[IAEP] [ANNOUNCE] Ballot information for 2011-2012 Sugar Labs election

Luke Faraone luke at faraone.cc
Wed Nov 16 13:00:24 EST 2011

Hi all,

The candidate list has closed; I'm sending out ballots over the next
hour. All registered members should receive emails from
<team[AT]selectricity.org> with a subject like:
	[Sugar Labs Oversight Board Election 2011-2012] Election Begun!

Please check your spam folders! On occasion these mails get caught in
spam filters. Your email from the voting software contains the link to
the election; this URL is unique to you and should not be shared.

The election will end at Wed Nov 30 00:00:00 -0500 2011.

== Candidate Information ==

There are 7 candidates for 3 seats. They are listed at
and below:

 * Gerald Ardito
 * Walter Bender
 * Sridhar Dhanapalan
 * Nick Doiron
 * David Farning
 * Chris Leonard (cjl)
 * Laura Victoria Vargas

Position statements from each candidate as indicated on the
aforementioned page follow.

=== Gerald Ardito ===

I believe Sugar Labs is an amazing enterprise. Miraculous, even.
It is a place where people from all over the world are working together
to empower learning for children everywhere.

And the world of these people is outstanding. In just a few short years,
they have developed an operating system and hundreds of
applications/activities. And all of them are free and open source, and
modifiable by their users.

Sugar Labs is also a community. And it is a community, I believe, that
is also free and open source. A community of people who are also, in a
manner of speaking, free and open source. I am thinking, especially, of
the regional versions of Sugar Labs, where developers and others have
come together to the serve the unique needs of a particular region.
And so, Sugar Labs, like any other enterprise, is a collection of
conversations. I would very much like to be a part of this conversation
as a SLOB member.

Here are my relevant qualifications. I have been managing a deployment
of XO Laptops for the last 2 1/2 years in a New York middle school,
working with 5th grade students and their teachers. This work formed the
basis of my doctoral dissertation research, which I completed in May
2010. I have also consulted with other teachers and schools on the use
of XO Laptops and Sugar with their teachers and students. In the Winter,
I will be working with three Navajo elementary schools in New Mexico.

I sometimes feel that educators and students (at least in the United
States) are under-represented in the various discussions around Sugar. I
believe my experience could help to close this gap.
I look forward to what comes next.

=== Walter Bender ===

My position on the board is expiring. After giving it some thought, I
will be throwing my hat into the ring. My rationale is that while Sugar
Labs has made great progress over the past three years, it still needs
shepherding, particularly in regard to maintaining its focus—too often
expediency takes precedent over consideration for the learner. The
local-lab program is starting to finally take off, but it too needs some
further shaping. And while there are numerous commercial entities taking
interest in Sugar, our volunteer community remains at the heart of Sugar
Labs—I plan to continue to advocate on behalf of the Sugar contributors.
By way of example, it is the volunteer community that is leading the
effort to migrate Sugar to GNOME 3.0.

For those of you who don't know me, here is a bit of background. I am
formerly the director of the MIT Media Lab. I took a leave of absence
from MIT to found One Laptop per Child with Nicholas Negroponte in 2006.
I left OLPC in 2008 to establish Sugar Labs as an independent entity.
(At the time, Nicholas had taken the position that Sugar was "the
problem" preventing him from selling more laptops. I was of the opinion
that what the children did with the laptops was more important than the
hardware. Ironically, but not surprisingly, OLPC continues to ship Sugar
with every laptop that they distribute.) At Sugar Labs, I wear many
hats: I am the developer or maintainer of numerous Activities, including
Turtle Art, Abacus, Portfolio, Measure, Dimensions, etc.; I contribute
to the Sugar toolkit—most recently, the enhancements to the View Source
mechanism; and the occasional patch to Sugar itself; I am an active
member of the Design Team; the Activity Team; and the Learning Team. I
was the principal author of the Sugar FLOSS Manual. When I am not
writing code, I am advocating on behalf of Sugar Labs and helping out
with deployments by running seminars and workshops for teachers and
engineers. My blog about Sugar is aggregated at http://planet.sugarlabs.org.

