[Sugar-news] Sugar Digest 2009-02-10

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Tue Feb 10 16:48:42 EST 2009

=== Sugar Digest ===

1. I took some time off from programming to attend Evangeline Harris
Stefanakis's class at Boston University, School of Education. It is a
graduate seminar in which the students are expected to do some field
work. Her students are all over-achievers, each with a wealth of
experience working with either pre-school or elementary-aged children,
many from disadvantaged backgrounds.

I gave a brief Sugar overview and also introduced them to the
Portfolio tool. They then explored on their own for an hour or so.
Prof. Stefanakis then challenged them to think of ways in which they
might incorporate Sugar into their class projects.

Stay tuned.

2. Mel Chua has been leading the marketing-team discussions the past
two weeks. She has brought a renewed energy to the group
([[MarketingTeam/Meetings/02-10-2009#The_actual_meeting]]. We are
focusing on setting goals and being more structured in our approach to
meeting our goals. Sean Daly's participation has given us more

3. Tony Forster is even more fanatic than I am: he has written "Turtle
Lander" in Turtle Art (See
Previously, I'd written a Turtle Art falling-blocks game (See
[[Activities/TAPortfolio#We_got_game]]). Both of us are trying to
understand the limits of Turtle Art as a language. Meanwhile, a visit
to http://turtleart.org/ will give you a sense of how expressive
Turtle Art can be within the more narrow domain of Art!

In response to last week's discussion about collaboration, I decided
to add collaboration to Turtle Art Portfolio. I wanted to see how
difficult it would be and have an excuse to think about what a
collaborative programming environment might look like. Try sharing
Version 16 ([http://sugarlabs.org/wiki/images/e/e7/TurtleArtPortfolio-16.xo]),
but I wouldn't recommend more than 2 or 3 people working together at

I've also begun documenting both Turtle Art and Turtle Art Portfolio
in the wiki: [[Activities/TurtleArt]] and [[Activities/TAPortfolio]].

=== Community jams, meet-ups, and meetings ===

4. Simon Schampijer reports that "a bunch of enthusiastic Sugar
developers, contributors and community members got together at
FOSDEM'09 in Brussels, Belgium this weekend. In addition, a one-day
pre-conference meetup took place on Friday. While a variety of topics
and issues were discussed, the focus was on how make Sugar a better
and more usable solution in the classroom. To that end, a closer
connection with both teachers/educators and pilots/deployments that
use Sugar must be forged. There also needs to be an easily accessible
and central place that contains a list of suggestions for future
improvements and their status (think 'Trac for teachers'). Another
important need is to make simple activities that are required in the
classroom, e.g. simple Maths programs, typing tutors, etc.

"In an inspiring talk given by Red Hat's Greg deKonigsberg it was
emphasized that assessment of tasks and activities must also be
integral part of the Sugar platform. Tomeu Vizoso outlined the
opportunities in the Sugar playground for the GNOME community in his
talk in the GNOME room. There were also many interesting discussions
with folks from different communities such as Gnome, Gnash, Mandriva,
Fedora, etc.

"Notes taken at the event are posted

5. [http://tutorius.org/blog/ Tutorius] is an open source project
developed by nine computer engineering students at Sherbrooke
University in Canada. Their project is based Sugar, with the simple
goal of making education easier and more accessible to teachers and
children around the world and also of improving education quality in
general. They plan on building an interactive tutor, an Activities
editor, a community website and more.

=== Help Wanted ===

6. We could use some USB sticks for distributing Sugar on a Stick. If
you know any one who might be able to donate some USB sticks, please
let us know.

7. We need more testing of 0.84 as we approach the March release.

=== Tech Talk ===

8. Simon also reports that "we had a Sucrose 0.83.5 development
release planed for 30 January; we missed that opportunity. We just did
an uncoordinated release of the latest
and [http://download.sugarlabs.org/sources/sucrose/glucose/sugar-datastore/sugar-datastore-0.83.3.tar.bz2]
so packagers can get those into the builds already.

"The next [[DevelopmentTeam/Release/Roadmap#Schedule]] is next week;
this will be our Release Candidate 1. Make sure to polish everything
up and get your fixes in.

"Testers, please have a look at the new SoaS announcements (snapshots
can be found at [http://download.sugarlabs.org/soas/snapshots/1/]) and
the packages in your distribution of choice."

=== Sugar Labs ===

9. Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of
discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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