[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2010-02-18

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 08:30:21 EST 2010

===Sugar Digest===

1. The Sugar Labs Development Team continues to make great progress
towards our next release, Sucrose 0.88. Last weekend a "testing day"
was held in which most of the new features exercised. There will be
another meeting on Monday (February 22) at which we will be discussing
various outstanding details as we approach "string freeze" on March 1.
What has been significant in this release cycle has not only been the
steady progress we have been making on improving and stabilizing the
core Sugar platform, but also the introduction of a more systemic
mechanism for proposing, vetting, and implementing new features. While
the procedures we have put into place are still in need of
fine-tuning, we have seen progress on one key goal—greater involvement
from Sugar deployments. Sugar remains a volunteer-run project and thus
it is what its community makes of it. Our release process is intended
to provide a stable and predictable base from which the community can
build. Long-term maintenance and growth will come from our community.
A goal for Sucrose 0.90 is to have a well-defined set of features,
proposed from downstream, and developed downstream. Sugar, like
learning itself, is not something done for it. It is something you do
for yourself.

2. Tony Forster, Raúl Gutiérrez Segalés, Michael Stone, and Edward
Cherlin have given me detailed feedback on the new Turtle Art. Raúl
will be testing it this week in the field and I hope that with that
additional feedback to be able to make a final release as part of
Fructose 0.88. If you'd like to give it a test drive, please download
it from the wiki:


New user-interface features include support for multiple turtles (this
enables the learner to engage in many of the types of problems opened
up by learning systems such as StarLogo). To facilitate debugging,
there is now runtime block highlighting and highlighting of the block
that raised an error. Boolean logic is now prefix instead of infix,
which makes it consistent with the arithmetic operators and less
ambiguous in its visual parsing. Many other UI improvements, a trash
palette (with restore), variable-length, editable string blocks,
labels on coordinate-grid overlays, etc. were driven by feedback from
the field.

We also completed a major refactoring of the code, resulting in a 90%
smaller download bundle-size and a faster first-time launch. Our goal
here is greatly simplified maintenance, more decentralized
localization and easier extension with new blocks and palettes.

3. Sugar on a Stick, Blueberry, is now in the Museum of Modern Art
(MoMA) permanent collection.

===In the community===

4. Sorry for the last minute notice, but Joy Ventura Riach from One
Laptop Per Child's regional center in Africa is organzing Learning
Team chats. The first meeting will be on Thursday, February 18, at 10
EST (15 UTC). Go to http://bit.ly/9TxkwD to join the discussion.

===Tech talk===

5. Thanks to the efforts of Luke Faraone, Sugar Labs has received some
 servers donated from the Wikipedia project. They will be deployed in
various locations, including RIT, Washington, and Cambridge. Stefan
Unterhauser (dogi) is helping in the effort to get the new machines up
and running and properly configured to meet our growing needs.

===Sugar Labs===

10. Gary Martin has generated a SOM from the past few weeks of
discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2010-Jan-30-Feb-5-som.jpg and

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

More information about the IAEP mailing list