=== Sridhar Dhanapalan ===

The easiest way to find out about me is to visit my Web site

Amongst a vari­ety of Free and Open Source Software con­tri­bu­tions
since the 1990s [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SridharDhanapalan], 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
* 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
was developed in tandem with our certification system

I am proud to say that our approach has shown tremendous success
[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO-VNhgZLDw]. You can read our Policy
Document [http://edu.laptop.org.au/laptop/policy-document] 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
[https://dev.laptop.org.au/projects/xs-au/wiki], 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

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
Web [http://www.dhanapalan.com/blog/2011/06/23/html5-in-sugar/]
standards and allow activities to be created in HTML5. We are working
[https://dev.laptop.org.au/issues/742] 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 mission.

=== Nicholas Dorion ===

My interest in Sugar began when I received a G1G1 XO laptop. From my
dorm room, I started fixing bugs and then hacking new features for Sugar
activities. Since then, I have worked for two months each with the
Kasiisi Project in Uganda and Plan Ceibal in Uruguay, and I am presently
halfway through another two-month deployment in Haiti. I have helped
represent our community at Maker Faire NYC, OpenStreetMap's 2011
conference, and Tech at State. If you have visited http://olpcMAP.net, a
website I co-founded, or have read a post from my blogs,
http://MapaDelSur.blogspot.com and http://MapUganda.blogspot.com , I
hope that it made you feel better connected to the teachers and students
using Sugar around the world.

I would appreciate your support for my next phase of volunteering with
Sugar: serving on the Sugar Labs Oversight Board.

I believe that my experiences teaching Sugar in Uganda and Haiti, and my
development work with Plan Ceibal in Uruguay, would help me provide
valuable input to the board's decisions. As a 2012 Code for America
fellow -
http://codeforamerica.org/2011/10/13/meet-code-for-america-2012/ - I
will be working closely with city governments to find open-source
solutions to common problems. As I see it, Sugar Labs is a major player
in the development of open education, but should take further steps to
cover traditional math and science disciplines. My recent work on
Memorize with Sensors, Mapa Ceibal, and Crikey (a modified Measure
activity) are my endeavours to make this possible without losing our
engaging constructionist ideals.

=== David Farning ===

As a member on the original Sugar Labs Oversight Board, I came to feel
that as much as I believed in the vision of OLPC and Sugar Labs there
were a number of needs in the ecosystem which could be met by a third
1. The voice and needs of deployments were being over shadowed by the
global voice of Sugar Labs and OLPC.
2. There was no organization provide service and support for
deployments. As a result, deployments required a significant amount of
technical sophistication before they could get started.
3. Because of the volunteer nature of Sugar Labs, developers tended to
work on the interesting and innovative problems rather than the daily
grind necessary to deliver a fully polished educational platform.

For the past two years I, and a number of other developers, have been
establishing Activity Central [1] to help fill the above needs. Our
model is to provide technical service and support to deployments. This
effort has resulted in the Dextrose [2] operation system which we
custom develop and support for several large and small deployment.
Because we depend on customer revenue for our sustainability we have a
strong incentive to meet the software needs of deployments.

Because Dextrose is based on Upstream Sugar and OLPC OS releases
Activity Central has a strong incentive to assist in the continued
success of Sugar Labs and OLPC. To this end we have made a number of

1. All code written by Activity Central developers will be released
with an open source license.
2. Activity Central developers spend 60% of their time on revenue
generating work. They are free to spend the remaining 40% of their
time on projects which are of general value to the ecosystem.
3. Activity Central supports a Community Architect whose job is
identify and support local and global communities that are valuable
parts of the Sugar Labs and OLPC ecosystem.

