[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2008-06-09

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Mon Jun 9 15:04:43 CEST 2008

=== Sugar Digest ===

It has been a busy week for Sugar Labs.

1. Sucrose: On behalf of the Release Team, Simon Schampijer announced
Sucrose 0.81.2 (Development Release). Features of this new release
include elimination of some platform dependencies, an improved
activity-list view, a graphical user interface to the Sugar control
panel (including settings for Frame activation delays), and expanded
internationalization of Etoys. The next development release is
scheduled in two weeks. Thanks to everyone who made this release
possible! (Please refer to
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/ReleaseTeam/Releases/Sucrose/0.81.2 for
detailed release notes.) XO users can test the release by updating to
joyride-2024 (Please see

2. Governance: One of the challenges that free and open-source
projects face is the impact of governance on their community members:
while FOSS licenses assure access to source code, that doesn't
guarantee a successful project. A governance model can help ensure
that the project is run in a professional, disciplined, and equitable
manner. Good governance lets the community engage in discourse and
provides a transparent mechanism for arbitration in the hopefully rare
circumstances in which it is necessary.

Some attributes that are necessary for good governance include:
meritocracy, transparency of process, open access to anyone who has
demonstrated the skills to contribute, and a means to ensure a balance
of control so that no one special interest wrests control of either
the discourse or the decision-making.

A draft proposal for a governance model for Sugar Labs has been posted
to the wiki (Please see
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/SugarLabs:Governance). Community input
and feedback is important: please help us get this done properly. Feel
free to make corrections and comments in the wiki or on the IAEP list.

3. It's an education project: This week has also seen a discussion of
the educational mission of Sugar Labs in the main-stream media and
blog-sphere—a refreshing change of pace from the focus on hardware.
You can keep tabs on some of the threads by visiting the Press section
of the wiki (Please see

4. Help Wanted: Sugar Labs was created to provide a mechanism for
supporting the Sugar community of volunteers. These volunteers are
engaged in a variety of activities: some are writing software to
improve Sugar; some are porting Sugar to new platforms; some are
developing new activities that run in Sugar; some are helping to debug
Sugar and help with quality assurance; some are writing documentation
for Sugar developers and for those who use Sugar in the field; some
are developing new scenarios for learning with Sugar; some are using
Sugar and reporting upon their experiences to the community; and some
are providing help and support.

Since we started Sugar Labs, we have been receiving a number of
requests for help: porting Sugar to new distributions; tuning Sugar on
a specific hardware platform; developing specific Sugar activity;
helping with support in specific deployments, etc. In order to
expedite these requests, a new section in the wiki

5. Wiki: David Farning continues to make great progress in organizing
and fleshing out the Sugar Labs wiki. He has moved a great deal of the
Sugar documentation over from wiki.laptop.org and is in the process of
finishing up the translation menus and importing of some missing
images. In support of the Developer Team, he is setting up an
automated API documentation generator set up as well as jhbuild. He is
seeking some help from the learning community to set up the Education
Team pages (Please see the stub at

=== Community jams and meetups ===

===Tech Talk===

6. Developer meetings: Weekly sugar developers meetings were restarted
this past week; meetings are Thursdays at 17:00 (UTC) on
irc.freenode.net, on the #sugar-meeting channel (Please see
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/DevelopmentTeam/Meetings). You are
invited to join; please add topics that you'd like to discuss
(Instructions are in the wiki at

7. Review process: Simon Schampijer has written up notes about the
code-review process (Please see

8. Auto-documentation: As mentioned above, David Faring has put
together an alpha version of an automated API documentation system
(Please see http://www.sugarlabs.org/~dfarning/). The APIs are
generated using epydoc, which only documents Python files; any C code
(or other languages) are not documented.

9. Activities: Simon reports that a new version of the log-activity
has been released (You can download the source from
http://dev.laptop.org/pub/sugar/sources/log-activity/Log-9.tar.bz2 and
the bundle from http://dev.laptop.org/~erikos/bundles/other/Log-9.xo).
The new log-activity enables users be able to read the Sugar logs on
non-XO platforms.

Bert Freudenberg reports the release of a new version of Etoys (See
and http://dev.laptop.org/pub/sugar/sources/etoys-activity/etoys-activity-82.tar.gz
or the ready-to-use bundles
http://etoys.laptop.org/rpms/etoys-3.0.2007-1.noarch.rpm and
http://etoys.laptop.org/rpms/Etoys-82.xo). Look forward to more
translatable phrases and a minor tile fixes.

Tomeu Vizoso has made great progress on the Browse activity (You can
download the source from
and the bundle from http://dev.laptop.org/~erikos/bundles/Web-89.xo).
Improvements include making the object chooser transient on the
activity window; an Edit toolbar; a Follow link item in the link
palette; a palette for images; and a simple palette for links with an
option to copy to the clipboard.

10. Feature freeze: The feature (and strings) freeze (20 June) is
approaching very quickly (Please see

11. Games: Robert Krahn reports that more games (now available as
activities that can easily be installed from the Browse activity) are
available at http://www.swa.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/projects/olpc/ thanks
to the efforts of the HPI Software Architecture Group at the
University of Potsdam.

12. LiveCD: Wolfgang Rohrmoser reports that a new release (080607) of
the Livebackup XO-LiveCD is available (Please see
http://dev.laptop.org/pub/livebackupcd/build-708+joyride-2024). There
is a mirror (ftp://rohrmoser-engineering.de/pub/XO-LiveCD/) in

This Live-CD project targets the main goals:
* Give children, students, teachers and parents the opportunity to
participate and use the educational software on a generic PC;
* Demonstration of OLPC/Sugar software to non-developers; you can also
start the sugar desktop on Windows, Linux or MacOS using a Virtual
Machine; and
* For developers the CD provides an easy maintainable Live-System,
which could be used to develop and test activities on the Sugar

The main features and changes since version 080321 include:
* Dual boot option for update.1 and joyride builds; you can try out
the new Sugar design by booting a recent (2024) OLPC joyride version;
* Improved CD customization; additional activities and RPM packages
can be installed by putting them into CD top-level directories;
* A new script to prepare USB boot devices out of the Live-ISO image;
* Tested on a wide range of PC and laptop hardware and proved to work
with all common virtual machines on Windows, MacOS and Linux;
* Additional Xorg graphic drivers and improved X11 auto-configuration tools;
* Bug fixes, updates and new activities; and
* Linux kernel, using the aufs-filesystem.

Further information is available (Please see
ftp://rohrmoser-engineering.de/pub/XO-LiveCD/XO-LiveCD_080607.pdf and
join the discussion at

=== Sugar Labs ===

13. SOM: Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of
discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Image:2008-May-31-June-06-som.jpg). From
looking over the map, the discussion seems to have been focused on
Sugar development: what is used, needed, made and to be made.


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