[Sugar-news] Sugar Digest 2009-09-11

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Fri Sep 11 09:55:40 EDT 2009

=== Sugar Digest ===

1. During yesterday's developer meeting on IRC we spontaneously
declared that Aleksey Lim (alsroot) is Sugar Labs "Volunteer of the
Month". Some quotes from Aleksey's peers: "Now that we have alsroot
fixing bugs, maybe we don't need any other people"; "We passed a
tipping point a few days back when alsroot was fixing faster than I
was able to report them." Many kudos to Aleksey!!

2. There has been a great deal of negative press about One Laptop per
Child of late--much of it based on misinformation and poor
fact-checking. I decided to respond to one blog
[http://www.undispatch.com/node/8859], a particularly disheartening
one by Alanna Shaikh on a UN Foundation-sponsored site:

I am writing in response to Alanna Shaikh's 9/9/09 article, "One
Laptop Per Child - The Dream is Over".

Not only is the dream not over, the OLPC project has created an
opportunity for the pursuit of more dreams by many more people.

I was Nicholas Negroponte's partner in founding One Laptop per Child.
As Nicholas has elegantly stated in his response to Ms. Shaikh's blog,
we spawned the netbook market, which is bringing the price of
computing within reach of millions more people. In addition, we launch
a free software initiative, Sugar Labs, that is putting educational
software into the hands of children.

Sugar Labs (www.sugarlabs.org) is an independent outgrowth of OLPC. We
are a global community of volunteers—teachers and software
developers—whose mission is to bring the advantages of the Sugar
learning platform to children everywhere, on any computer. Sugar was
designed specially for children and offers a better alternative for
young learners than traditional “office-desktop” software. Indeed,
nothing in our children's future has anything to do with office work
from 30 years ago.

Ms. Shaikh is mistaken in her assertion that OLPC has abandoned  “the
special child-friendly OS.” More than 99% of the OLPC laptops in the
hands of children run Sugar. Governments prefer Sugar because of its
superior quality, openness, built-in collaboration, easy
internationalization and localization to indigenous languages, and
unbeatable price (free).

Sugar on a Stick, our latest initiative, allows children fortunate
enough to have access to a computer at school, in the community, at
home (or only the occasional access to a computer in an Internet café)
to benefit from Sugar with a simple USB stick, which costs less than
US $5. Sugar on a Stick runs on netbooks, but it also runs on
hand-me-down computers, typical of those found in schools, that can
only limp along running Windows.

We invite you to contact as we will be pleased to answer any of your
questions about Sugar, the free learning platform used in schools
every day in countries around the world.

3. We will be holding the Oversight Board election this month. Details
to follow soon.

=== Help wanted ===

4. Simon Schampijer (erikos), the Sugar Release Manager, has put out a
request for help with our pending 0.86 release. We are looking for
someone to lead a triaging crew. Duties would include: organizing
daily—or every second day—meetings for triaging bugs with the Bug
Squad. It mainly involves being responsive to incoming bugs. Read more
about the [[BugSquad]] in the wiki. Simon is happy to answer any

Simon is also looking for help with testing. We need testing plans for
each new [[0.86/Feature_List]] that landed in 0.86. We are looking for
someone or a group of people to arrange the testing plans (many of
which are contained in Trac tickets) on a wiki page so that testers
can test them.

Once we have the 0.86 packages in the distributions, we will announce
it on the mailing list. You are welcome to report bugs you find in
[http://dev.sugarlabs.org]. Of course we welcome any efforts to form
testing teams and/or to arrange for testing days. Please use the
mailing list to coordinate those efforts, so that as many people as
possible can join in the fun.

=== In the community ===

5. The Uruguay National Public Education Administration Council of
Early Childhood Education and Primary Public Relations announced a
contest [http://www.uruguaypiensa.org.uy], "Uruguay of Ideas" directed
towards school students and teachers to blogs about ideas for Plan
Ceibal, the Uruguay OLPC/Sugar deployment.

6. There will be a Sugar/OLPC meeting in Buenos Aires on Saturday, 26
September. It will be held at the headquarters of the American Open
University, Montes de Oca 745 from 9:00 to 13:00.

===Tech Talk===

7. Bill Bogstad has been working on a floppy boot disk for Sugar on a
Stick. See http://people.sugarlabs.org/~bogstad/floppy/ for more

8. Simon and the release team continue to make great progress towards
the release of Sugar 0.86. Some of the new features—e.g., the new
toolbars—are brilliant. 0.86 will be a great step forward for Sugar.

===Sugar Labs===

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

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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