[IAEP] [support-gang] Fwd: [Sugar-devel] Sugar Labs Roadmap. [SD 61; 79]

Caryl Bigenho cbigenho at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 10 12:44:17 EST 2013

Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2013 11:34:11 -0500
From: holt at laptop.org
To: support-gang at lists.laptop.org
Subject: [support-gang] Fwd: [Sugar-devel] Sugar Labs Roadmap. [SD 61;79]

From: Yioryos Asprobounitis <mavrothal at yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, Nov 10, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Subject: Re: [Sugar-devel] Sugar Labs Roadmap. [SD 61;79]
To: "sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org" <sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org>

Hi Folks… 
I've inserted my thoughts below using a different font to make it easier to follow who is "talking." It looks like Yioroys and I are thinking along the same lines.

> Does anyone else want to add their thoughts on:

These are all good for now but without the "safety" of the 2-3 million default users, SL can not just be the "upstream". There are some more fundamental questions now that we need to compete in the "open market".


In a nutshell, whom do we target and which of _their_ needs do we cover better than the competition?

1) Are we targeting (the educational department of) Governments? (ie become OLPC-A)-1

2) Are we targeting OEMs? (ie find OLPC-A replacements. Are there any?). If yes, which needs of *theirs* do we satisfy better than the competition?-1 

3) Are we targeting existing hardware and if yes, only those already running GNU/Linux? (The vast majority of hardware in and out of schools although it can, does not run GNU/linux let along Fedora, and is very likely to stay that way by just adding Android and iOS)

The current html5/js course suggests "door no 3", but I have a hard time thinking of something that runs in Windows XP-8.1, OSX 10.6-10.9, major flavors GNU/Linux, iOS and Android 4.x all at the same time and all well! Not even browsers, let along a UX within a browser.
Bert Freudenberg worked miracles with his cross platform version of Etoys… "Etoys To Go" (download here to try it… it is amazing! http://www.squeakland.org/download/ ). I tested it on a wide variety of platforms… PCs, Intel Macs, and Linux machines. It even worked on an old PowerBookG4 (which really surprised Bert). I don't know how he did it, but he might have some very insightful suggestions for expanding Sugar to run on multiple platforms.

This "open market" course also require some change in the development philosophy.

Do we still tell people how things should be done (a la Apple - and GNOME lately) or do we listen to their needs, experience and priorities? If yes which ones? Kids, parents, teachers, local/support techs, funding sources, all of the above (can we)?

Do we place Sugar next/parallel to other edu-apps or the "Sugar Desktop" is "mandatory"? If the latter, do we integrate (fully sugarize) other apps or stick with our native repertoire? 
Yes! Listen to our prospective clients! All of them! That is what successful businesses do (Apple excepted).  
That's a lot of questions with no answers and I can appreciate that these can not be addressed or affect sugar .102 or .104 but they may need to be decided soon for sugar .106 to materialize.

I also think that options 1 and 2 need a much stronger political cloud and a political environment of yesterdays to materialize. 

So let me suggest option #4 that I'm sure will "raise some eyebrows" (and hopefully not too much more than that :-) Today handhelds have really provided cheap and energy efficient computing and communications, and their penetrance is increasing rapidly around the globe.

Thus, build native Sugar for Tablets/Smartphones and *SELL* it for $1.99 through Google Play (and/or AppStore)  :-o
+1 (see above)

Obviously, provide the code and a way for rooted (or jail-broken) devices to install it for free, but people/organizations that opt for specific quality "locked" hardware and the Sugar software stack QA'ed and supported, must contribute (a token really) to its development. If you think of it is like what RHEL is doing and actually much cheaper. Or what OLPC was doing paying developers to develop software for the hardware that was *selling* to users.

I can appreciate that this "open market approach" is a major shift in the culture (but not the reality) of the community from "educational software politics and policies" to "proven educational software quality". But isn't quality what we primarily want from educational software? Yes, yes, yes!

Although there is plenty of room for improvement, Sugar has this quality and an installed base to support this claim, and should not be afraid of this course.

A strong market presence and user endorsement is actually much better than any PR event or political/academic endorsement in enhancing its appeal and removing the "3rd world/class" label from the project. 

So please consider distributing Sugar .106 through GooglePlay/Appstore!+1E1000!

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