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

Jonathan Chetwynd j.chetwynd
Mon Nov 27 12:51:55 EST 2006

It seems that a touchscreen has been rejected by OLPC, though this  
isn't certain.
It's hard to understand how the proposed OLPC paint program would be  
used effectively.

Many children and adults with low literacy gain significant skills  
from drawing rather than typing.
Similarly there are potential benefits in encouraging development of  
literacy through trace programs.

"Chalk" being one attempt to describe the requirements for an  
improved "Slate"


Jonathan Chetwynd

On 16 Nov 2006, at 11:05, Steve Lee wrote:

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

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:

Ubuntu Accessibility Coordinator

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