[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2009-02-02

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 10:59:59 EST 2010

===Sugar Digest===

1. I am once again falling behind in my writing. This time I have two
excuses: travel and coding. I spent last week in Miami, not to escape
the cold Boston winter, but to attend the OLPC deployment meeting.
(This is first time since I left OLPC almost two-years ago that I have
been invited to participate in an OLPC event.) It was great to see
many old friends with passion in their hearts for the project. The
highlight of the week was of course the presentations from the
deployments. Many of the larger OLPC deployments gave detailed updates
of the progress and plans—all of which include Sugar. The variety of
means by which the deployments engage in outreach was fascinating. For
example, in Paraguay, which still has a relatively modest deployment,
they have been setting the stage for an eventual nationwide roll-out
by publishing weekly “how-to-use Sugar” storyboards in the newspaper.
In every case, the deployment teams have been considering not just the
technology, but also their cultural context. The vector is pointing in
the right direction.

A concrete idea that surfaced during the discussions was to explicitly
add the creation of a local Sugar Lab to the offering whenever OLPC
partners with new deployment. The local lab would provide the means
for the local community to nurture growth in their local Free Software
community and to engage with the global Sugar community more
systemically and efficiently. Another result from the meeting is that
Claudia Urrea, one the education/deployment leads for OLPC, will be
joining our Design Team meetings. Her direct feedback will be very

2. Raúl Gutiérrez Segalés and I are finally to the point where we
would like some testing and feedback on the Turtle Art refactoring
project. We have been rewriting much of code over the past month with
several goals in mind: (1) make it easier to maintain; (2) make it
easier to localize; (3) make it easier to incorporate new features;
and (4) make it easier for the end-user to modify.

So far, we have completed a major refactoring of the code:

	* object-oriented
	* 90% smaller download bundle-size
	* faster first-time launch
	* simplified i18n maintenance
	* easier to add new blocks and palettes

and added new user interface features:

	*support for multiple turtles
	* expandable blocks
	* trash palette (with a restore button)
	* variable-length string blocks
	* editable strings

Still to come:

	* a new collaboration model, where multiple turtles are shared
	* conversion to Cairo graphics for the Turtle
	* better program visualization during run-time

You can download the new Turtle Art for testing from
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:TurtleArt-83.xo . The source is in
in gitorious.

3. It is worthwhile to periodically check on the Sugar-related
materials being created in the field. For example, the teachers in
Uruguay continue to assemble lesson plans for using Sugar in the
classroom at http://www.reducativa.com/wiki2/index.php?title=Proyecto_OLPC_-_Plan_Ceibal.
There is a real wealth of materials there.

4. Thanks to an introduction by Chuck Kane, I am in touch with the
team that developed GeoGebra [http://www.geogebra.org]. GeoGebra is
free software for learning and teaching mathematics. Written in Java,
“it combines interactive geometry, algebra, calculus, and
spread-sheets in one easy-to-use system for students of all ages.” It
could be a candidate for Aleksey Lim's Sugar Services efforts

===In the community===

5. Kevin Mauricio Benavides Castro pointed out to me an article about
the work going on in rural Nicuaragua (See

6. Cristian Paul Peñaranda Rojas has created an XO-man-inspired case
for Sugar-on-a-Stick. You can download the CAD model from

7. Hilaire Fernandes, the author of DrGeo
[http.//wiki.laptop.org/go/DrGeo], is looking for feedback on his
interactive geometry software (developed with Squeak and deployed on

===Tech talk===
8. The Design Team is meeting with great regularity and is making
progress on many of the 0.88 features. You can follow the progress <a
href="http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Design_Team/0.88_Meeting">in the

===Sugar Labs===
10. Gary Martin has generated a SOM from the past two weeks of
discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2010-Jan-16-22-som.jpg and
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2010-Jan-23-29-som4.jpg). The latter
image does a nice job of visualizing the on-going discussion about
trademarks (See

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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