[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] SLOBs Position on SoaS

Bill Bogstad bogstad at pobox.com
Wed Sep 16 23:28:43 EDT 2009

On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 8:22 PM, Douglas McClendon
<dmc.sugar at filteredperception.org> wrote:
> Bill Bogstad wrote:
>> I also don't think we can leave Sugar LiveUSB to any distribution.
>> My impression is that both LiveCD and LiveUSB Linux distributions are
>> essentially gimmicks for all of them.
> I generally agree with the rest of your sentiments in this mail, but as the
> now quasi-official 'Godfather of Fedora LiveCD' I have to respond to this
> 'gimmick' claim.

I'm sorry if you were offended by the word gimmick.  A better word
might have been niche.  From the first time, I saw Knoppix  Live media
system were clearly interesting and useful.  However...

> In summary - LiveUSB == primarily trial and installation medium.  I.e.
> perhaps the thing that _generates_
> 'installed-normal-nonlive-fedora-on-a-stick' on sticks whose flash is
> performancewise on par or better than a usb rotating disk.

Even you don't see this as a normal everyday usage model.  Assuming
that to be widely used, Sugar needs to support this model where do we
go from here?  Should Sugar wait for distributions to make it more
usable?  Am I wrong about this being vital to Sugar success?  Linux
itself got its start coming in the backdoor.  Given the lack of
marketing dollars available to Sugar, I think a similar strategy is
worth considering.

You second message about changing flash/filesystem technologies brings
to mind a discussion on a different mailing list about whether SSDs
are appropriate for use as journals for enterprise databases.  Many
people are finding that they see great performance improvements.
There are quite a few netbooks out there at this point and I haven't
heard anything about massive flash failures at those price points
either.   I'm wondering if people are just scared of the fact that
flash is different then hard drives.   The differences aren't all bad
either.  Flash doesn't suffer from head crashes where you lose read
access to ALL your data.  Instead, you probably slowly lose the
ability to change it.  Somehow that sounds better to me.

When Sugar was being run an XO which had its flash soldered to the
motherboard, it made sense to care alot about reducing flash writes.
If SoaS is deployed with integrated XS backups of user files, so what
if the USB flash drive only lasts a year or two.  It's still way
cheaper then the cost of an XO. [This presupposes some actual testing
to determine what the typical lifespan would be.]

Bill Bogstad

More information about the IAEP mailing list