[Dextrose] [AC Update] We are what we do.

Sebastian Silva sebastian at somosazucar.org
Wed Mar 30 00:17:48 EDT 2011

/We are what we do. We love what we do.
This is my vision with regard to Activities which I hope to help make a 
reality by working with Activity Central.

Activities are core to Sugar's success. They are an opportunity to make 
Sugar not only an excellent scaffold for young hackers but also a great 
user experience.

We've learned that we need a workflow to successfully manage a number of 
activities. We need to make it simple to deploy and update collections 
of activities accross different deployment scenarios.

After patching a number of activities I wanted to test them, but came up 
with no simple way to deploy them across my laptops / virtual machines.

Hunting for git repositories and then for mantainers made me wish each 
Activity had an "About" pane maybe with options like "Report bug", "View 
Source". "Git clone". Also a "Mantainer" field on it.

I think we should consider activity developers in a very real sense like 
"users" of Sugar. Programming is as joyful as it is powerful but we 
could really work on making the workflow an integrated experience. We 
have such wonderful tools but few can really keep up with them all. If 
we streamline and document certain workflows we may catalyst the 
availibility and quality of our Activity Library.

"About pane" has a psychological effect, it provides recognition and 
maybe a sense of ownership for developers and mantainers. I will propose 
it on sugar-devel and the HIG once I've implemented a design. Also it 
gives a starting point for eventually getting involved in the 
development and improvement of each activity.

The dream of Sugar is to further blur the line between the user and the 
developer. Consumer and producer. In this I resonate with Silbe's 
argument that perhaps we should be using Sugar ourselves. Particularly 
for Activity Developers, I believe this is the case.

But we are far from this overall vision at this point.
At this point we're getting the hang of the current workflows and tools 
for producing what we are ambitiously calling "Dextrose Activity Pack" 
which we plan to start deploying in Anish's testing round in Paraguay 
(see http://openetherpad.org/EL5g7TqHEI ).

The general idea is to improve the activities but also to help 
developers make activities great. This would be true success.

For this they need iteration. Fix, test, deploy. Repeat. Polish.


Activity Central is providing consulting and custom development as a way 
to support Escuelab's incursion in native communities of Lima (Shippibo) 
and Puno (Aymara) for shooting a documentary. I'm helping Neokinok.tv 
use the XO's to record and then collect all videos to a server. For this 
I'm patching File Share Activity and maybe Record. My idea is to avoid 
doing a one-time hack but to try and make the procedure as simple as 
possible and document it so maybe it is replicable. Suggestions welcome.

They're also planning a translation marathon to complete Sugar 
translation to Aymara and Quechua, for which Rafael's pootle work will 
be invaluable. Here are some links:
http://sites.google.com/site/olpcdrepuno/ (drep puno = direccion 
regional de educación)

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