[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2008-06-24

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Tue Jun 24 14:27:10 CEST 2008

=== Sugar Digest ===

1. Latest Sucrose: The new Sucrose 0.81.3 Development Release is now
available. The release has some new features, including: Manual
reordering of the Home view icons; a freeform layout of the Home view
icons; improved feedback on activity startup; support for custom
certificates in Browse; alt+tab activity switching; etc. We are now in
feature freeze, so the short-term focus will be on testing, bug
triaging and fixes. The community has done a great job in that we
achieved practically all the features that we had targeted. Thanks to
everyone that made this possible and special kudos to the Sugar
release team.

Detailed release notes can be found in the wiki (Please see
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/ReleaseTeam/Releases/Sucrose/0.81.3); a
sugar-jhbuild branch for the release can be found here

With the release of 0.81.3 we will be in feature freeze
(http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/ReleaseTeam#Feature_freeze): this
affects all of the modules included in the release. To request an
exception, which will be exceptional, please send mail to sugar at
laptop.org, copying release-team at sugarlabs.org; please include the
patches you would like to land. For string changes please also copy
localization at lists.laptop.org.

2. Making the installation of Activities easier: Dave Farning is
working on a web interface to managing activities based upon Mozilla's
AMO codebase (addons.mozilla.org). He has successfully used AMO on a
local server to install activities on an XO-1 laptop and to install
Sugar on a conventional laptop. He has started submitting a series of
patches upstream to Mozilla.org with the goal that SugarLabs will be
able to use the AMO codebase as maintained by Moxilla. A few areas
that require work: (a) Look and feel – applying the sugarlabs
stylesheets; (b) Applications – currently, AMO hardcodes application
data rather than handled dynamically; (c)  Addontypes – AMO can handle
several addontypes such as extension, plugins, and and dictionaries,
but they are not yet handled dynamically. By modularizing how AMO
handles applications and add-on types, we should be able to drop in
Sugar application  and and addontype code.

The work flow for a developer would be:
* Activity authors register their activity with AMO;
* author uploads latest release into sandbox;
* reviewer verifies new upload works correctly and publishes the upload.

From the user perspective, Activities would then be browseable and
downloadable in a manner similar to any Firefox plugin, with very
fast, secure, and scalable updates.

Dave is looking for help (the code is being put in

In parallel, there has also been a discussion on the Sugar list
regarding development of an activity for updating Sugar and Sugar

3. courses.sugarlabs.org: David Van Assche is setting up a Moodle
installation at http://courses.sugarlabs.org to complement
activities.sugarlabs.org.  It will house stable versions of
activities, together with lesson plans, relevant reading materials,
and related activities. The OLE Nepal team, with help from Bernie
Innocenti, who is in Kathmandu for the summer, will be fleshing out
the site. Please contribute.

4. Usability testing: Carlos Mauro Cárdenas Fernández has begun a
pilot usability test of Sugar on the Intel Classmate PC (Please see
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Projects/TestUsabilityOLPC for some details
of his plans and initial findings).

=== Community jams and meetups ===

5. Porto Alegre, Brazil: Juliano Bittencourt from Laboratório de
Estudos Cognitivos reports that a GameJam was held at FISL 9.0, the
largest Latin America free software conference. A short video made
during the event is available on YouTube (Please see
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWKBdeZUtq0). A team from the Argentian
PyGame group was the winner: a game called Falabranaman.

===Tech Talk===

6. Infrastructure: Marco Pesenti Gritti has started a page on the wiki
about infrastructure (http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Infrastucture_Plan)
and is seeking your feedback.

7. Journal: Tomeu Vizoso reports that a new version of the Journal
activity has been released, with many translation updates and some
visual fixes (Download it from
New features include:
* Add indications for empty Journal and empty search results (Eben Eliason)
* Translation update for Italian (Carlo Falciola)
* Fix appearance of "no preview" (Eben Eliason)
* Translation update for Khmer (Rit Lim)
* Translation update for Haitian Creole (Diksyone Ayisyen)
* Translation update for German (Markus Schlager)
* Translation update for Marathi (Rupali Sarode)
* Translation update for French (Samy Boutayeb)
* Adapt object chooser to new designs. Some refactoring was needed (Tomeu)
* Adapt UI to right-to-left scripts (Khaled Hosny)

8. Datastore: Tomeu also reports that a new version of the datastore
has been released
New features include a metadata copy outside the index.

