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[MirageOS-devel] Pioneer project propositions

  • To: "mirageos-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <mirageos-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: Drup <drupyog+caml@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2016 15:37:00 +0200
  • Delivery-date: Fri, 12 Aug 2016 13:37:14 +0000
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  • List-id: Developer list for MirageOS <mirageos-devel.lists.xenproject.org>


I wanted to propose two new pioneer projects. Given that I can't Mentor myself, I prefer to send an email here than to add it directly to the wiki. I've left out the difficulty ratting, because I have literally no idea. I will gladly help potential mentees (and I review everything functoria-related anyway).

Unikernel galery (initial idea by mort)

By combining functoria and js_of_ocaml, it should be possible to make a webpage that showcase a set of unikernels (for example, mirage-skeleton). We could then go further and allow to run functoria in the webpage directly (showing dots and description, and so on).

This project would involved several tasks: First, understand how functoria works (and modify it if necessary). Then, become familiar with js_of_ocaml and be able to make a pretty webpage with it. Finally, improve visualisation and documentation informations that are available through "mirage describe" (and the --dot option) and adapt them to a web format.

High level devices

A good amount of the mirage devices that are implemented right now (in mirage.ml) are fairly low level. Even the one related to web servers need a rather large amount of boilerplate to setup (see the static_website_tls unikernel in mirage-skeleton). The mirage-seal project attempted to improve that by providing an external tool that would emit the necessary code. It's also well known that using js_of_ocaml in a unikernel is slightly nightmare-ish on the build system side.

It should be possible to replace all that by new devices that provide everything directly, using judicious functor applications and configure scripts. This would involve studying the various idioms that are used (in mirage-skeleton, mirage-www and other unikernels) and coming up with an API that is flexible enough to cover all the use cases.

I expect this would make it much easier to create new unikernel that do high level tasks.

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