I think KernelEx should move towards some kind of community approach, in contrast to the current "The maintainer does everything" one.
KernelEx reached a state where many vital things already work. We're able to use modern browsers, modern media players, and various other things. There are some bugs, and surely there are enough applications that do not work. But KernelEx basically does its job.
Therefore, there isn't as much motivation left as there was back in the days. There is almost always the possibility to change some settings or use another program to get what you want. In some situations, it even got easier to modify the application itself than improving KernelEx, as with Firefox 4 and higher.
That doesn't mean that nobody should work on KernelEx anymore. In fact, the complete opposite is the case. But it has to get much easier to start hacking.
Setting up the required tools to build KernelEx isn't easy enough I think. Many old-school developers may still have VS 6 somewhere in their shelves, but most new potential developers have not. Getting the right PSDK 2003 version may also get somewhat tricky. I'm not completely sure about how we can fix that though.
Also, some place where users can easily report incompatibilities, give some hints(aceman's report for Firefox was very
helpful) and just communicate with developers would be great. There is such a place already, KernelEx' SF bugtracker, but it's not widely used for some reason. That kind of blurs the future perspective. What feature is missing? What application does everybody want to see working after the next release? I don't know.
And finally, the biggest problem at the moment: We need much more documentation about KernelEx' internals. It's absolutely possible to get to the bottom if you read the code carefully, and maybe give your debugger a shot sometimes. But it's just unnecessary. It's so much work for new developers to get the big picture about how KernelEx is working, and where they have to change what to even do something without busting their whole system. It takes at least 1-2 days even for skilled developers to get used to the code. That's a lot of time that has to be spent before they can even do anything about the actual bug. It would be so much easier if there was a simple document somewhere in KernelEx' sourcecode archive explaining the general concepts and ideas, together with some details about the concrete implementation, as you suggested.
Once we fix at least 2 and 3, I think many part-time developers will gather around KernelEx and do many small changes. And that's the future perspective in my opinion. I can't imagine anyone who dedicates so much time to KernelEx as you did in the past(though I'm very happy you did!). But we have to realize that this may slow down development. It will keep the project alive at least.
What do you think? What does the community think? Is it really too hard for all those of you how want to participate to actually do so? That doesn't necessarily mean writing code, but also reporting bugs and proposing new features/applications. Or maybe there is a skilled developer out there who is willing to continue KernelEx in Xeno's fashion?
Raise your voices. They will keep a great project alive
This post has been edited by dencorso: 02 August 2011 - 10:02 PM