[IAEP] Achievements and impressions on SugarCamp Lima

Rubén Rodríguez ruben at gnu.org
Thu Nov 24 19:10:11 EST 2011

I'll try to sum up some highlights from the SugarCamp event in Lima.
I'd like to start by thanking the Escuelab people for inviting me to
the event, and SugarLabs for very generously providing me the plane
tickets. I hope it was worth it :)

My main job during the hackathon was to finish up TOAST using Sweets
0.94. That system was used as a testing environment, since Trisquel
images are easy to make and run. Locale support for aym_PE and quz_PE
was added, and scripts were written to fetch the latest Quechua and
Aymara translations during build, allowing to make new isos every time
the translators need to check if new strings have the proper context.
Many thanks to Alsroot for all his help!

The current image can be downloaded from here:

Build scripts and files:

During that process many small achievements were reached too, like
fixing some bugs and testing the support for LTSP thin client
environments. LTSP was used to show translators the results of their
work -which by the way was a very emotive moment in an event filled
with passion- and shown to deployers as an affordable way to recycle
old computers and simplify maintenance.

On the non-technical aspects, getting to work in this camp gave me the
opportunity to better understand the Sugar and OLPC projects and the
many difficulties they have to overcome in real-life deployments.
Getting to know Peruvian teachers and hackers showed me how we are
taking too many things for granted, like the fact that in many cases
schools don't have internet connection, -and when they do it is usually
not enough to download iso images-. To fix this we are starting a
project to make a fully self-contained installer, including all
Trisquel editions -providing TOAST and GNOME environments among
others-, and a set of miscellaneous packages which should allow to
install school servers and provide a catalog of educational programs
outside Sugar.

I also spent some time in graphically documenting the hackathon,
recording many videos with which I intend to make a documentary short,
and also taking some photos that can be found in my blog:

On a personal level, I like to think I helped a bit with the
negotiations which should now be leading to a pilot experiment in Puno
to allow local communities leverage the effort in deployment of XO
machines, which needed the help and trust of the government to let them
modify software images and get them signed. One of the ideas discussed
there was how deployment calendars should match development cycles for
both Sugar and the distributions which support it, and the idea of
having long term support releases for Sugar.

I had the most amazing experience of getting to know many Peruvian
hackers who I wish we will now be able to provide better fitting
software and documentation. I have to say that Escuelab astonished me,
it is six floors of pure hacker goodness, sustained by very committed
people with more will than resources. I am also very happy that I got
to know three Sugar hackers so skilled and involved that now I know the
only possible outcome for the project is success.

I will miss you all.


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