[IAEP] What's the long term vision of Sugar Labs?

Alex Perez aperez at alexperez.com
Thu Mar 28 21:19:32 EDT 2019


Great questions, and they're particularly relevant at this phase/age of 
the existence of Sugar Labs. They certainly can't be answered in a 
single e-mail, however I think this is a perfect conversation to have, 
particularly on our IAEP mailing list, which is our general purpose 
mailing list.

Sumit Srivastava wrote on 3/28/19 5:00 PM:
> Do we aim to be like Red Hat? Canonical? No match? Who are we closest 
> to? Who do we aim to be?

Speaking as an Oversight Board member, I do not believe it is in the 
interest of Sugar Labs to attempt to emulate a company like Red Hat and 
Canonical. These companies have hundreds/thousands of paid employees, 
and their organizational structure is a product of the needs of their 
corporate customers.

Right now, we have a few existential problems on the horizon, one of 
which is a long term problem, but which we now need to address in the 
short-term: Maintainability. Sugar has a lot of "technical debt", and 
unless we can complete our goal of 100% Python 3 compatibility of all 
core Sugar libraries and the toolkit, we risk the loss of being able to 
be run as a desktop environment on current versions of Linux, due to our 
reliance on Python 2. Since Python 2 has been on life support for many, 
many years, and is only nine months from being officially retired, it 
will no longer be maintained by the Python Foundation, nor included by 
default in the next versions of Fedora and Ubuntu. You can read further 
details about the sunsetting of Python 2 at https://pythonclock.org 

> I understand that these are a lot of questions. You can also share 
> relevant mail archive links if they're available.
> I also understand that we're a non profit and the organisations I 
> mentioned might not be a close match.
I personally do not think the core entity of Sugar Labs should be a 
commercial entity, but non-profit organizations are completely entitled 
to be profitable, and many are quite  for the profitable. Personally, I 
would like to see the development of a federated model, where we have 
country/regionally-centered "chapters" of Sugar Labs, with Sugar Labs 
itself taking the in-the-field feedback from our distributed user base, 
and incorporating and triaging suggestions/feedback,
> Essense of my question: If we could achieve anything, what would we want?
I would love to see a world where Sugar was used extensively, worldwide, 
by children in the primary school age range, with a wide range of 
actively-maintained activities, relevant to the current curricula of a 
variety of countries, and of interest to elementary school teachers, 
across all socioeconomic groups. How we get there is the real question, 
assuming we want to, and have the organizational will to do so.

As for what our "long term vision" is, I honestly don't think we have 
one at this point, and we should fix that, which is one of the reasons 
why I chose to run for the Sugar Labs Oversight Board. Our next meeting 
is next Friday, on 2019-04-05 at 20:00 UTC, on IRC, in the 
#sugar-meeting channel on FreeNode. Feel free to join us and observe, as 
well as ask questions before and after the official meeting commences.

> Regards
> Sumit Srivastava
> _______________________________________________
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep

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