[IAEP] SoaS as a Sugar Labs project.

Bernie Innocenti bernie at codewiz.org
Wed Aug 26 02:40:07 EDT 2009

El Tue, 25-08-2009 a las 20:41 -0400, Michael Stone escribió: 
> Other than view source improvements, which I think everyone agrees are
> significant, how is Sugar actually better for reflecting, collaborating, and
> discovering than it was a year ago? 
> Has the "ceiling" gotten appreciably higher or the "floor" lower? 
> Are there really noticeably more activities to choose from? 
> Can a teacher actually rely on the networking protocols (over wireless
> networks) enough to justify spending classroom time on it?
> Finally, is Sugar any closer to achieving any of its major technical goals,
> like easy code sharing, click-to-translate, interoperability with regular Linux
> apps, or real ease of authoring?

While I also see all these as very important technical goals, we
shouldn't forget that Sugar was improved in many other dimensions over
the past ~10 months:

1) Maturity & Polish: all the features we already had could not
even be used because Sugar 0.82 was so slow, buggy and incomplete that
you couldn't even demo it to a teacher without feeling a bit

2) Ubiquity & Generality: Sugar 0.82 and its core activities ware
(badly) packaged only for one distro and contained plenty of assumptions
that made the platform unusable on anything but the XO-1.  Now anyone
can use Sugar on any kind of computer.

3) Identity & Branding: one year ago, Sugar did not even have its own
home page; it was not a project being led by its own community.  In
fact, Sugar did not even have a proper community and was completely
dependent on OLPC's infrastructure, resources and management.
We now have a well organized and productive community. Its growth is so
fast that I'm having trouble scaling the infrastructure up fast enough
to meet its needs.

4) Cadence & Rhythm: back in the OLPC days, we kept shifting release
dates, changing versioning schemes, and even adding or canceling random
features close to deadlines.  DeMarco would be turning in his grave if
he was dead.  We've now achieved on-schedule releases of the Glucose and
Fructose modules using a time-based development cycle of 6 months
synchronized with the mayor distros.  Along with feature proposals, this
makes our release engineering process more solid and predictable than
many high-profile commercial projects.

*These* were the most critical things that needed to happen in order to
make Sugar sustainable free software, and it seems to have successfully
achieved all of them in less than one year.  The project is now ready to
foster larger contributions like those you described.  Would you be
interested in taking any one of them on your shoulders, besides Rainbow?

Perhaps you remember John Gilmore betting with me on a pizza that Sugar,
within one year, would no longer be developed.  To his credit, many
others I spoke with one year ago were worried that this project would
fall apart shortly after OLPC would have stopped supporting it
financially.  Instead, today Sugar is quite healthy and flourishing
thanks to the hard work of several great volunteers, old and new.

Hmmmm, a delicious pizza is coming soon ;-)

   // Bernie Innocenti - http://codewiz.org/
 \X/  Sugar Labs       - http://sugarlabs.org/

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