[Sugar-news] Sugar Digest 2011-02-23

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Feb 24 08:33:04 EST 2011

===Sugar Digest===

1. Hats off to Simon Schampijer and Sascha Silbe who have released
Sugar 0.92. While primarily a maintenance release, there are some new
feature of note; for example, better handling of Sugar Journal objects
when copied to/from removable media. Release notes coming soon.

2. Last week, I was in Lima, where Claudia Urrea, Kiko Majorga, Sdenka
Salas and I ran some workshops for teachers and teacher trainers: 1000
teachers on Monday and 25 teacher trainers and curricula development
specialists on Tuesday and Wednesday. The theme was ostensibly
robotics: Peru is distributing robotics kits to all of the schools. We
walked through lots of different approaches to using Sugar to interact
with the physical world, through sensors and software (Turtle Art,
Scratch, Etoys, Measure). We had them build sensors, calibrate them,
and then program some activity with them. They made great progress and
had lots of fun. Sugar enthusiasm abounds!

They are in the process of migrating to 10.1.3 as well as distributing
machines to high-school students running Fedora with Open Office
installed. (These machines will also include Scratch and the GNOME
version of Turtle Art, which has undergone a great deal of

3. Other activities: I connected Sebastian Silva and Somos Azucar up
with a group at the US Dept. of State who is interest in
English-language learning. They are going to develop tools for a pilot
in Colombia. When he returns from paternity leave, he can give us an
update. Also, I have been contacted by three commercial companies who
are interested in working with Sugar: UK company that makes
class-participation tools has ported their system to Sugar and is
looking for help with pilots (they may do a pilot in Peru); a Korean
company is interested in porting some Sugar apps to Android –
interesting in light of the
ongoing discussion] on IAEP list; and a Canadian company that has been
making constructionist-like learning tools for more than 30 years.
Also, OLPC France is working on a new activity to let children build
stories; this is a request from a foundation in France who wants to
deploy this activity in several schools by the end of April.

4. Stefan Unterhauser (dogi) has a preliminary version of Sugar
running in the “Cloud”. He is using VNC to push the output of Sugar
running in a VM to a browser. It works remarkably well and may well be
the easiest way to demo Sugar to potential users.

5. Raul Gutierrez Segales (now working at Collabora) and I have been
working on extending Sugar-collaboration to GNOME, using Turtle Art as
the test case. It is quite exciting to be able to work transparently
between the GNOME desktop and a Sugar instance. We'll be pushing out
an RPM and a new version of the .xo file in a few days.

We've been doing a lot of refactoring of the code with some unexpected
results: since you can share bitmaps and since you can now use the
camera as a sensor, you can write a video broadcast system in Turtle
Art – it takes all of three blocks (well, 7 blocks if you want it to
work well). Meanwhile, Tony Forster and Guzman Trinidad have been
cranking out great science and engineering projects using sensors and

Part of the refactoring effort has been to make it easier to plug new
devices into Turtle Art. At present, there are plugins for the camera,
audio sensors, and RFID tag readers. There are plugin projects to
support Arduino, Lego WeDo, Lego NXT, and the GoGo board.

6. Belated thanks to Laura, Alex, Parul, and Julie, the MIT marketing
team that did an analysis of Sugar Labs. Their final presentation can
be found at https://sites.google.com/site/marketlabsugar/

===Help wanted===

7. One recommendation from the marketing team is to add more pictures
to the website that show kids using Sugar. Please send candidate
favorite pictures to the Sugar Marketing team.

8. Sebastian Silva posted this call for volunteers: "We've started a
good friendly relationship with one of the more interesting
deployments of OLPC in Colombia, specifically in Medellín. They are
looking for volunteers that will help them with English. We think this
is a great opportunity for a Sugar volunteer to work in a Deployment
and engage the Maureen Orth deployment with the rest of the

===In the community===

9. We had a preliminary brainstorming session regarding what types of
projects we might do in conjunction with the Sugar Labs cycling team's
participation in the Tour of Uruguay at the end of April. Read about
it here: [[http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Vuelta_a_Uruguay]].

===Tech Talk===

10. Tom Gilliard (satellit) has been making steady progress on Sugar
images for use in virtual machines. In particular, he is getting much
better (more stable and consistent) results on MAC hardware. See
The Trisquel image is particularly compelling.

11. Fred Grose has been working on SoaS-remix: a bundle of
edit-liveos.py and supporting scripts to make testing and use of Sugar
on a Stick easier. See

12. Yioryos Asprobounitis announced a new version of Sugar running in
Puppy Linux.
See the full announcement here:

===Sugar Labs===

Gary Martin has generated a SOM from the past few weeks of discussion
on the IAEP mailing list.

[http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2011-Feb-12-18-som.jpg] (70 emails)
[http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2011-Feb-5-11-som.jpg] (78 emails)
[http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2011-Jan-9-Feb-4-som.jpg] (88 emails)

Visit our planet [http://planet.sugarlabs.org] for more updates about
Sugar and Sugar deployments.


Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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