[IAEP] [HARMONIC] Harmonic Distribution 0.25 development release

Aleksey Lim alsroot at sugarlabs.org
Tue May 22 05:49:58 EDT 2012

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This is the announce of new development release of Harmonic Distribution
[1] effort which consists of Sweets Distribution [2] (packages with
base software) and Sugar Network [3] (content delivering/sharing

== New in this release ==

(1) Initial implementation of full cycle for Question/Idea/Problem
    resources in Sugar Network client.

    * Create new Question/Idea/Problem resorce from Context view (second
      button next to search button): hover over particular context
      icon to see Question/Idea/Problem icons, click one of them, click
      "New" button (button with an arrow), create new resource

    * Either from particular Question/Idea/Problem or list view
      (first button next to search bar), click particular
      Question/Idea/Problem, create new Solution byt typing text to
      edit widget

    * click comment button to make a comment for any existing solution

    Thats only initial implementation and might look too cumbersome.
    Any comments/suggestions are welcome.

(2) More Sugar Network client GUI improvements:

    * Scroll bar to random navigate among items.

(3) More integration with Home view:

    * Home view is aware of all local activities:
      * ~/Activities
      * /usr/share/sugar/activities
      * /opt/sweets

    * Home view reflects on changes in mentioned directories on the fly,
      e.g., unzip activity sources to ~/Activities and new item will
      appear in Home view

    * Changing status of Offline (Moon) or Favorite (Start) buttons
      in Sugar Network client reflects on Home view items (and

    Home view instruction is not completed, e.g., removing
    (uninstalling) activities from Home view doesn't work for now.

(4) Auto searching for Sugar Network servers in local network (e.g.,
    for Wifi Ad-hoc connections).

    If Sugar Network server's url (in "Sweets Distribution" Control Panel
    component) is empty, the system will try to find Sugar Network
    server automatically.

(5) Server mode.

    The Sugar Network architecture, in short, is that there is a server
    (or servers that are being synchronized with each other) and clients
    that use server's content. In addition, client have local content
    (including activities in ~/Activities directory).
    Sugar Network is being designed to support pretty restricted
    [in resources] deployment scenarios. For example, there are might
    be offline schools that have only laptops and nothing more (e.g.,
    Wifi access points and dedicated hardware for school servers).
    Exactly for such cases Server mode is designed.

    Assume we have several XOs flashed with Hexokinase demo image (see
    How to get the release section in this report) in offline
    environment. By default, these images configured to auto search
    Sugar Network servers. For one XO that is intended to be a Sugar
    Network server, go to "Sweets Distribution" Context Panel sections
    and check "Server mode" button. After restarting, connect to Ad-hoc
    from F1 view, this XO will be a Sugar Network server accessible via
    selected Ad-hoc. Select the same Ad-hoc connection for all other XOs
    and the will connect to the first XO.

    The server XO in Sugar Network client view (F8) will show local
    database. All other XOs in F8 view will show the same content. The
    workflow will be the same as XO connected to the master server in
    the Internet, including launching activities from the server.
    The easy way to add new activities on server XO is unzipping them to
    ~/Activities directory.

== How to get the release ==

Follow regular Sweets Distribution instructions to setup Factory
repository and start using it on supported platforms [4]:


Right after installation, Sugar Network integration will be disabled, to
enable it:


In addition, there are demo XO images created within the Hexokinase
[5] project. Follow the instructions to flash images:


For features and possible issues, consult Sweets Distribution Factory pages:


Note that current implementation is not yet optimized and it might take
too long time on XO-1 laptops. Thats a TODO point for Harmonic
Distribution 0.3 development release.

== See also ==

Christophe Guéret announced new stage in SemanticXO development process.


Both projects, Sugar Network and SemanticXO, look similar starting from
the purpose of creation (not effective usage of XO laptops in Peru) and
ending by high level architecture (Master/node servers, client connected to
servers). If both projects will be in active development process, there are
good chances to join efforts.

== Credits ==

* Peruvian community that supports this work. Especially by exposing the real need
  in such kind projects and help with making deployment (of Harmonic Distribution
  based project[2]) possible.
* World wide community members who donated funds to make full time
  working possible.
* People from mailing lists and IRC channels who are helping in
  development process.

[1] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Platform_Team/Harmonic_Distribution
[2] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sweets_Distribution
[3] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Network
[4] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Platform_Team/Harmonic_Distribution/Supported_platforms#Map
[5] http://pe.sugarlabs.org/go/Proyecto_Piloto_Hexoquinasa

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