Roadmap 2021

John J. Karcher devuser at
Mon Dec 21 03:33:09 CET 2020

On 12/18/20 8:58 AM, Norman Feske wrote:
> Dear Genode community,
> the end of the strange year 2020 comes in sight. So now it is time
> to kick off our annual road-map discussion. I'll keep up with our
> tradition of reviewing the past 12 months from my personal
> perspective, dropping my ideas for the upcoming year, and inviting
> you to share your ideas and plans.

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone on the Genode team, and all you 
other developers out there, for another year of excellent progress!


> What's your perspective?
> ------------------------
> For drafting the road map of next year, I'm eagerly interested in
> the perspective of my fellow developers and of course users of
> Genode.
> How do you perceive the outcome of the year?

I completely agree with your assessment of the year.  The technical 
progress was impressive as always, across the entire spectrum of the 
ecosystem (build tools, platforms, drivers, API refactoring, etc.)!

As to growing the community, who knows what it takes to get some 
attention in this world?!  It'll probably go viral when we're least 
expecting it.  ;^)

Personally, I am very disappointed at the small amount of time that 2020 
allowed me to spend on Genode.  Here's hoping 2021 is much better!

> What areas would you wish to concentrate on?

As a user, my #1 priority for 2021 is to set up Sculpt as a "daily 
driver" on my ThinkPad convertible.  (I will be asking for advice on 
this topic in a separate message.)

As a developer, I greatly appreciate (and admire) the work of those 
porting software, but my personal passion is to exploit the unique 
potential of the native Genode API, both for reducing the TCB and also 
exploring elegant ideas that are not possible on other platforms.

There are obviously many areas to focus on (too many for one person!), 
but a couple that leap off the page for me are: 1) seeing what creative 
ideas the VFS system might support, and 2) using the Nitpicker UI to 
create low-TCB front-ends.  I would also like to play more with writing 
Ada/SPARK components.

I have some other dreams too, but I'll keep them to myself until I have 
something more concrete to contribute.  ;^)

Oh yes, if I do get any free time, I would also like to update "Genode 
Corner", and turn it into a useful resource.

> Where do you see untapped potential of Genode?

Everything!  Seriously, everything from boring-but-useful low-TCB server 
appliances, through standard desktops, to secure mobile platforms - all 
are within reach.

On the topic of mobile, I also am very excited about this use case! 
(Add me to the list of people who will buy a PinePhone if/when your port 
gets to a certain level.)

Personally, I am more interested in tablet features than phone features, 
for two reasons: 1) it is a quicker path to a useful device, since the 
proprietary phone-specific parts seem to always be a problem, and 2) for 
added security, I don't mind using a tablet connected via WiFi and/or 
Bluetooth to a phone/hotspot.

As you develop this, if you want to throw some mobile/tablet UI POCs out 
there, I will be happy to test them on the ThinkPad!

> How do you envision Genode in December 2021?

As my daily driver desktop, for one thing!  If you keep going on the 
path you are on with Leitzentrale, moving more common actions into the 
UI, I really think it can gain traction.

One last wish, if I may: to have Spunky promoted to a first-class 
kernel.  :^)


   John J. Karcher
   devuser at

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