[Sugar-news] Sugar Digest 2012-02-02

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 09:10:29 EST 2012

== Sugar Digest ==

1. I spent some time working on the nutrition plugin for Turtle Blocks
last weekend. I'm actually quite intrigued by the potential. So far, I
have built a small database of foods (banana, apple, chocolate cake,
and a chocolate chip cookie), where each object has an associated
simple polynomial with value for calories, protein, carbohydrates,
fiber, and fat. These values are respectable on the help palette and
there are inspector blocks that can get these values as numeric values
in Turtle Block programs. You can do arithmetic operations on the
object, e.g., banana * 3 + cookie / 2 and you can use the component
values in other operations, e.g., forward by get_calories apple.
Finally, there is an eat method that consumes the nutritional values
fed to it and accumulates aggregate totals for each component. Using
those values, I wrote a simple Weight Watchers(TM) "Points"
calculator. You can play with all of this by downloading the plugin
from [1].

Next up is to create a palette with foods that are actually meaningful
within the context of a deployment. There is a nice database to map
foods to their nutritional components available at [2] so the real
work is coming up with a representative list of foods and the artwork
for the blocks. Anyone one interested in exploring this further with

A screen shot is available at [3].

2. I am a little late in relaying this, but Caryl Bigenho wrote up a
nice summary of SCaLE 10X a week ago. You can read about it here: [4]

3. I am please to announce that Robert Fadel will be taking over as
finance coordinator for Sugar Labs. Robert has a wealth of
professional experience in finance and, having previously been a part
of the core team at One Laptop per Child, he is very familiar with
Sugar Labs and its mission. Robert has been in communication with
Bradley Kuhn at the SFC in order to get brought up to speed on our
finances--Bradley had been distracted by an end of year audit report,
so things are a bit behind on the finance front. Once he gets the lay
of the land, I am certain that Robert will have many recommendations
on how we can improve our financial processes. Robert and Bradley both
have expressed interest in helping Sugar Labs identify funding

2. John Tierney spent the fall semester working closely with a team of
students participating in the OWL Jr. project at Oakland University
under the supervision of Dr. Dana Driscoll. The students evaluated
different aspects of Sugar and the use of Sugar in the classroom and
have written up very thoughtful recommendations. John is working with
them to get these materials into the wiki and to mine them for
potential feature requests. Stay tuned.

=== In the community ===

6. There will be an eduJAM! in the  week of May 7-12 in Montevideo.
Details to follow.

7. The week following eduJAM! will be a Squeakfest, also in Montevideo
(May 16-18).

=== Tech Talk ===

8. The patches for new features for Sugar 0.96 [5] have (for the most
part) landed. Under the hood, we'll see a migration to GTK-3. This is
particularly important in "future-proofing" Sugar, ensuring that we
remain in sync with our upstream and opens the door to much of the
work in the GNOME community around topics such as accessibility and
touch. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this major
effort. Other new features include a global text-to-speech mechanism,
written by Gonzalo Odiard. You'll be able to highlight text in any
activity and send it to the voice synthesizer with a simple keyboard
shortcut. Manuel Quiñones and Simon Schampijer have been porting
Browse to Webkit as its back end. Simon helped me with "write to
journal anytime", a feature that enables the user to takes notes
stored in the Sugar journal from within any activity. And Sascha
Silbe, Anish Mangal, and Aleksey Lim have added proxy configuration to
the network entry in the Sugar control panel. Lots of QA to do, but
the heavy lifting is done.

=== Sugar Labs ===

Gary Martin has generated SOMs from the past few weeks of discussion
on the IAEP mailing list:

2012 Jan 21st-27th [6] (41 emails)
2012 Jan 14th-20th [7] (28 emails)

Visit our planet [8] for more updates about Sugar and Sugar deployments.


[1] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:Food-plugin.tar.gz
[2] https://www.choosemyplate.gov/SuperTracker
[3] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/images/0/01/Food-plugin.png
[4] http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/iaep/2012-January/014837.html
[6] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2012-Jan-21-27-som.jpg
[7] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2012-Jan-14-20-som.jpg
[8] http://planet.sugarlabs.org

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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