[sugar] Re: [oats-sig] OLPC and AT

Steve Lee steve
Fri Nov 17 09:33:16 EST 2006

Thanks Henrik, I've had thoughts along those lines myself. The hardware
certainly has many of the attributes needed. Flexible mounting and power
will be required and perhaps the screen is a little small. Touch screen
would be useful for VOCAs. The OSK-ng project should act as a focus for
improvements in switch and alt device access that can feed in.

I caught the end of a Sugar presentation at the Gnome Summit and it looked
good. I also felt it has potential as it is simplified (1 window at a time),
uncluttered, attractive and brings in important social software aspects.
Several of us there for the Accessibility Summit felt the demonstrated
implementation has minor accessibility issues such as reliance on colour but
I'm sure they will get ironed out with attention.

It could be a really persuasive platform for many AT users.
Such use might help reduce the order shortfall as well ;-)

Perhaps the Gnome a11y lists should be in on this as well for GOK, Orca,
AT-API etc? (I haven't added to limit cross posting).

Steve Lee

On 11/16/06, Henrik Nilsen Omma <henrik at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Hi All,
> David Colven and I talked a bit about the One Laptop Per Child project
> when we met in Oxford in September. See: http://www.ace-centre.org.uk/
> I think both the software and the little machine itself could be of
> interest to the wider AT community.
> The software - Sugar
> The machines run a simplified version of Redhat/Fedora Linux using some
> Gnome components. The user interface has been completely redesigned
> however, to make it much easier to navigate for children. The result is
> called 'Sugar'. See: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Software
> I think this interface could serve as a useful base for many AT
> deployments, being uncomplicated for both users to use and AT experts to
> configure ;) And of course it's fully open source, so features can be
> added or removed.
> The hardware - small, rugged and affordable
> A major issue in the AT world is the cost of highly specialised
> hardware. I think the more functionality we can provide on commodity
> hardware, the better for the user. It's cheaper and easier to service
> and upgrade.
> PCs have traditionally been fairly chunky in a home or mobile setting.
> Laptops are better, taking less space and with less cable clutter, but
> have traditionally been expensive. Neither is esp. rugged.
> The OLPC solves all these issues. It's small, light, rugged and clutter
> free. It has some standard inputs/outputs like USB and sound. It runs
> Linux and has various standard interface libraries like Cairo, Gecko,
> Pango, etc. installed, so it should be fairly easy to write suitable AT
> applications for it.
> See: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Hardware_specification and
> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/B1_Pictures
> Chris Jones of the Ubuntu accessibility team has already started to work
> with the OLPC hardware (main board) to investigate which of the existing
> AT tools for Linux might be suitable for it. I'll likely receive a
> beta-version laptop at some point as well for AT testing purposes.
> This is mainly just an introduction. Some members of he OLPC team came
> to the recent Ubuntu Development Summit and suggested we collaborate on
> accessibility amongst other things. I know that there are many AT
> experts on the oatsoft list, with both software and hardware experience.
> Please feel free to add your suggestions to the sugar mailing list:
> http://mailman.laptop.org/mailman/listinfo/sugar
> Henrik
> Ubuntu Accessibility Coordinator
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