[IAEP] Candidacy for Sugar Labs Oversight Board elections

Sridhar Dhanapalan sridhar at laptop.org.au
Mon Nov 7 08:13:02 EST 2011

I'd like to announce my candidacy for the Sugar Labs Oversight Board
elections. The main announcement is at

The easiest way to find out about me is to visit my Web site [1].

Amongst a vari­ety of Free and Open Source Software con­tri­bu­tions
since the 1990s [2], I have pre­vi­ously been a board mem­ber of Linux
Aus­tralia and Pres­id­ent of the Sydney Linux Users Group (SLUG). I
have given presentations at various events includ­ing linux.conf.au,
OSDC, SLUG, Soft­ware Free­dom Day and Doc­u­ment Free­dom Day.

For nearly two years I have served full-time as OLPC Australia's
Engineering Manager, liaising between developers and educators to
ensure that we are able to satisfy requirements on the ground. My team
at OLPC Australia take this very seriously, to the point of extending
OLPC's core principles with two of our own [3]:

    * Empowering Teachers
    * Community Engagement

In my day-to-day work, I am in constant contact with schools,
communities, governments and other relevant bodies. I have developed
an appreciation for Sugar as much more than software - it is a
platform that supports education, community and culture. Everything we
build is done so in consultation with educators and other
stakeholders, in consideration of the whole picture. For instance, the
operating system that we carry on our XOs [4] was developed in tandem
with our certification system [5].

I am proud to say that our approach has shown tremendous success [6].
You can read our Policy Document [7] to gain a full appreciation of
our programme.

As a Sugar Labs Oversight Board member, I aim to bring this same kind
of holistic approach to guiding Sugar. My strength is in using my
extensive Free Software experience to meet real needs on the ground. I
strongly believe that for Sugar to grow, it needs to have strong
representation from all stakeholders, including deployments.

Our contributions to Sugar have been numerous. We have extended the
OLPC XS Schoolserver with our XS-AU [8], creating a far more flexible
collaboration solution. We have partnered with Activity Central to
develop many improvements for the platform. These are currently being
tested in Dextrose developer builds, and will be upstreamed in the
near future.

While it's all well and good to speak about past achievements, it's
important as a Board member to have a vision for the future. We need
to broaden the developer and user base. We need to make it simpler to
access Sugar.

On the developer side, we should embrace [9] Web [10] standards and
allow activities to be created in HTML5. We are working [11] on that.

On the user side, I'd like Sugar to be made available on more devices.
I am encouraged by the work being made to port Sugar to GTK+ 3. This
will lay the groundwork for Sugar on tablets, such as the XO-3. We
need to think ahead to ensure longevity of the Sugar platform and

[1] http://www.dhanapalan.com/blog/about/
[2] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SridharDhanapalan
[3] http://www.laptop.org.au/vision/core-principles
[4] https://dev.laptop.org.au/projects/xo-au/wiki/List_of_improvements_in_XO-AU_builds_2010-2011
[5] http://edu.laptop.org.au/laptop/xo-cert-course
[6] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO-VNhgZLDw
[7] http://edu.laptop.org.au/laptop/policy-document
[8] https://dev.laptop.org.au/projects/xs-au/wiki
[9] http://www.dhanapalan.com/blog/2011/06/20/why-free-and-open-matters/
[10] http://www.dhanapalan.com/blog/2011/06/23/html5-in-sugar/
[11] https://dev.laptop.org.au/issues/742

Sridhar Dhanapalan
Engineering Manager
One Laptop per Child Australia
M: +61 425 239 701
E: sridhar at laptop.org.au
A: G.P.O. Box 731
     Sydney, NSW 2001
W: www.laptop.org.au

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