[IAEP] Teaching with computers / Enseniando con Computadoras

Carlos Rabassa carnen at mac.com
Sun Nov 20 10:45:11 EST 2011

Spanish translation will follow as soon as I have a chance to prepare it

David, Alan,

Thanks.  These two short messages,  clearly explain the problem about which we worry so much.

We couldn´t have asked for more authorized opinions.

The full development of free software,  until it reaches the stage in which most users can use it without problems,  takes lots of time.

In my modest opinion,  we have in Uruguay a fantastic opportunity that will not last forever.

The people and the government are still quite enthusiastic about Plan Ceibal.

This enthusiasm needs a constant flow of good news in terms of results,  to stay alive and strong.

All that has been invested to date,  all the good results we have already seen and are seeing every day,  are too much to risk losing.

So the question is

¿Are we willing to take that risk waiting for Sugar or should we propose alternative solutions to the authorities?

¿What is more important,  free software or the education of the children who are attending school today?

Carlos Rabassa
Plan Ceibal Support Network
Montevideo, Uruguay

On Nov 19, 2011, at 1:08 PM, Alan Kay wrote:

> Hi David
> I think you make a valid point about open source software. The problem is that the end-users in this case have not bought into this dynamic -- and, given the real goals and the small windows of opportunity available, the open source dynamic is not just moot here, but is a real problem.
> I think what we all have quite a bit of difficulty with is doing *packaging* that is up to the level needed by the end users. This is a separate skill set (and set of talents). 
> Just speaking for Viewpoints (but I think this applies to most of us) we are just much better at thinking of "potentially good features" and in implementing these up to some level of usability -- but *we* certainly fall short of what I would call real packaging. I was a champion of Hypercard at Apple and helped get it to be approved as a product ... and then was quite sobered, even shocked, by the amount of work -- hundreds of additional person-years -- that Apple put into turning something I thought was great for users, into something that *was* actually great for users. And it wasn't just the person-hours, but "the check-list" and vetting that was the key.
> Very best wishes,
> Alan
> From: David Van Assche <dvanassche at gmail.com>
> To: Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com> 
> Cc: voluntarios y administradores OLPC para usuarios docentes <olpc-sur at lists.laptop.org>; Carlos Rabassa <carnen at mac.com>; argentina at lists.laptop.org; olpc bolivia <olpc-bolivia at lists.laptop.org>; Lista de correo del equipo Somos-Azúcar <somosazucar at lists.sugarlabs.org>; IAEP SugarLabs <iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org>; OLPC Puno <olpcpuno at gmail.com> 
> Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2011 6:20 AM
> Subject: Re: [IAEP] Teaching with computers / Enseniando con Computadoras
> Also, what makes apple great to most people is their hardware not their software, their latest OS both on touchpads and laptops is horribly buggy, and feels more like beta software than even windows 7...
> Sugar isn't perfect, but its far far less bloated than any other option available, and that makes it comfortable to code for, fun to use, and hopefully easier to teach with. If only there were more marketing, more money, more coders, etc,etc...
> That's the deal with all open source software though... eventually it seems, if one holds on long enough, all those things do come... look at mozilla, apache, mysql, or suse... either individuals or very big companies come in and help out... why should it be any different with Sugar?
> David Van Assche
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