[IAEP] [sugar] Developing activities.

Brian Jordan bcjordan at gmail.com
Tue Sep 2 13:25:49 EDT 2008

Hi David,

I first would like to thank you for your great work on LiveUSB and
documentation-sprinting this past week!

On Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 12:05 PM, David Farning <dfarning at sugarlabs.org> wrote:
> For those who have not yet gotten a chance to look at the results of
> Morgs activity developers survey.  It is available at
> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Morgs/Activities_survey/Recommendations .
> There is a lot of good stuff in there;)
> Steps Sugar Labs Should take to improve the situation:  Now that the
> distros are starting to pick up speed, I will focus on activities.  As
> always, help is appreciated and advice is grudgingly accepted.
> 1.  Create Sugar-devel at sugarlabs.org mailing list.  We have discussed
> this a few time over the last few months.  Now that we are getting
> distro (other the OLPC) related comments the time seems right
> 2. Create Activities-devel at sugarlabs.org mailing list.  This will focus
> on activity developer related issues.

I think we have been thinking very similar thoughts -- I had
activities at lists.laptop.org set up on August 12.


If we do use activities-devel at sugarlabs.org as the Sugar activity
development mailing list, could you somehow import the past
conversations from activities at lists.laptop.org into
activities-devel at sugarlabs.org's archives?

Also, irc.freenode.net #olpc-activities has been around since then as
well -- this was used extensively during this past weekend's Physics
Game Jam and tends to have at least a few good activity devs idling.

> 3.  Improve API documentation.  Last week at the Book Sprint, I met a
> professional writer who does Python api documentation for a living.  She
> is willing to help us get our documentation processes set up and get us
> started.
> 4.  Work on the getting involved documentation on the Sugar Wiki.

Both of these things are very important. Simple, illustrated steps
showing how to create an activity for people with no prior knowledge
of Sugar or the XO would do a lot towards getting new people involved
with an activity development community -- from college
professors/students to deployed-XO owners.

> 5.  Move the Sugar documentation from w.l.o to w.s.o.  When I started
> this move a few moths ago, I am afraid that it was seen as a power grab
> for Sugar Labs.  I will restart this move if I receive buy-in and
> support from OLPC personal.

You might look into making parallel (mirroring?) individual wiki pages
as a short-term solution.

> 6. Using AMO as an activities server.  There are many advantages to
> using Amo as an activity server. The issues that i ran into was the need
> to push some patches back to mozilla to abstract the types of files AMO
> serves.  With the patch set, modifing amo to meet our needs would be
> pretty straight forward.  Without the patches being accepted we would
> have to fork the code amo codebase.

For the uninitiated, AMO is https://addons.mozilla.org/ . You had
mentioned to me that AMO would work well as an activity data
organization/collection tool and I agree -- it's a fantastic way of
letting authors/users distribute, rate and review activity bundles.
Care must be taken, though -- we should make sure to keep all of the
places that are offering a source for "all Sugar activities" (e.g.,
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Activities ) up-to-date and make sure that
activity developers are aware that uploading and categorizing in just
one source is not enough to reach all Sugar users (unless we create a
process for doing so automatically or manually) -- especially
considering how the control panel software update tool works.

> thanks
> dfarning

Thanks for your continued efforts towards developing up a thriving
Sugar/activity development community!


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> Sugar at lists.laptop.org
> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/sugar

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