From time to time I am asked why I chose to form a third organization
rather than work within Sugar Labs or OLPC. A third global
organization brings several advantages to the ecosystem:

1. It promotes cooperative decision making.  When the ecosystem
consisted of two primary participants, Sugar Labs and OLPC, there was a
tendency for competitive decision making. When a third player was
added to the mix, the value of cooperative decision making become more
2. Organizations with a business focus often provide value to a Free
Software ecosystem. Interestingly OLPC-A has seen this and has been
shifting toward a 'social entrepreneurship' model.
3. Activity Central approaches the ecosystem from a different
viewpoint than either sugar Labs or OLPC. As global innovators both
Sugar Labs' and OLPC's strengths are top down. Ideas and
Implementations flow down from the central organization to deployments
and users. As a service provider, most of Activity Central's ideas and
implementation flow up from deployments and user. Our work flow is to
solve issues faced by individual deployments which we generalize and
push upstream.

=== Chris Leonard ===

I have decided to stand as a candidate for election to the Sugar Labs
Oversight Board.

Since placing my G1G1 order on the first day of availability back in
2007, I've been very interested in learning how I could contribute to
the goals of the education mission articulated by OLPC. With the spin
out of Sugar Labs in 2008, I joined as a member of Sugar Labs, but have
long considered myself to hold "dual-citizenship".

I've worked on many aspects of the effort. In the early days, I did a
great deal of work on the wikis, earning the medal of the "Order of the
Mop and Bucket" (wiki admin) and even rising to "b'crat" status. I've
been a member of the OLPC Support Gang answering help and collaboration
requests in the OLPC RT system and working to "weave together the
grassroots". I've also done testing of activities and filed numerous
bugs in the OLPC, Sugar Labs and Etoys bug trackers, as well as
performing a lot of ticket clean up of older tickets as a general
contribution to maintenance. I've explored content development,
producing a Latin America and Caribbean targeted .xol content bundle
containing the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in about 100
languages, including a number of spoken audio versions.

In recent years I've been focusing my efforts on the Localization
community, working with and then picking up tasks from Sayamindu
Dasgupta as he made his transition to graduate school and in the process
took on responsibilities as the Sugar Labs Translation Team Coordinator.
In that role I have worked to expand our language coverage and
facilitate the recruitment and empowerment of members of the
Localization community that spans Sugar Labs / OLPC and Etoys. I have
advocated on behalf of improvements in internationalization and
localization of our products as well as the tools to perform that work.
I've performed extensive outreach to upstream and downstream efforts to
improve the overall L10n ecosystem. We now host translation for Gnash
and AbiWord upstream's as well as the Waveplace downstream. I arranged
for the Gnome team to provide us with a "release set" to facilitate our
tracking of the upstream L10n bits we pull from them, as well as
facilitating upstream contributions by our localizers that will
ultimately benefit our users.

I'm a frequent presence in the open meetings of the various Sugar Labs
teams IRC meetings, including the SLOBS meetings and I have advocated
for attention to the needs of our language communities in those forums
as well as encouraging collaborative effort among Sugar Labs teams and
upstream outreach to the wider FOSS community.

I've gained a wide angle view of Sugar Lab's work, as well as having
delved into excruciating detail in a number of areas. I've had the
opportunity to work with a broad variety of stakeholders and I hope to
use this perspective to help Sugar Labs grow it's community and reach it

=== Laura Vargas ===

Currently working on Sugar Camp Lima 2011.

Starting the century [2000] I graduated as an industrial engineer from
the Colombian School of Engineering, the same year I began to specialize
in international business, banking and finance at the University of Rosario.

In 2005 moved to California to study film production [thanks to the
Ministry of Culture and the Fulbright Commission Colombia] leading on my
return the local production team of the film "Love in the Time of Cholera".

In Bogotá I became part of a select team, designing  user experience for
multiple commercial and educational web projects, until Free Software
crossed my path in 2009 and first came the idea of ​​getting involved
with the group which was also dedicated software design aimed at
children of primary school.

I was accepted as a research associate at Escuelab and from there and
hand to hand with Sebastian Silva, we incubated the research project
somosazucar.org / sugarlab Peru with the aim of encouraging the use and
development of free software SUGAR.

My vision and reason for filing this application, is to align the
system's efforts towards creating a secure, open and free Sugar Users
Network where end users can interact with designers and developers.

To achieve this goal I propose first to strengthen the network of local
laboratories, procuring their sustainability and the sharing of their
experiences and results.

Luke Faraone
Membership and Elections Committee
Sugar Labs

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