[IAEP] [SPAM]Re: [SPAM]An intelligent sneakernet for the XO.

William Schaub wschaub at steubentech.com
Tue Apr 13 20:16:42 EDT 2010

Benjamin M. Schwartz wrote:
> William Schaub wrote:
>> The idea is basically a decentralized discussion forum that 
>> automatically propagates itself amongst all XO laptops that are in 
>> range. 
> That's a great project!  This is definitely something that OLPC and Sugar
> Labs are interested in.  You should mention it on sugar-devel.
>> I just wanted to get your comments and see how I could best turn this 
>> into something that could benefit the OLPC community
>> as well as the general public at large.
> It sounds like you've already started thinking about what might be the
> most important problem here: supporting a variety of transports.  Sugar
> currently uses Telepathy for all peer identification and communication,
> but different mechanisms are appropriate in different situations.  I think
> you'll have the most success if you can be flexible enough to play well
> with a variety of identity and communication systems.
> The other important thing is to maintain a strong abstraction between
> storage and display so that new GUIs may be created without rewriting the
> core.  It sounds like you're doing that too.
> The other fun problems relate to retention/transfer policy and space
> utilization, but those can likely be adapted after the design is in place.
>  For plain text there's hardly a problem at all, but I expect you'll want
> to do more than just text.
> By the way, Sugar probably won't integrate anything that depends on Perl,
> so I suggest that you minimize your reliance on it.  Also, for efficiency
> it would be cool if you could make sure that the background memory usage
> is small.
> --Ben

It is basically just a private usenet over adhoc wireless (or the mesh 
network)  and other transports.

Anything that can be done with usenet can be done with this system it is 
implemented mainly as a collection of native Linux software (the usenet 
server being one of them) and some scripts that make the usenet server 
exchange articles with whatever machine is detected using the perl 
scripts. I used Perl because that is the language I have the most 
experience with. and its really good for throwing things like this 
together in a hurry.

I really want to implement the thing in Java so that I can try and run 
it on various smart phones.  I may be getting a blackberry to play with 
soon for that purpose.

As far as managing the space the news spool takes up is concerned with 
inn there is a storage method called the circular news filesystem. which 
basically fills up with articles and when it is full the earliest 
articles are overwritten with new ones.
so you could dedicate a fixed amount of space for article storage and 
not consume more than that.

I would be interested in getting this integrated in sugar but right now 
its way too much of a mess for that. I wish they would just distribute 
perl with sugar and be done with it but that will likely never happen.  
I'm sure I could re-write the glue in python or even C if I needed to. 
but I figure Perl is probably Ok to stick with for the early stages of 
the project.

Since I want to make it work on smart phones and PDAs I will need to 
make a streamlined version that isn't just glue around INN. That version 
would likely be the one to consider for Sugar.

I didn't start out with the idea of making it just an OLPC project but 
rather a generic Linux and eventually cross-platform project. but the 
idea first came up at an OLPC users group meeting and the XO-1 has been 
a nice platform to develop/test on.

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