[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2012-08-03

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Fri Aug 3 07:23:26 EDT 2012

== Sugar Digest ==

1. It has been a few weeks since I posted to the Sugar Digest. I've
been buried in a few projects and only just beginning to come up for
air. One distraction was that I got a request via Reuben Caron to
write a chess activity for Armenia. It was too tempting to resist, so
I pulled a few all-nighters that resulted in a Sugar front-end to the
gnuchess program. The program, Gnuchess, can be downloaded from the
Sugar activity portal [1] and is documented on the Activities/Gnuchess
page in the wiki [2]. Fairly rudimentary, but for a few fun features:
you can play against the robot, another person on the same computer,
or over the network. You can use a generic set of pieces, load in some
Sugar-colored ones, or those of your own design. When you play against
someone over the net, they will see your artwork and you'll see their

I also have been making a number of subtle but important changes to
Turtle Blocks. Cynthia Solomon (of Logo fame) has been giving me
feedback and as a result, I think the box and action naming is much
more streamlined and consistent. Check out v 154 [3] and keep an eye
out for v 156, coming soon.

Also, we hosted a learning workshop at the OLPC office in Cambridge
last week at which I got some feedback on the Portfolio and Bulletin
Board activities. I am in the midst of streamlining Portfolio and also
enabling comments to be made over the web. (You can get a sneak
preview of version 27 [4].) I have a number of outstanding questions
about classroom protocol; a team from the workshop has been meeting to
discuss my questions and to make additional suggestions. Once I get
the Portfolio released, I'll dive back into the Bulletin Board
activity [5].

2. At the workshop, the group organized working groups to address a
number of important issues: classroom protocols, assessment, and a
collaborative web presence for teachers and students. Stay tuned.

3. I got some feedback from Nicaragua about the Nutrition activity
[6]. More region-specific foods and a new game: match the food to its
food group. A new release will be available soon; a preview is
available here [7].

4. Aleksey Lim and the Somosazucar team continue to make progress on
their "Harmonic" distribution, the goal of which is to provide a
collaborative Sugar environment in the real-world context of limited
network connectivity. See the to-do list [8] for a list of milestones
already achieved and still to come. The team has been doing some
preliminary testing in Puno.

5. Simon Schampijer and Manuel Quiñones represented Sugar Labs at
GUADEC 2012, the GNOME user and developer conference. Simon gave a
talk outlining our progress on the GTK-3 port (See items 6 and 7
below). I also participated, remotely, in the advisory board meeting,
where I gave a more general update of the project. One theme in my
presentation was internationalization. Chris Leonard, our i18n team
leader, supplied me with a list of accomplishments and concerns about
the state of i18n in GNOME (specifically in glibc). There was an
immediate reaction from the board. I am hopefully that we'll see some
of Chris's suggested adopted by the GNOME community.

6. Daniel Francis, a product of Plan Ceibal, has been helping with our
GTK3 port. This week he ported Turtle Art to GTK3 [9]. We are well on
our way to getting our core activities ported thanks in large part to
the efforts of our Sugaristas.

7. Simon posted some instructions for porting Gstreamer Activities to
PYGobject and Gstreamer 1.0 to the Sugar developer list [10].

=== In the community ===

8. There are plans to hold the next OLPC SF summit in San Francisco
the weekend of October 19-21. We are looking into organizing a Sugar
Camp preceding the summit.

9. I am giving the keynote at Techniche, the annual techno-management
festival of IIT-Guwahati [11] on August 31. Should be lots of fun.

=== Sugar Labs ===

Visit our planet [12] for more updates about Sugar and Sugar deployments.

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs


[1] http://activities.sugarlabs.org/en-US/sugar/addon/4593
[2] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activities/Gnuchess
[3] http://activities.sugarlabs.org/en-US/sugar/addon/4027
[4] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:Portfolio-27.xo
[5] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activities/Bulletinboard
[6] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activities/Nutrition
[7] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/images/5/51/Nutrition-6.xo
[8] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Harmonic_Distribution/1.0/Todo
[9] http://git.sugarlabs.org/~danielf/turtleart/danielfs-gtk3
[10] http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/sugar-devel/2012-July/038700.html
[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Techniche
[12] http://planet.sugarlabs.org

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