[IAEP] For Sugar Everywhere, Google-ize!

Christoph Derndorfer e0425826 at student.tuwien.ac.at
Wed Feb 16 20:36:03 EST 2011

Am 17.02.2011 01:31, schrieb C. Scott Ananian:
> Stepping back for a moment, the key question is: how can we get Sugar
> out of the window manager and network manager and activity update and
> UI toolkit business, where it's just not keeping up (and wasting our
> efforts), and concentrate on the stuff we're all really here for:
> enabling kids to learn and explore and share?  How much can we strip
> away and still have Sugar?
>   --scott

Hi Scott,

as always your thoughts and perspectives are leading to some interesting
discussions, much appreciated. :-)

The inner geek in me certainly loves the ideas presented in your initial
message. However in the end I think the question in your last e-mail
("concentrate on the stuff we're all really here for: enabling kids to
learn and explore and share?") is what it's really all about. And I
don't see Android being a part of the solution here but rather, as
Martin likes to put it, A Distraction.

The main reasoning for me is quite simple: As of today - and from what
we know also the foreseeable future - basically all Sugar users will be
using an XO-1/1.5/1.75.

Yes, Sugar Labs has done a tremendous job of making it possible to run
Sugar on other devices. Yet the simple fact is that in terms of numbers
there are no significant non-XO projects today and though I'd personally
like to see it happening I don't think it will anytime soon.

And yes, OLPC is working on a tablet that should start shipping at some
point in 2012 but even in a best case scenario it will likely take until
2013 or 2014 until the number of OLPC tablets even comes close to the
XO-laptop user base installed by that time.

So based on these assumptions, given the limited amount of resources
available, and assuming I haven't missed anything your suggestion would
basically mean sacrificing the potential to significantly improve the
experience of the current >1 million Sugar users to develop something
for unproven potential future markets and users.

I'd rather see every available resource being poured into working on
things that matter in the field:

More activities, enhancing current activities, an interactive help
system, upgradability (which IIRC is an important goal for 11.2.0
already), trying to make collaboration work (even if it's only in tiny
groups, via view-only, etc.), a classroom management activity which
could for example allow pupils to project the contents of their display
to a projector connected to the teacher's XO-with-USB2VGA, adding
PhotoBooth-like effects to Record, improving the Journal, implementing
the Group View, etc. ad infinitum

What I'm basically suggesting - and also think is a more realistic
approach given the current environment - is to make Sugar on the XOs so
superbly awesome and powerful that other parties, e.g. a country doing
1-to-1 but with Intel Classmates rather than XOs or a hardware
manufacturer wanting to break into the education market, will take care
of the necessary work to make Sugar run, and run well that is, on their
devices. Which again seems to be not too different to how the Android
ecosystem is developing these days.

Anyway, just my 2 eurocents, and thanks again for the impulse which got
this discussion started.


Christoph Derndorfer
co-editor, www.olpcnews.com
e-mail: christoph at olpcnews.com

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