[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2008-08-05

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Tue Aug 5 11:58:31 EDT 2008

Sorry about the duplicate email for those of you on the Sugar and
Community lists; my mail to education at sugarlabs.org bounced...


=== Sugar Digest ===

1. "The vision thing": There has been some discussion about the Sugar
vision in regard to both its clarity and the degree to which it is
being promoted (Please see the email thread beginning with
While there is some divergence of opinion about the breadth of the
Sugar Labs mission—ranging from a strict focus on collaboration tools
to a broad focus on everything necessary for successful
one-laptop-per-child deployments—there was consensus that we are
getting the message out that Sugar is alive and kicking; there is
still a wide-spread impression that the FOSS community has abandoned
Sugar because OLPC is working with Microsoft on Windows XP. We need to
let the world know that: (a) there is a vibrant Sugar community; (b)
that OLPC is still behind Sugar; (c) other hardware vendors are
beginning to adopt Sugar; and (d) the FOSS Sugar learning platform
offers encourages the direct appropriation of ideas in whatever realm
the learner is exploring: music, browsing, reading, writing,
programming, graphics, etc.—they are able to engage in debugging both
their personal expression and the very tools that they use for that

2. Try Sugar: An important aspect of Sugar outreach is easy access to
Sugar itself. We are targeting grassroots adoption (in addition to
top-down "sales" coupled to programs like One Laptop per Child or
Intel regional or national initialives), so we need to make it easier
for small groups to try Sugar. This includes community support of the
existing LiveUSB, LiveCD, and Appliance efforts, but also further
consideration (and documentation) of the various hardware one might
find in the field and more detailed instructions on setting up
classrooms (groups) of machines working together. Towards that end, we
are beginning work on a "Try Sugar" section in the wiki (Please help
us flesh out http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Deployment/Try_Sugar), which
includes a matrix of "tried and ready" solutions from the field. To be
able to say to a teacher, here is a step-by-step guide to how you can
repurpose (or overlay) the computers you have access to in the
classroom to run Sugar will go a long way towards fostering growth of

3. "Unexpected" suggestions: Michael Stone wrote up some suggestions
regarding "the Work of Sugar", his reactions to sugar's architecture,
design, and implementation. It was the basis of an in-depth discussion
the Sugar mailing list (Please see

4. Proposal: There has been a back-and-forth discussion about
establishing an Activity developers mailing list separate from the
Sugar developers mailing list (Please see
http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/sugar/2008-July/007503.html). It has
been suggested that Activity developers need a more focused list to
alert them to needs specific to activity developers, such as changes
to APIs, a forum for soliciting help, etc. The downside of course is
the fragmentation and distraction of yet another mailing list.

5. Outreach: Stormy Peters, executive director, GNOME Foundation, has
blogged about Sugar Labs (Please see
http://www.stormyscorner.com/2008/07/sugar-the-softw.html) and has
pledged to step up the level of awareness of Sugar within the GNOME
community. (Sugar has its foundation in the GNOME toolkit.) Morgan
Collett has been actively promoting Sugar within the Ubuntu community
and Greg DeKoeningsberg has been very helpful in promoting Sugar
within the Fedora community.

6. Minutes: We had a meeting of the acting Sugar oversight board on
Friday, 8 August 2008. Minutes and a log of the conversation are in
the wiki (Please see
One important decision reached at the meeting was to open up
nominations for postions on the to-be-elected seven-member board over
the first two weeks of August (until the 16th) and to hold an election
over the final two weeks of August (from the 17th to the 30th). Please
send nominations to "walter AT sugarlabs.org"; feel free to nominate

=== Community jams and meetups ===

7. Openminds: Is anyone planning to attend the K–12 Openminds meeting
in Indianapolis (Please see http://www.k12openminds.org/)? It'd be a
great forum to promote Sugar.

8. Physics jam: Brian Jordan is organizing a physics game competition
29–31 August in Cambridge, MA. There will be categories for remote
entries, youth, professional, and independent game developers. Brian
reports that will be XOs and other sweet prizes for the best entries.
Please help to spread the word (Please see

9. Organización del 2do Ceibal Jam: Pablo Flores reports that there
will be a jam at the Catholic University (UCU) in Uruguay over two
weekends (Saturday 30 August and 6 September). Please contact Pablo
("pflores2 AT gmail.com") for more details.

10. Book sprint: There will be a book sprint in Austin, TX from 24–29
August. Please contact Adam Hyde ("adam AT flossmanuals.net") for more

===Tech Talk===

11. Buildbot: Marco Pesenti Gritti reports that we are running
periodic builds of Sugar using the buildbot automation system. Full
builds, which starts every time from a clean source and installation
tree, are run every 12 hours. Quick builds, which are built
incrementally from the last build source and installation tree, are
run every two hours. The status of the builds is available through a
web interface and failures are notified to the development mailing
list (Please see
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/DevelopmentTeam/Buildbot). Thanks to
http://www.prgmr.com/ for hosting the buildbot for us.

Next steps:

* Setup other Linux distributions (does anyone want to work on an
Ubuntu "slave"?);
* Make the check step succeed (several pylint warnings to address);
* Automated testing (maybe we can start integrating bits of Zach work?);
* Enable mail notification on failures.

12. Activity updates: A number of activity developers reported new
versions available this week for testing: Please try the new versions

Chat 44
Journal 96
Terminal 14
Pippy 23
Read 48
Calculate 20
Write 56
Develop 34
Etoys 80
Conozco Uruguay ("I know Uruguay")

13. Sucrose 0.81.6: Simon Schampijer reports that the new Sucrose
0.81.6 Development Release (Release Candidate 2) is out. This release
cycle was focused on stabilization. Thanks to all of you for your
efforts and special thanks to the translation teams, whom have been
very busy of late: all the Fructose modules have been released
containing new strings. Release notes are available at
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/ReleaseTeam/Releases/Sucrose/0.81.6 and
the Sucrose Roadmap is available at

=== Sugar Labs ===

14. Self-organizing map (SOM): Gary Martin has generated another SOM
from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see
http://sugarlabs.org/go/Image:2008-July-26-August-1-som.jpg). While it
has been a fairly quiet traffic week, there has been an educational
focus (how to best use/apply/approach technology tools to education).
Gary also posted a map of the Sugar mailing list from the month of
July (Please see

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