[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] Sugar all-hands meeting

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Wed May 27 20:36:48 EDT 2015

As meetings are usually held at a time that is difficult for me, I'll
give some of my feedback below.

(Disclosure statement: the author provides paid consulting to OLPC,
and OLPC does benefit from Sugar Labs and XSCE releases.  The author
receives no direct funding from Sugar Labs, XSCE or any deployment.)

On Tue, May 26, 2015 at 03:29:48PM -0400, Samuel Greenfeld wrote:
> Looking at past minutes, I think I am proposing more of a change in
> procedure than topics for the oversight meeting.  We need to get
> more people involved than are present in the IRC meetings.

People get involved in things that are interesting and where they can
contribute, but not necessarily in competition.  For me, meetings of
diverse people are a form of interpersonal competition, and an
effective way to not do real work.

I am in favour of greater communication, but I doubt such a meeting
would be effective in achieving that.

The largest and most frequent meeting I'm aware of is the XSCE weekly
community Skype teleconference.  Inviting Sugar Labs or OLPC people
into that community would be efficient.  However, for me, I'm asleep.

It also isn't clear who is attending the XSCE weekly meeting, as a
roll call is not kept.

It is held at 10AM US/Eastern, which is not suitable for any
volunteers in that timezone with paid work.  But this may be
intentional, I don't know.

> In general I am echoing what was said on the "Planning for the
> Future" email thread from three months ago.
> But some topics (for the oversight meeting or an all-hands meeting)
> would be:
>  1. What can Sugar publicly commit to having in terms of
>     users/developers/ finances/etc. beyond what was mentioned in the
>     deployment survey.

Of these, the survey only mentions users, and I don't think it is
rational for Sugar Labs to commit to user quantities.

>     Witness Dan's complaints over the 3 million number, James noting
>     no one filed a bug report for Sugar 0.105.1 yet,

That's because it is nearly perfect.  ;-)  On the other hand, we have
time yet, I'm just pushing things along.

>     the lack of candidates for past elections, the lack of
>     interaction between the XS development and Sugar development
>     communities, etc.

If they want to separate themselves, who are we to judge?

>     It also would be useful to know what users/developers/etc. could
>     publicly commit to Sugar.

I anticipate no answer to this question.

>  2. What is being done to address the main issues raised by
>     deployments in the latest development survey.

It may be helpful to look at what has been done since the survey:

- activities that do not work in newer Sugar versions: fixed in
  0.105.1 for a large set of activities, please upgrade once 0.106 is
  released, or ask your deployment team to backport the patch,

- poor support of newer Sugar versions in XO-1, in particular problems
  with the Browse activity: fixed by OLPC and Sugar Labs in 13.2.4 for
  XO-1, after a few entirely _private_ problem reports,

- not be able to install Sugar in other computers (like teachers
  desktop computers): work in progress by OLPC and Sugar Labs to
  prepare Debian and Ubuntu systems that can be installed as a virtual
  machine or on desktop hardware, to complement the existing Fedora

- problems to run a school server: work is in progress by the XSCE
  project, but as you haven't copied them they won't be responding.

>  3. A complete holistic overhaul of how releases are done and
>     marketed.  Sugar was originally created with a "if you build it,
>     they will come" approach that many community members have at
>     least privately complained about.

Here you are no doubt not talking about releases of Sugar, but
releases of builds for hardware.

>     We need real-world examples of how to integrate Sugar with
>     curriculums, reference deployments willing to speak with
>     prospective ones, etc.

That's in the survey feedback, but it doesn't seem related to how
releases are done and marketed.

>     Setting up Sugar needs to be no harder than a child using it for
>     the first time.

Do you mean installing a build?  That's a rather rosy view of hardware
used in deployments of Sugar.  They aren't all XO laptops, and so
there's no way to simplify setup to that level.

>  4. What is being done to attract new deployments, developers
>     (besides GSoC) and project sponsors.
>  5. I would like to propose a "Sugar Ambassador" program similar to
>     the Fedora one where less-technical members of the community
>     could engage with other groups to figure out what they would
>     need to use Sugar.  This does not necessarily mean that we need
>     to fly them everywhere; but it would give us a good idea of what
>     might be required to obtain gain certain types of deployments.

Hmm, shrug.  Names for things that we do anyway.  ;-)

James Cameron

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