[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2014-10-01
walter.bender at gmail.com
Wed Oct 1 12:43:10 EDT 2014
1. September was an exciting month. We held the first Sugar Youth
Summit in Montevideo, organized by Daniel Francis and Jose Miguel
Garcia and generously hosted by ANEP. The event featured a day-long
symposium and series of workshops, including ones on Turtle Art,
Butia, and how to write a Sugar activity. One teacher who attended the
Turtle Art workshop exclaimed that she could not believe the progress
The event was attended by youths from Uruguay and Paraguay and
educators and developers from as far away as Nicaragua and Colombia.
We had an Argentine contingent as well.
The symposium and workshops were held on Software Freedom Day. Given
the number of Python programmers in attendance, it occurred to me that
we should petition the city of Montevideo to rename itself Monty
Python (after whom the language was named) for Software Freedom Day
The day before the symposium Gonzalo Odiard, Mariana Herrera, Jose
Miguel, and I visited a school for children with special needs. As a
result, during the code sprint that followed the symposium, we wrote
three new activities that have their content and user interface
tailored to the school's population. Lorena Paz from Argentina, also
in attendance, resurfaces a number of issues around accessibility that
we will consider in the coming months as well.
Coincident with the weekend of hacking was a robo-Sumo contest at
FING. It was a good opportunity to spend time with Andres Aguirre and
Alan Aguiar of Butia fame and to recruit some new talent. Several of
the more competitive kids joined us in the workshops. They took a
special interest in Turtle Blocks 3D, one of the Google Summer of Code
projects that is coming into its own.
Gonzalo and I also got a chance to meet with a group of teachers
conviened by Jose Miguel at his office at ANEP. These teachers are
engaged in various project-based learning initiatives across the
country. Really good work -- utilizing the computer as a tool to
enhance authentic inquiry by the children. I look forward to continued
interactions with them.
2. At the workshop, Martin Abente presented the initial plans for
Sugar 104. (Martin has generously offered to be the release manager.)
The new features under consideration can be found at .
We'll be discussing these features in an online meeting on 2 October
at 13 UTC. Please join us on irc.freenode.net #sugar-meeting.
3. I've been working on polishing up the Turtle Blocks 3D code over
the past few weeks. There are a number of improvements from where we
(Anubhav and I) left things this summer. Notably, the interface
between Turtle Blocks and Blender is much richer. You can export .OBJ
files from Turtle and import them into Blender and export .OBJ files
from Blender and import them into Turtle. Currently I am working on
adding a 3D cursor, which I designed and rendered in Turtle Blocks 3D
itself. See  for a preview.
4. I've been working on a new activity similar to the Portfolio
activity that is geared towards reflection. Like Portfolio, it draws
upon Journal items that have been starred. It also allows the user to
create reflections unrelated to any Journal items. The presentation is
quite different from Portfolio, which is modeled after a slide show.
Reflect is more like a stream, similar to the news feeds in Facebook
and Google+. The stream supports comments and attaching media, and it
can be searched by #tags. A preview is available at . Feedback most
5. It is time to begin preparing for the annual Sugar Labs Oversight
Board election (AKA SLOBs). Four (4) seats are open (due to staggered
seat terms) for election / re-election to the Sugar Labs Oversight
Board for 2013-2014, those of Daniel Francis, Gonzalo Odiard, Adam
Holt, and Claudia Urrea. Please let me know if you are interested
running for one of our board seats and also, please add your self to
the candidates' wiki page . Also, since only members receive
ballots, please be sure to sign up for membership by following the
instructions in the wiki . Finally, we need help running the
election itself. Please contact me (or Luke Faraone) if you are
interested in helping.
=== In the community ===
6. Several of us will be in the Bay Area for the Google Summer of Code
summit in late October. In conjunction with that event, we'll be
holding a code sprint to look at the collaboration stack. If
7. The next Turtle Art Day event will be a workshop at the ??? School
in Summerville. Carolyn Meeks is hosting the event. I've been busy
making Sugar-on-a-Stick USB keys to give the kids. (I'm using Ruben
Rodriguez's Trisquel TOAST image , which has an up-to-date copy of
We are also planning a Turtle workshop in San Francisco in October.
=== Tech Talk ===
8. Lionel Laské recently announced the fourth version (0.4) of
Sugarizer, a taste of Sugar for any device . Sugarizer reproduces
browser or as an Android application. Lionel presents Sugarizer in a
talk at SugarCamp Paris .
9. Sebastian Silva and Laura Vargas recently announced that > 20000
children are now using Sugar Network. Tip of the hat to Aleksey Lim
who has been working diligently behind the scenes on the project.
=== Sugar Labs ===
10. Please visit our planet at .
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