[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2012-06-01

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Fri Jun 1 17:46:51 EDT 2012

== Sugar Digest ==

1. I am in Lima in transit to Amazonas, where I will be helping run a
workshop for teachers. I had the opportunity to catch up with a few
old friends from DIGETE, including Victor Castillo, Hernan Paches, and
Rocio Flores. I also had a chance to see some exciting projects,
including a nice collection of math activities developed by a
Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería [1] in partnership with a private
company, and some integration work by another local company, Advance
Computer Corporation [2], which is distributing Sugar and GNOME on
Fedora 16 across a variety of platforms. In their GNOME shell, they
include Etoys and Scratch, and I pointed out that Turtle Art is also

The focus of the workshop will be to galvanize the teachers of the
Amazonas region, to get them past the stage of just using the laptop
to using the laptop for learning. We (a team from Sugar Labs, OLPC,
DIGETE, and Escuelab) plan to engage the teachers in problem solving,
where they learn to utilize Sugar to solve problems and to transfer
these skills to their classrooms.

2. For those of you who follow the coming and going of the Sugar Labs
oversight board (SLOB), you know that we have been engaged in an
on-going discussion about Local Labs [3]. The bottom line is that the
structure we had envisioned when we created Sugar -- a loose
federation of local labs working collectively towards a common goal --
is not viable under the more constrained structure of our parent
organization, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC). At the most
recent SLOB meeting, we discussed new language [4-6] proposed by the
SFC for the Sugar Labs wiki essentially declaring that '''Sugar Labs
Local Labs are not officially endorsed by or affiliated with Sugar
Labs or the Software Freedom Conservancy.''' These changes were
approved by SLOB by a vote of 5 in favor, 2 opposed. I will be making
changes to the Trademark [7] and Local Labs [8] pages in the wiki to
reflect these changes.

There is an on-going discussion as to how Sugar Labs and/or a New
Company might be able to support the efforts of the numerous
unaffiliated volunteers, developers, and deployment specialists who
have created Sugar and educate others on how to use it. But in
essence, a formal, affiliated Local Labs model is off the table.

3. Last weekend, I was on a panel about business and technology at my
35th college reunion. I brought up the theme of entrepreneurship,
arguing that it was a necessary component of any plan for economic
growth. I went further to suggest that we could better prepare
children to be critical thinkers and intellectual risk takers and help
to instill a culture of entrepreneurship. I was pretty much slammed by
the rest of the panel, who consider entrepreneurship to be an
exception, not the rule. I think some of the disagreement is one of
scale. When I speak of entrepreneurship, I am not talking about $100
billion IPOs. I am talking about small business. The titans of
industry with whom I was debating seem to have no interest in small
business -- perhaps because there is no money in it for Wall Street --
but small business is where most jobs are created and, arguably, where
most innovation occurs. There is little, if anything we can do to
influence the big boys -- yes, they are by-and-large male and white --
but we can learn to do our own thing and excel.

4. Agustin and Daniel are at it again: This time they are writing an
animation activity [9, 10]. While the current functionality is pretty
simple -- you could do the same thing using a stack of Show blocks in
Turtle Art [11] -- they intent to move in the direction of non-linear
editing -- a distinct hole in the Sugar activity repertoire.

5. Lionel Laské has written a "hello world" activity [12] using Enyo
[13]. It includes all the boilerplate code that is needed to display
an index.html inside a Sugar-activity canvas. You can put your own
"payload" in the "data" directory found in the activity bundle.

=== Sugar Labs ===

Visit our planet [14] for more updates about Sugar and Sugar deployments.


Walter Bender
Sugar Labs


[1] http://www.uni.edu.pe/
[2] http://www.advanceperu.com
[3] http://meeting.sugarlabs.org/sugar-meeting/meetings/2012-05-30T21:08:10
[4] http://meeting.sugarlabs.org/sugar-meeting/meetings/2012-05-30T21:08:10#i_2739410
[5] http://meeting.sugarlabs.org/sugar-meeting/meetings/2012-05-30T21:08:10#i_2739421
[6] http://meeting.sugarlabs.org/sugar-meeting/meetings/2012-05-30T21:08:10#i_2739445
[7] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Trademark
[8] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Local_Labs
[9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gwyIysrnfoc
[10] http://git.sugarlabs.org/animate
[11] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activities/TurtleArt#Media_Palette
[12] http://git.sugarlabs.org/enyo-test-activity
[13] http://enyojs.com
[14] http://planet.sugarlabs.org

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