[IAEP] SoaS as a Sugar Labs project.

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at sugarlabs.org
Wed Aug 26 04:31:43 EDT 2009

On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 02:41, Michael Stone<michael at laptop.org> wrote:
> Gary,
> I'm tired and sad from talking on this subject but I still don't feel that
> I've been understood. (Or, if I have been, I haven't understood the rebuttals
> of my position, in which case I apologize for being so dense.) Anyway, here's
> one more try:

Frankly Michael, the only way I can read these posts from you is that
you are frustrated because we aren't churning more work, regardless of
how much we have achieved that is relevant to OLPC deployments.

Do you have any actionable ideas about how to work better for our users?



>> Wow, blast from the past :-) Actually I'd strongly disagree here.
>> Having re-read through most of what is listed here, much progress has
>> been made on a large number (dare I say majority) of these items!
> We count differently, so I'll try to make myself understood in a different way.
> 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?
> Notes:
>   * I haven't formed an opinion of silbe's versioning work yet so I can't yet
>     say what I think of it other than to mention a degree of limited
>     hope based on his decision to avoid addressing the interoperability goals
>     that Scott's approach to versioning sought to address.
>   * I can see how the toolbar redesign might help with the discoverability and
>     low-floor goals. Does it? If so, how much?
>   * I can see how the ePub support and support for Flash activities could be
>     counted as progress toward "more content". Still, it seems at best
>     half-finished without knowing what the content to send with the support...
>   * Some people would argue that Sugar's integrated file-sharing support is a
>     major improvement. I will agree with these people when they explain why
>     they think that this file-sharing technology will function more reliably
>     than our current presence and collaboration technology in realistic
>     networking scenarios encountered in school-scale wifi-based deployments.
>   * I understand that people here have accomplished lots of other hard and
>     valuable things in the intervening year; I just really, really, really want
>     people to remember which are the problems that we actually set out to
>     solve, at least as I have understood them so far, and I want us to be doing
>     work that is good enough to retain the interest of the best people in the
>     world, in all relevant fields, which I fear that we are not. Are these
>     not reasonable criteria on which to base judgments of progress?
>> The problem is that you need to to be using 0.84 to benefit from most,
>> with the approaching 0.86 solving a bunch more. The difficulty,
>> unfortunately, seems to be much more about getting XO-1 QA'ed release
>> rollouts available for deployments. At least 0.84 does seem to be in the OLPC
>> pipeline, due to XO-1.5 needs, with volunteers*** pushing on the side of
>> existing XO-1 hardware.
> Let me share a brief story...
> I became OLPC's release manager for a brief time last year because I realized
> that all of
>   * Marco's, Tomeu's, Eben's, Sayamindu's, and Simon's hard work on the
>     shell redesign, control panel and Browse certificates,
>   * my work on Rainbow, and
>   * Scott's work on the activity and distro updaters,
>   * Chris' and Richard's work on power management,
>   * Richard's and Andres' work on touchpad bugs,
>   * Bernie's work on X,
>   * Bert's work on EToys,
>   * Dennis' work on Fedora packaging,
>   * Michailis', Ricardo's, and Marvell's work on new wireless firmware,
>   * Collabora's work on fixing up Gabble and Salut, and
>   * Martin's work on backups
> wasn't going to matter a whit unless someone organized a full-blown distro
> release (and associated assurance process) in order to deliver this work in a
> form usable by the people who might benefit form it.
> I still subscribe to this position today, more or less. [1]
> However, to my great sadness, I don't see any changes in the past year (or in
> the foreseeable future, though 0.86 brings us somewhat closer) that are
> compelling enough for me to encourage or support a serious effort to create and
> to assure a deployable distro release to carry changes to XO-based end users.
> (Do you see anything that I don't? Do you value things differently?)
>> ***F11_for_XO-1 build 5, from Steven Parish, was the last available
>> dev release, and is running pretty well on an XO-1 and an XO-B4 here.
> Thanks very much for helping to test it. (Seriously.)
> In your testing, have you experienced any notable regressions from 8.2.1 that
> will make it hard for deployments to adopt, given the sorts of things that you
> see deployments asking about on the Features page that I cited?
> Regards,
> Michael
> [1]: I can imagine how SoaS, Sugar-via-LTSP, and Sugar-on-$DISTRO *could*
> conceivably change the economics of this equation but I am also known in some
> circles for having an overly active imagination. :)
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