Roadmap 2016

John Lee jjl at ...348...
Sat Jan 16 22:47:52 CET 2016

On Fri, 8 Jan 2016, Norman Feske wrote:

> Hi Pontus,
> welcome to the list and thank you for the thought-provoking comments!
>> First, I must say that I still have some trouble understanding the use
>> case for Genode as a desktop OS. Not that I don't like the idea but I
>> think this is such an enormous undertaking that a believe might be
>> like aiming too far or maybe like missing lower hanging fruit.
> I will try to clarify the goal and motivation.
> The goal is to enable the productive use of Genode by a narrow group of
> users with reasonably with well-defined requirements. I gave two
> examples of such groups, namely us developers and the users of a
> disposable TOR-browser appliance. The immediate goal is *not* to create
> a desktop OS for the masses. This would be unrealistic. But with the
> goal narrowed like this, the aspiration is feasible.

As a person who aspires to use Genode, and therefore also aspires to see 
the community of developers who contribute to Genode grow, what you say 
makes sense and I see how the desktop is more important than it might 

I'm late to the discussion, but for very similar reasons, may I offer 
this, perhaps obvious (?) use case as a driver for development: IoT 
applications on platforms that are appealing and accessible to "amateur" 
IoT developers, who likely are also professional programmers, playing with 
Genode in their spare time.

There is a clear 'itch to scratch' for developers not satisfied with the 
IoT marketplace -- security, freedom, hackability.  Of course it is a 
growth area, so there is less entrenched competition.  To make another 
obvious point, the risk, cost, and inconvenience of getting started with a 
Raspberry Pi that is not one's main desktop/laptop are all very low, 
especially since many people already own one that is sitting in a cupboard 

I don't know what really attracts the developers who contribute the most 
-- I think it is probably quite individual -- but two things that it seems 
can only help are:

1. Increasing the audience of potential Genode developers by supporting 
popular platforms that can be used for IoT applications, like Raspberry Pi 
and Raspberry Pi 2.

2. People like helping others, so an audience of people not developing 
Genode, but using it to develop IoT apps, might encourage some new Genode 
developers.  To this end, I'd like to suggest targetting ease of getting 
"up and running" with these platforms: for example, it would be amazing if 
there were a downloadable RPi2 image that one could just write to a micro 
SD card, ssh in and run bash and python to process video from the standard camera module.  Of course I'm sure this is a lot of work, 
but I think even steps towards it are likely to increase the interested 
audience who will push it further in that direction.

IoT makes a connection between tinkering and work.  A similar combination 
is arguably what got Linux where it is now...

On a separate subject: I'm sure any progress on seL4 will attract new 


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