[IAEP] Possible introductory lab

Dennis Daniels dennisgdaniels at gmail.com
Sun Aug 23 17:51:21 EDT 2009

Great idea! Good on you (as they somewhere on the planet)!

 _Many_ newbie questions go unanswered.

Getting bug reports and questions answered filled is a problem until
you're wearing the 'dev' label. And once a dev, then you'll be
expected to fix/anser it yourself, and fixing bugs isn't very much
fun(from what I hear and have experienced and why they take a long
time to get fixed).

Don't take the non-fix/no answer personally, and tell this to your
students! Devs are a lot smarter (in some ways) than I(us) will ever
be. (And the devs at Sugar have been very patient with my incessant
problems). And, FWIW, plenty of bugs in _lots_ of Open Source projects
never get addressed at all because the fun is NOT in bug fixing, it's
in scratching an itch to create something that (almost) works. Sugar
only has a few devs and they are all volunteers (from what I
understand). And, devs for the most part are all creative, problem
solving, computational intelligent (geniuses some of them) humans, who
want the same in their tasks. Rarely does bug fixing include that

And you're absolutely right about 'quality bug reports' getting
attention... train your students up on that... but perhaps focus on an
activity first? Something with more devs and support?  I'd say look at
Scratch, if it runs on your current install.

I would suggest you take a look at Scratch and the remixes happening
there for a few reason... it's code and projects (albeit
unsophisticated) in constant flow and correction. Cook up a difficult
piece of a scratch project for your students and see how bug reporting
and code correction works there... between your students. They can
swap code and remix to come up with something truly interesting. The
students will quickly ID who does and who doesn't. Their friends might
be great at telling a joke but it's that guy that noone ever talks to
that gets things done. They'll quickly see how things work between
those who can and those who report bugs (ouch, that sounds awfully
familiar to another saying!)

Scratch also has lots of examples of code, lots of possible areas for
error, and enormously large amount of forum/helpdesk activity.

That, and your students will get to 'write' some code. Win-win.

Then, once they've got the vagaries of forums/wikis/bug search/silence
from unresponded bugs and bug reporting down then do a full 'smoke
test' on Sugar.

This is just a suggestion.

with regards,

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