[IAEP] For Sugar Everywhere, Google-ize!

Chris Ball cjb at laptop.org
Wed Feb 16 19:53:30 EST 2011

Hi Scott,

   > If Android apps to date have not accomplished this, that just
   > means there's an opportunity!  I think the infrastructure is
   > what's missing here: reusable libraries for collaboration /
   > sharing. Something Pippy-like or Java-compiler-like that makes
   > it possible to distribute your app's source along with the app
   > itself--*and do something with the source on the device*.  I
   > don't think these things are impossible. I think they haven't
   > been done.

I'm saying that I think they actually *are* impossible without adoption
from Google, if you need to hack the Android core and you're trying to
create software that will run on many Android devices rather than one.

It could be that Google is interested in making Android apps be
pervasively modifiable by users but simply hasn't done it yet (though
one imagines their app store authors would hate the idea -- "look, I
just set the isRegistered bool to TRUE to avoid paying for this app!"),
and it could be that they really want a real-time collaboration API
and just haven't done that yet either.  I agree that it would be very
exciting if both of these things are true.  But if they *aren't* true
then it seems like anyone trying to ship this software on hardware
that they don't control is just out of luck.

   >> How about ChromeOS instead, then? Rumor is it was too slow to
   >> get going, and is either going to be canceled or just merged
   >> with Android:

   > The link you posted is just a wild guess.

Sure, agreed.

   > Consider ChromeOS just a fancy name for Chrome the browser. Chrome
   > the browser has Apps and lots of extension hooks. You can make
   > sugar activities run entirely inside the browser. ChromeOS is
   > convenient, because it embodies build tools and hardware
   > configurators and all the other details, freeing SugarLabs to
   > work on the "education stuff". It's basically Fedora to
   > Sugar-on-Linux. It's replaceable.  Think instead of what a truely
   > "web enabled" version of Sugar would look like. Sugar which could
   > run in any Chrome browser -- although you might have to install a
   > chrome extension first.

That does sound interesting -- I don't know much about what it's
possible to do with JavaScript these days, but the combination of
being faster than Python and being pervasively editable is exciting.
Do you know of any proof-of-concept Chrome extensions that do
activity-like things or allow you to modify their own source on
the fly that we should check out?


- Chris.
Chris Ball   <cjb at laptop.org>
One Laptop Per Child

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