[Sugar-news] Sugar Digest 2012-07-05
walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Jul 5 17:11:19 EDT 2012
== Sugar Digest ==
1. I've spent much of the week working on Turtle Art. At the urging of
Cynthia Solomon, I decided to make some visual changes to some of the
blocks, in an effort to make it a bit easier to follow program flow.
To that end, I changed the way the flow block work. For example, the
Repeat block had an overhang to the right below which you could stack
blocks that would be repeated. Once the repeating was complete, flow
continued on to blocks attached to the bottom of the repeat block.
I've often seen people confused by this: they have been uncertain
where to attach the blocks to repeat and have had to use
vertical-spacer blocks to make their programs less cluttered. In the
new look, the Repeat block has a clamp (or jaws) that surround the
blocks to repeat and it auto-expands, eliminating the need to use
vertical-spacer blocks. In this case, a picture is worth a thousand
words (See ). In addition to Repeat, there are new blocks for
Forever, If-then, If-then-else, While, Until, and, from the Extras
palette, the Collapse block. The latter is useful for collapsing a
large stack of blocks into a single brick.
2. Stephen Jacobs sent a pointer to the projects his students at RIT
have done this year:
* Quilt  is a chat system designed for mesh networks. It was
written in Python and uses Zeromq as a way to pass data between nodes.
Each node connects to other nodes and allows a user to chat. The end
goal is to have a resilient chat network that auto discovers nodes on
a mesh network.
* PyCaveExplorer  is designed to teach children basic electronics
by having them explore randomly generated, grid-based caves. The goal
is to create a lit path from the starting tile to the goal tile by
placing lights, batteries, and connecting pieces of wire. The base
educational goal is to teach how simple circuits work, along with the
differences between series and parallel circuits, and the relationship
between a power source and the number of things connected to it.
* In Point-and-Click-Arthur , the player is Arthur's Royal
Detective. The goal is retrieve all the knights who are in the middle
of their most famous quests for a banquet at Camelot. The game is a
"point and click" game in the same vein as Monkey Island and King's
Quest. The user reads dialog, hunts for an item on screen, and figures
out who to use the item on. This causes a reaction and new areas open,
3. I had blogged about a meeting with Teemu Leinonen from Alto
University last week and had mentioned that I was working on a new
activity inspired by TeamUp . The beta version of "Bulletin Board"
is ready for testing. It is quite simple: think of it as Portfolio
shared among multiple users. Starred entries in your Journal are
shared, along with an audio recording.
4. Danishka Navin reports from Sri Lanka that next month, another
remote school will be running Sugar on Hanthana Linux .
5. Meanwhile, Sameer Verma has been having some adventures on the
6. Hilaire Fernandes of DrGeo fame shared a cool video  of some
of the things you can do. Worth checking out.
7. Daniel Narvaez announced that he has released a new sugar-build
that should make it pretty easy to build Sugar on most GNU/Linux
systems (tested on the latest Fedora and Ubuntu systems).
git clone git://git.sugarlabs.org/sugar-build/sugar-build.git
Don't forget to read the README file.
8. Last week Bert Freudenberg announced a release candidate  for
Etoys 5.0.1. Please help with testing.
9. Reuben Caron announced the final release of OLPC OS 11.3.1 for XO-1,
XO-1.5 and as a formal release for XO-1.75. Details are available at .
10. Meanwhile, Daniel Drake announced another candidate release of
12.1.0. See . Please help test this build as well.
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