[IAEP] A Fine Tradition...

Michael Stone michael at laptop.org
Wed Jul 29 01:40:27 EDT 2009

Carrying on a fine tradition of July-based Sugar reflections [1, 2], I'm going
to offer some mostly unsolicited advice. (Sorry, Tomeu, but you asked me to
write. :^)

   Dear Sugar Labs,

   In the past year, you succeeded in removing two important barriers to entry
   for new developers: you have created a distinctive brand and you freed Sugar
   from the XO. 
   What's next? Here's a four-part RFC:

   1. Could we embrace POSIX and the RESTful Web throughout our software [3]? 

     POSIX and HTTP are the mother tongues of our ecosystem and developer base.
     By embracing them, we make our software much cheaper to explore and to

   2. Could we live more within our packaging?

     This way, our packaging gets tested more quickly, we become more
     expert /at/ packaging, we make friends in our distros, we get better
     packaging, and our releases become easier!

   3. Could we make ourselves more interesting to be around, for example by
   saying "maybe we could..." or "I have... (and you can too...!)" more
   frequently than we say "I can't."?

     Our strengths lie in our big, sexy, /powerful/ ideas. We can't shrink from
     these ideas; they sparked our desire to contribute and they will do so for
     others. (Otherwise, we will fade.)
   4. We could do more to help one another to develop as may be necessary to
   advance those big, sexy ideas.

     (Anecdote: I don't think any of us here today started off understanding
     much about communities, UI design, networking, release management, quality
     assurance, or large-scale coding; I just see lots of people who looked for
     people who were smarter and more knowledgable than they were and who worked
     really hard to catch up. We should do more of that.)


   P.S. - In the spirit of walking the walk, I'll also share one of my own
   recent puny efforts in the direction outlined above:




[1]: http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/sugar/2008-July/007304.html
[2]: http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/sugar/2008-July/007390.html
[3]: (With suitable hacks under the covers of FUSE and DNS.)

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