[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2009-01-19

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Mon Jan 19 15:38:23 EST 2009

=== Sugar Digest ===

1. Yesterday was Day One of Linux Conference Australia (LCA), being
held in Hobart, Tasmania. I mostly hung out in the sessions on the
business side of free and open source. David Rowe did a nice job
advocating for open hardware—something we never were quite able to
achieve when I was at OLPC. Most of the speakers delivered pragmatic
talks: how to engage with government (Pia Waugh), with large companies
(Bdale Garbee), marketing (Joe Brokmeier), etc. The last speaker of
the day, Lawrence Crumpton, talked about Microsoft's embracing of open
source; his talk was titled ''Did Hell Freeze Over?'' Alas, the title
was the highlight of the talk. The efforts he described as successes
were all shallow and clumsy efforts at engagement with lots of strings
attached. I don't think he once mentioned "free as in speech" and he
essentially delegated FOSS efforts to the non-commercial sector. I,
for one, remain skeptical. Actions will speak louder than words.

Pia and I did get started on a discussion about how best to move
forward with one laptop per child in the region. She is rightly still
enamored with the OLPC-XO-1 hardware, as it meets the needs imposed by
the harsh environmental conditions faced in many of her potential
deployment sites. We discussed strategies for building sustainable
local support and the need for global cooperation in order to increase
efficiency. We'll keep brainstorming. We've got a Birds of a Feather
session at the end of the week that promises to bring more minds to
the table as well.

I had dinner last night with Rob Savoye, among others. Rob continues
to make progress on Gnash. He has some very nice results on the XO
hardware—yes you can play Youtube videos and yes you can run a
stand-alone SWF player for which we talked about putting together a
simple Sugar wrapper. Rob's other big project right now involves
finding workarounds to the plethora of proprietary codecs that
encumber FOSS projects.

2. Occasionally my tendency towards addictive behavior emerges. I
haven't been able to kick the habit of coding. I started working on
the portfolio fork of Turtle Art last week during XO Camp and I wrote
Python across the Pacific and I stayed up much to late last night
after visiting some pubs coding. In the spirit of "eat your own
dogfood", my goal is to get things into sufficient shape so as to be
able to give my LCA talk using Turtle Art. I am close, but my Python
and GTK skills are still pretty lacking. You can track my progress in
gitorious—I am making frequent commits—and feel free to submit
patches!! And my apologies to everyone for lack of eye contact.

3. Gary Martin has being doing some great work in the wiki on our
Getting Involved page (See
http://sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/GettingInvolved). Anyone want to
tackle our http://sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs:About page, which is not
very helpful.

=== Community jams, meet-ups, and meetings ===

4. As mentioned above, on Friday afternoon, 23 January, is an OLPC BOF
at linux.conf.au in Hobart. It is an open discussion to explore
strategies for community development and paths forward for OLPC and
Sugar in the region. We expect attendees from Australia, New Zealand,
and the Pacific.

5. David Nalley blogged about Fedora and Sugar at the Atlanta Linux
Enthusiasts January meeting this past week. He reports lots of
enthusiasm now that getting involved with OLPC development is as easy
as getting involved with Fedora.

=== Help Wanted ===

6. Sugar Labs will be participating in Google Summer of Code. We are
soliciting projects and mentors. Details soon.

=== Tech Talk ===

7. As several people have pointed out, Gdium is donating laptops to
developers (See http://www.gdium.com/group/58/home) who might be
interested in working on Sugar. The machines run Mandriva (which also
runs on the Mobilis that is being considered for use in Brazil).
Aleksey Lim has Sugar working on Mandriva (See
http://sugarlabs.org/go/Community/Distributions/Mandriva) and we hope
to have Sugar packaged as part of the next release of Mandriva.

8. Tomeu Vizoso reports that he, along with Gary Martin and Ben
Schwartz, has been "tricked" into starting a new mind-mapping Activity
(See http://git.sugarlabs.org/projects/mindmap). Some of the
interesting ideas that they are exploring are:

*  the view widget can be embedded in a GNOME application
*  collaboration using both Telepathy and Groupthink, working both in
GNOME and in Sugar

This could be a model for making Sugar Activities run both within and
outside of Sugar.

9. Recent software updates:

*  TAPortfolio-3
*  calculate-28
*  chat-62
*  read-63
*  etoys 4.0.2205
*  Etoys-99
*  sugar-presence-service-0.83.3
*  sugar-datastore-0.83.2
*  telepathy-gabble 0.7.18

=== Sugar Labs ===

10. Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of
discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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