[IAEP] For Sugar Everywhere, Google-ize!

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Thu Feb 17 17:14:35 EST 2011

On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 6:49 AM, Martin Langhoff
<martin.langhoff at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 10:32 PM, C. Scott Ananian <cscott at cscott.net> wrote:
>> This seems to me to be a red herring.  What does connectivity have to do
>> with your choice of OS?
> While technically possible to write all sort of sw yourself, you
> choose an OS based on the affordances it offers.
> The OSs being discussed (Android, ChromeOS) have very strong
> assumptions about ubiquitous connectivity to the internet and the role
> of the device (network client, not peer, not server).
> With enough work and time you may be able to provide all the missing
> bits and fix the broken libraries and APIs. You might even rewrite the
> apps in the app store to work without connectivity.
> m
> --
>  martin.langhoff at gmail.com
>  martin at laptop.org -- Software Architect - OLPC
>  - ask interesting questions
>  - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
>  - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff
> _______________________________________________
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Three points come to mind:

The issue of connectivity IMO is of great importance. We typically see
four scenarios:

XO only

The case for ChromeOS (Google-ize as the subject puts it) requires a
"Google" to be in the mix. Internet access isn't available in most
places. Even in my projects in Jamaica and India, while we do have
"3G" coverage, its too cost prohibitive to scale Internet access to
all the XOs. In both these projects, the XS plays a major role. So, if
there is no "Google" in the mix, there is no service (unless we do
offline apps and host these on the XS).

The other thing that bugs me about this approach is that there is very
little talk about the end-user (children and teachers). I remember
from one of Walter's posts that teachers have had a concern for a
rapidly changing Sugar UI. So, the guts of a system can be
Android/Meego/Fedora, but the UI should not be radically different.
Else, the adoption is going to be very difficult.

Third, I am not convinced about the reasons behind why there needs to
be such a radical change. Maybe the reasoning exists, but its not
coming forth. It appears to be supply-driven as in
Tablets+Android+Cool Stuff. I don't buy that. At least not yet.
Definitely interesting discussion, though.

Oh, and I do wonder how many people involved in these discussions have
*actually* been in the field where these dire conditions exist. Not
fingerpointing, just wondering.

Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Information Systems
Director, Campus Business Solutions
San Francisco State University

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