[IAEP] For Sugar Everywhere, Google-ize!

Christian Bryant christianabryant at linux.com
Wed Feb 16 21:33:24 EST 2011

I personally am excited to see new architectures that change the face
of a familiar system.  That said, I also believe the new architecture
must benefit the end user either equal to or greater than the benefit
of the original architecture.  I also believe the support for those
users should not deteriorate, meaning folks like the OLPC Support Gang
need to learn the new system (assuming troubleshooting beneath the
interface changes as system-level features change) without sacrificing
their dedication to the existing system.  For every 100 units with the
"new and improved" Sugar that roll out (assuming it reached
production), how many units out there still would require support by
experts in the old architecture?  Do you even "train" the existing
support volunteers or reach out for a whole new batch of hackers who
have expertise in the technology the new architecture is based upon?
I know Linux and Python, and I love Sugar as it exists now.  I love
all the effort going into improving the system and I am excited when I
see some of the projects out there rooted in the existing technology.
As I become more involved in OLPC, I intend to take on more difficult
support questions that come from a technical place I'm familiar with.
Android and Lively Kernel are definitely cool and being able to run
Sugar activities anywhere is a great goal, but let's not do it for the
sake of doing it.  Does it benefit the end user (students, teachers)?
Do we have enough understanding of what future deployments may require
that we're prepared to divert valuable effort from current tech to
bright and shiny tech?  Does it contribute to the greater goal of
educating people who otherwise might not have the opportunity?  And,
forgive me on this one because I realize Sugar and OLPC are not
necessarily tied at the hip, but what happens if Sugar moves too far
from the OLPC's five core principles?  Will that necessitate an "OLPC
Sugar" and a "Sugar Free", developed with no XO-specific code or even
OLPC-oriented goals?  Just wondering where OLPC ends and Sugar


Christian Bryant,

One Laptop Per Child
Support Volunteer #262

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