[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2008-09-15

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Mon Sep 15 11:25:28 EDT 2008

=== Sugar Digest ===

1. Windows pain: It was announced this week that Microsoft would be
conducting a pilot program in Perú with Windows running on the OLPC-XO
hardware (Please see
http://www.minedu.gob.pe/noticias/index.php?id=6934). This
announcement has dominated the discussion on the Sur mailing list and
has given rise to fear, uncertainty, and the spreading of much
misinformation about GNU/Linux and Sugar. For example, it was posted
to the list that one needed Windows in order to run Java and Flash
programs and that one had to weigh the Write Activity against the
hundreds of educational programs available for Windows. All that has
been announced so far is a pilot; Perú remains committed to Sugar and

It is important that the Sugar community keep united and focused on
providing a great educational experience to children everywhere. We
need to work together to demonstrate to decision-makers that Sugar and
FOSS solutions will lead to improved learning and academic outcomes,
improved national economic competitiveness through the development of
a creative society, and that the total cost of technology ownership,
including recurrent and "hidden" costs and external dependencies
argues favorably for FOSS solutions.

2. Deployment Team: A Sugar Labs Deployment Team has been formed to
voice and support the needs of Sugar deployments to the Sugar
community and to organize forums for the exchange of experiences
between Sugar users and between Sugar user and Sugar developers (You
can follow the development in the wiki at
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/DeploymentTeam). We plan to meet biweekly
on irc.freenode.net, Channel #sugar-meeting as we begin getting
ourselves organized. Minutes from the last meeting are posted in the

3. Guides to action: One of initial tasks of the Deployment Team is
the creation of some guides to action. In parallel with the OLPC
Deployment Guide we had written in support of large-scale OLPC/Sugar
deployments, we are creating guides to community outreach (Yes Sarah
Palin, we think community organizing is a useful and positive
endeavor) and Small Sugar deployments, which we hope will facilitate
more grassroots use of Sugar (Please contribute to these guides at
http://sugarlabs.org/go/DeploymentTeam/Guide_to_community_outreach and

4. Category:Stub: There are a number of pages in the wiki that could
use some tender loving care. Please see
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Category:Stub for a list of where you
could help us with our documentation efforts.

5. Feedback: We continue to get helpful feedback from the field
regarding Sugar and Sugar Activities. Of note is the blog being
written by student in Australia being mentored by Bill Kerr

6. Etoys refresh: Kim Rose reports that the Etoys team launched the
redesigned http://squeakland.org/ website this week. There is much
improved content and tutorials. It features a new Etoys release for
Macintosh, Windows, and Linux which is compatible with the OLPC
version now. Example projects are embedded in the website and viewable
with the Squeakland browser plugin. On the XO, visiting these projects
downloads them to the Journal instead.

7. FUDCon: Christoph Derndorfer wrote up notes from the Sugar Labs
meeting at FUDCon. (For those of you not familiar with FUDCon, it is
the Fedora Users and Developers Conference. The name derives from
FUD—an acronym for fear, uncertainty and doubt, a typical tactic used
by the opponents of free and open source projects to prevent their
widespread adoption—and con—in opposition or disagreement with;
against.) At the meeting, an impressive list of todos was generated
(Please see http://sugarlabs.org/go/Events/FUDCon_Brno_2008/Notes).

=== Community jams and meetups ===

8. Traducción jam: We are considering a translation jam the week of 20
October in Lima, Perú to translate the Sugar FLOSS manuals into
Spanish (and Aymará)? If you are interested in joining us (in person
or remotely) please contact with Raphael Ortiz (dirakx AT gmail.com)
or me (walter AT sugarlabs.org).

9. Aymará jam: Yama Ploskonka organized the "Trasnoche de Traducción
Aymará" in La Paz, Bolivia last weekend. He reports that despite the
political unrest, about a dozen volunteers made progress towards an
Aymará translation of Sugar.

10. K–12 Open Minds Conference: Sugar Labs will be represented at the
Open Minds Conference in Indianapolis at the end of the month. The
conference, which is designed to make free and open-source software
and system more available and easier to use by K–12 educators, will
offer a great forum for feedback about how we can improve upon Sugar
outreach efforts.

=== Tech Talk ===

11. Report from engineering: Simon Schampijer continued this week in
fixing bugs and smaller regressions for the 8.2 release. In
collaboration with nearly the whole tech team we landed the discard
network history feature for the control panel #7480. Simon continued
with Marco Pesenti Gritti to clean up the bundlebuilder so that rpm
packaging of activities gets easier and did some work on landing the
activities in Fedora rawhide. Meanwhile, Marco has been chasing down
memory leaks in order to lesson the frequency of out of memory
problems. He found a dbus-python leak for which he has submitted a
patch upstream.

12. Sugarbot: Zach Riggle reported on his progress work on Sugarbot, a
graphical user interface automation utility for Sugar. We hope to land
his work in sugar-jhbuild and the buildbot soon, as it has potential
for helping with testing as we continue to improve Sugar and the Sugar
Activity community grows.

13. Pydocweb: David Farning has been testing a new tool, pydocweb, for
writing API documentation. The tool can be used to collaboratively
edit docstrings in a Python module (in this case, Sugar) via the web,
and merging changes made easily back to the sources (Please see

14. Activity updates: There are updates available:

=== Sugar Labs ===

15. 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-September-6-12-som.jpg). This week,
the focus is clearly on the discussion about Sugar Labs membership.


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