Roadmap 2019

John J. Karcher devuser at
Tue Dec 25 00:10:41 CET 2018

Congratulations on a highly successful year!

Thanks for this opportunity to chime in.  There's a lot to process here; 
for brevity's sake I will only share a few initial thoughts at this time.

On 12/23/18 2:46 PM, Norman Feske wrote:
> Hallo everyone,
> hereby, I'd like to follow up on our tradition to discuss Genode's road
> map on the mailing list. Let's take the turn of the year to recapture
> the events of 2018 and make plans for the next twelve months. Please
> feel welcome to chime in! By mid of January, I'll finalize Genode's
> official road map and would like to take your input into account.


> For me personally, this ride was certainly the most rewarding period in
> Genode's history so far. Now, when looking at the result, I am
> overwhelmed about what we achieved together! Whenever I have the chance
> to showing off Sculpt running on my laptop, Sculpt doesn't fail to impress.

I completely agree with this assessment.  I think the Year Of Sculpt has 
tied enough loose ends together that the framework has reached the 
"plateau" phase, and the focus now shifts to building upon it.

> That said, during the course of the year, this positive sense of
> achievement eventually blended with the rather dull feeling that our
> hard work remains largely unnoticed outside the inner circle of Genode
> enthusiasts. The public at large remains quite indifferent (e.g., I was
> unable to capture the interest of FOSDEM to feature a talk about Sculpt
> OS on their main track). For a long time, I tricked myself into
> believing that once we overcome all technical road blocks, Genode will
> eventually become widely recognized automatically. There was always a
> technical challenge to take on. With Sculpt, we have reached a point
> where this excuse doesn't hold anymore. There is no technical piece missing.

I agree that there is no technical piece missing.  But as an old refugee 
from the Amiga, etc., I'm painfully aware that the best technology 
doesn't always get the mind- or market-share.  (The FOSDEM news is 
surprising, though.)

> This leaves me with the question of how to make Genode relevant at a
> larger scale? Since this is not a technical question, I admittedly
> struggle to find a good answer. When thinking of the overall leitmotif
> for 2019, I always come back to this question.
> Plan for 2019
> I see three directions to help Genode to become more widely recognized.


> 1) Widening the audience of Sculpt OS
> Sculpt works well, but it is arguably still too hard to use for
> non-technical users and it lacks a lot of software that users take for
> granted today. Consequently, we should improve its ease of use. In
> particular, I'd love to explore the more consequent use of Sculpt's
> component graph as an intuitive user interface for both the composition
> and the configuration of components. The ultimate goal would be to
> eliminate the need for editing any text files. With respect to software
> availability, I have high hopes in the Genode SDK that we introduced in
> Genode 18.11. Let's follow this route further.

I don't have any big ideas on this subject, but I just want to support 
the idea of focusing on the Component Graph.  It is a powerful (and 
unique) feature, and I can't wait to use it for configuration also.

> 2) Fostering the community spirit around our project
> Our project enjoys a healthy community of users and contributors. But
> the community is rather scattered and the various groups work pretty
> much in isolation. As a result, the work of one group is often invisible
> to the others, not to speak of any public visibility. Could we possibly
> establish an instrument that would help each participant to gain more
> visibility and thereby help the community at large to become more
> relevant? I'll come up with a concrete proposal for such an instrument soon.

This should really help us hit critical mass.  It sounds like some 
interesting (and unexpected) ideas are percolating already!

> One technical element may be a feature of Sculpt that would allow the
> user to browse the software depots provided by various community members
> and install/deploy packages by just a few clicks. This would vastly ease
> the discoverability of the available software and highlight the roles of
> the respective developers.

I think this is a really important idea also.


(I need to put more thought into the questions at the end, so I'll 
respond to those separately.)

As a final thought, I'm really looking forward to what both Genode Labs 
and the community do in the upcoming year, and to being part of it!

  Happy Holidays!

   John J. Karcher
   devuser at

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