9. USB key boot: The CD-image of the recent XO-LiveCD (Version 080607)
contains a script to copy the data on a USB key and make it bootable:
*  mount the CD (or ISO-image) on a computer running Linux;
*  open a console (shell) and go into the directory tools/;
*  insert a usb memory device and
*  run the command ./make_usbstick.sh -d <block-device> -m <cd-mount-point>
Hint: ./make_usbstick.sh -h provides more detailed documentation.
Please contact Wolfgang Rohrmoser if you have any questions
(WolfgangRohrmoser at web.de).

10. Char 41: Morgan Collett has released Chat 41 (Please see
and http://dev.laptop.org/~morgan/bundles/Chat-41.xo). New features
* Updated translations: mr, de, ht, km, es, it;
* #6036: Add separator after old chat history;
* #6298: Implement 1-1 private chat with non Sugar Jabber clients.
Morgan also updated the Presence Service with the changes required for
non-Sugar Jabber clients to chat with OLPC XO-1 laptops.

11. Fedora 9: Daniel Drake reports that the following packages may
make the Fedora-9 build experience a little more bearable:
* a NetworkManager that can actually connect to networks
* fixed keyboard – arrow keys, Alt-Gr and other functionality

12. Alt-Tab: Benjamin Berg submitted a number of patches to update
Alt-Tab behavior for switching between activities.

13. Measure activity: Arjun Sarwal has been working upon 'Sound' and
'Sensor' contexts within Measure and also, adding a textbox at the
bottom that mentions details about the signal/sound input (Please view
a screenshot at http://crank.laptop.org/~arjs/sound_sensors.png).
Arjun has also been working on a new re-organized wiki page for
Measure (Please see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Measure/New_temp).
Suggestions and contributions are very welcome.

14. Home view: Tomeu Visozo has implemented a Home view user interface
that allows the user to "drag and drop" activities to desired
locations on the screen (freeform) rather than restricting them to the
circle. Other activities move nicely out of the way if you try to drop
one on top of another.

15. Patches: Marco Pesenti Gritti reviewed patches and more patches.
He also packaged xulrunner 1.9 final and adapted the Browse activity
to it. Finally he coordinated the Sugar 0.81.3 release and made big
progresses on a Fedora 9 based Sugar liveCD. (Note that xulrunner 1.9
final is the version used in Firefox 3, which provides much better
memory use than previous versions.)

16. Sugar Almanac: Faisal Anwar of Media Modifications has made
progress on an online "Sugar Almanac" of best practices and working
code snippets (Please see

17. Etoys: Bert Freudenberg reports a new etoys release (Please see
and http://dev.laptop.org/pub/sugar/sources/etoys-activity/etoys-activity-83.tar.gz
; the bundled versions cab be found at
http://etoys.laptop.org/rpms/etoys-3.0.2007-1.noarch.rpm and
http://etoys.laptop.org/rpms/Etoys-83.xo). Improvements include: Pango
fixes (tested with Nepalese), new DBus bindings, updated QuickGuides,
a few more strings made translatable.

18. Statistics: ohloh also has some statistics on the Sugar software:
* http://www.ohloh.net/projects/9605/analyses/latest
* http://www.ohloh.net/projects/11601/analyses/latest
* http://www.ohloh.net/projects/sugar-presence-service/analyses/latest
* http://www.ohloh.net/projects/11526/analyses/latest
* http://www.ohloh.net/projects/11636/analyses/latest

=== Sugar Labs ===

19. Self-organizing map (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-June-14-20-som.jpg). The list
was relatively quite this week, considering all of the progress, so
the map is not very informative – the data being sparse.


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