Roadmap 2020

Dave Springer david_springer_56 at
Wed Jan 1 19:04:45 CET 2020

Hi Norman,
     I should start out by saying that my software skills are quite limited compared to yours. My laptop just broke so until I can get another up and running I'm limited to my phone. It difficult to type so please excuse the errors.      I have been following this project because I think it has a bright future and I think that broadly speaking Linux is be becoming more like windows and leaving the Unix philosophy of simple components working together.     Being a visual thinker I am drawn to the concept embodied in Eaglemode. I do not know how or how well the software is excecuted, but for me at least being able to to see the structure 'from above' is appealing. As far as being keyboard friendly I can't say, but the idea of having a window/file manager with these capabilities seems very useful. Just my two cents worth.     Like I said I have no skin in the game.wish you and this project nothing but success and a bright future.                     Respectfully,  Dave Springer

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android 
  On Fri, Dec 27, 2019 at 8:34 AM, Norman Feske<norman.feske at> wrote:   Dear Genode community,

the year 2020 is approaching, which prompts me to kick off the
discussion of our road map for the year to come. Before drafting plans,
however, I'd like to share my personal reflections of the past 12 months.

For the road map 2019, we picked "bridging worlds" as our guiding theme:
(1) Lowering the friction when combining existing software with Genode,
(2) Fostering interoperability with widely used protocols and APIs, and
(3) Making Genode easier to approach and generally more practical.

With respect to (1), we identified Genode's custom tooling (build
system, run scripts, ports mechanism, depot tools) as a point of
friction. They are arguably powerful and flexible but require a lot of
up-front learning. This is certainly a burden unacceptable for a casual
developer without a black belt in Make and Expect/Tcl. The new Goa tool
rearranges the existing tools in a way that puts the concerns of casual
developers into focus, allowing for the use of commodity build systems,
eliminating Tcl syntax from the equation, running sub-second test
cycles, and streamlining the packaging of software.

On account of (2), we switched to C++17 by default, fostered the use of
Java, updated Qt5, and put POSIX compatibility into the spotlight. We
were eventually able to dissolve the need for our custom Unix runtime
(Noux) because all features of Noux are covered by our regular libc now.

Our biggest step towards (3) is the website we
started in winter 2019, which gives individual members of our community
an easy way to present thoughts, projects, and experiences.
Complementing Genode's formal documentation, it also conserves practical
tips and tricks that were previously not covered in written form.

When speaking of "bridging worlds", I should not forget to mention the
tremendous effort to bring Sculpt-OS-like workloads to the 64-bit ARM
world. Thanks to the added support for multi-core AARCH64,
hardware-based virtualization, and network/USB/graphics drivers for the
i.MX8 SoC, the flexibility of Sculpt OS will eventually become available
on PC hardware and ARM-based devices alike.

Over the course of 2019, we admittedly skipped a few topics originally
mentioned on our road map. In particular, the user-visible side of
Sculpt OS received less attention than originally envisioned. We also
deferred several ideas we had in mind about reworking our GUI stack.
Instead, we expanded our work in the areas of storage (block-level APIs,
test infrastructure, block encryption) and input processing. This shift
of focus is mostly attributed to the priorities of Genode Labs'
customers who fund our work.

Drafting plans for 2020

Hereby, I'll just present my personal interests and invite you to do the
same. When carving out Genode's official road map for 2020 until mid of
January, I will then try to condense all the input into a tangible plan.

Personally, I think that after "bridging worlds", it's time for "use,
consolidation, and optimization".

- It is certainly too early to call Goa a success. In order to find out
  if we are on the right track, I want to expose Goa to as many problems
  as possible, primarily by the means of porting software.

- I'd love to pick up our ideas about Genode's GUI stack, accommodating
  headless scenarios, multi-head, screen capturing, color depth, and the
  ability to restart drivers.

- I have a huge backlog of ideas about the user-visible side of Sculpt
  OS, which would make Sculpt OS more pleasant to use and much more fun.

  - Replacing Unix/Vim-based interface of the Leitzentrale with a
    graphical user interface
  - Making the Leitzentrale's layout more logical
  - Keyboard-based navigation
  - Context-aware on-screen documentation
  - Settings embedded in the graph nodes of the runtime view

- I see plenty of opportunities for optimization throughout the entire
  software stack. With the rich C runtime in place now, it becomes
  easier than ever to stress the system from various angles, which is
  a great motivator for optimization work.

- Genode's binary compatibility across a variety of kernels is a key
  feature of the framework. I'd like to push it even further by unifying
  the capability-space management among all the kernel platforms.
  Such a consolidation would make Genode less reliant on the subtle ways
  how edge cases are handled by each kernel (in-kernel data structures,
  capability re-identification), and reduce the amount of kernel-
  specific code to maintain.

This is merely my personal point of view. Now I'm very interested in
learning about your's! Please don't hesitate to share your perspective
on the project, your priorities and plans, and topics you would
anticipate most.


Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske
Genode Labs ·

Genode Labs GmbH · Amtsgericht Dresden · HRB 28424 · Sitz Dresden
Geschäftsführer: Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske, Christian Helmuth

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