differ between people. So rather than providing my personal wishlist
of features x y z I want to give some brief insight after using Genode
on a daily basis for a few months (referring to a *slightly* modified
system configuration based on the Turmvilla scenario):

It works incredibly well (stable and fast) for what it is configured,
as long as you do not try anything fancy. You can interactively start
and stop subsystems and change them at run-time. You can also change
the configuration of several components, which makes the whole system
usable and even quite fun to work with or rather on. But at its core,
the system configuration is still static. You have to know beforehand
which component provides which service and you have to route components
(e.g. which hard disk should be used etc) accordingly. By all means, in
some use cases that is a good thing but might be a limiting factor when
considering, e.g., desktop computing.

Ideally, it would be nice if most of the configuration but the essential
one could be done at run-time. Unfortunately, not all components in
question support reporting their state or allow configuration changes at
run-time — we definitely should improve that.

Therefore, identifying an essential core system configuration, that
provides enough functionality to bootstrap a subsequent system might be
reasonable. I know, such a configuration always depends on the use case
at hand but still. For debugging purposes we currently depend on some
kind of interface that provides us with the much needed LOG output. For
better or worse not all machines provide such an interface and that
might limit the application area of Genode — maybe we can come up with
some neat component/configuration that gets rid of this dependency?

Relating to some points discussed earlier in this thread, the lack of
hardware support is for me personally not such a big deal. At the end
of the day it is either the vesa_fb_drv, intel_fb_drv or maybe even a
mali_fb_drv that provides the Framebuffer service. What is more important
at the moment is how the components are linked together. Also, w/o the
help of the community focusing too much an supporting interesting
hardware platforms will probably draw manpower off from more pressing
tasks (I would love to ditch x86 for some “better” platform but I do
not see that happing any time soon). On that account, I also do not see
the current lack of appealing GUI agents as such an important site
— than again I fancy Plan 9 and should probably not raise my voice on
this topic anyway ;-)

So, in contrast to 2015 where among other things stability was the most
prominent field of activity, 2016 should probably be the year where we
try to make the most of the system, by providing means to ease the task
of configuring and integrating a Genode based system.


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