Heroku and Pivotal are working on the next generation of buildpacks and presenting it to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation with the hopes to "greatly improve buildpack interoperability between platforms and attract a wide community of contributors, including buildpack creators and maintainers".
Cloud Native Buildpacks are a new effort initiated by Pivotal and Heroku in January 2018. Cloud Native Buildpacks aim to unify the buildpack ecosystems with a platform-to-buildpack contract that is well-defined and that incorporates learnings from maintaining production-grade buildpacks for years at both Pivotal and Heroku, the largest contributors to the buildpack ecosystem.
Buildpacks are pluggable, modular tools that translate source code into container-ready artifacts such as OCI images. They replace Dockerfiles in the app development lifecycle with a higher level of abstraction.
The proposal offers buildpacks as replacement to Dockerfiles, while serving as a higher level of abstraction. The presentation is tonight (Aug 21) @ 8pm PDT and details on joining the meeting are in the CNCF TOC readme.