[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2012-01-10

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Tue Jan 10 09:20:59 EST 2012

== Sugar Digest ==

1. 2012 has started off with a big splash. In the OLPC demonstration
of their prototype tablet--the XO-3.0--at the Consumer Electronics
Show (CES), Sugar figured prominently. The XO surrounded by a spiral
of Activity icons was everywhere (e.g., [1]). Featured in Ed
McNierney's (OLPC CTO) nonstop demo was Measure, Turtle Blocks,
Wikipedia, and Fraction Bounce, among others.

The OLPC devel team did some tweaks to Sugar to enhance it on the
tablet: the Frame can be invoked by dragging your finger to the lower
right-hand corner of the screen. Clicking anywhere on the canvas hides
the Frame. Works pretty well. Of course, there is a ways to go to
realize a full touch integration. It was amusing to watch people use
the gestures they've grown accustom to on their iPads to no effect in
Sugar. The work on porting to GTK-3 (Sugar 0.96) will make a big
difference there.

I made a few tweaks to Turtle Blocks for the demo: (1) I try to
distinguish between a click on a block and a short drag of the
block--it is hard to click on a touch screen without some x-y
displacement; (2) I added a mechanism for changing the values in
number blocks without a keyboard; and (3) I tightened up the toolbars
so that they would fit on the smaller XO-3.0 display. While all of
these changes are more general in their applicability, #3 is something
we need to think about for all small displays as it is often the case
that not all of the toolbar buttons fit.

2. In addition to the GTK-3 migration, we have a few more features
queued up for Sugar 0.96 (See [2]). The one I am working on at the
moment is Write to Journal anytime [3]. The goal is to encourage more
writing and reflection throughout the process of using an Activity,
not just when you close it at the end of the first session. The
mechanism I am experimenting with is to add a new toolbar palette to
the Activity Toolbar that incorporated a text-entry field. By typing
into this field, you can add notes to the Activity Description found
in the Journal. It is my hypothesis that by making it easier to take
notes while one is working, we may see more note taking and the vision
of the Journal as a "lab notebook" may finally be realized.

3. Aleksey Lim continues to make progress on the "Sugar Network" [4],
a platform he is developing in Peru in order to facilitate sharing of
content, with an emphasis on the needs of off-line deployments.

4. Bernie Innocenti and Stefan Unterhauser (Dogi) are getting ready to
migrate our servers to a new colocation site. We have been hosted by
the Free Software Foundation, but since they are going to be moving to
a new colocation site, we are planning to consolidate our servers in a
server room at MIT. Details about the migration will be announced well
in advance and we don't expect any major disruption of services. Stay

5. Tony Forster, Guzmán Trinidad, Andrés Aguirre, Facundo Benavides,
Federico Andrade, Alan Aguiar, Gonzalo Tejera, and I have written a
paper about using Turtle Blocks with sensors. A draft is in the wiki.

=== Sugar Labs ===

Gary Martin has generated SOMs from the past few weeks of discussion
on the IAEP mailing list:

2011 Dec 31st-Jan 6th (30 emails) [6]
2011 Dec 24th-30th (18 emails) [7]
2011 Dec 17th-23rd (16 emails) [8]

Visit our planet [9] for more updates about Sugar and Sugar deployments.


[1] http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2012/01/img1983.jpg
[2] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/0.96/Feature_List#Accepted_Features_for_0.96
[3] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Features/Write_to_journal_anytime
[4] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Network
[5] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:Turtle_sensors.pdf|
[6] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2011-Dec-31-Jan-6-som.jpg
[7] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2011-Dec-24-30-som.jpg
[8] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2011-Dec-17-23-som.jpg
[9] http://planet.sugarlabs.org

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

More information about the IAEP mailing list