[sugar] Sugar Digest 2008-06-29

Walter Bender walter.bender
Sun Jun 29 14:25:02 EDT 2008

I am sending out the Sugar Digest early this week in order to
advertise the Sugar Labs meeting taking place in Milan tomorrow
(Monday, 30 June 2008). We'll be reporting on the meeting on the
#sugar-meeting channel of irc.freenode.net beginning at approximately
9:00 UTC+2. Please join in (Also, feel free to send any questions or
comments beforehand to walter at sugarlabs.org).

The rough agenda is as follows:

 9:00   Sugar Labs governance and the Software Freedom Conservancy:
any outstanding issues
10:00   Sugar Labs: what are we really trying to accomplish?
12:00   Sugar distributions: what are the issues?
13:00   break for lunch
14:00   Sugar Labs look and feel: a graphic design review
15:00   Sugar on mobile phones: is it possible? does it make sense?
16:00   Sugar Labs: models of support
17:00   Fund raising: how much, from whom, and for what purposes?
18:00   Wrap up

=== Sugar Digest ===

1. Software Freedom Conservancy: Bradley Kuhn has written to inform us
that the Conservancy Board has provisionally approved Sugar's
application to join the Conservancy. It is a timely decision in light
of tomorrow's discussion.

2. Biofeedback: Tom Boonsiri has blogged about the experiences of
children using the work he has been doing on integrating biofeedback
into Sugar (Please see http://olpcgoldenstate.blogspot.com). "We've
developed two very low cost ($10) and easy to use peripheral
prototypes to carry across our lesson plan effectively."

3. Immokalee: Timothy Falconer send links to a two-part NPR story on
Waveplace's Sugar/XO and Etoys pilot in Immokalee, Florida (You can
listen at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91891812
and see photos at http://waveplace.com/mu/waveplace/item/tp142).

4. FLOSS Manuals: With some gentle prompting from Dave Farning, Anne
Gentle has been leading a discussion community efforts to document
Sugar. She is circulating some ideas for getting more energy behind
some of the separate document deliverables FLOSS Manuals could target,
including a Turtle Art "manual" (Please see
http://en.flossmanuals.net/). If you would like to volunteer to do
some writing, please join the discussions
and http://lists.lo-res.org/mailman/listinfo/its.an.education.project).
We will be discussing how to prioritize efforts (perhaps in a manner
similar to Trac). Suggestions welcome.

5. Sugar talk in Brazil: There has been an interesting discussion
about Sugar on the OLPC Brasil list (Por favor, consulte

6. Etoys and Debian: Another animated discussion has revolved around
inclusion of Etoys in the Debian distribution. While we haven't yet
reached consensus, the bottom line, as expressed by Yoshiki Ohshima,
is the desire to work together "to empower children all over the world
via computer technology and education."  The greater the reach of
Etoys, the more children (and others) can "exchange projects, share
ideas, work together, and unite."

7. Etoys documentation: Ted Kaehler reports that the PDF version of
the Etoys QuickGuides has been updated to the latest guides (Please
see http://wiki.laptop.org/images/8/81/The_Etoys_Quick_Guides.pdf).
Note that the QuickGuides are also available from the Help icon within
Etoys itself and on the web
(http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Etoys_QuickGuides_Index). Kathleen Harness
is the author of these excellent guides; editorial and technical
assistance were provided by Kim Rose and Ted Kaehler.

=== Community jams and meetups ===

8. Libre Software: Hilaire Fernandes reports that the 9th Libre
Software Meeting will be held at Mont de Marsan, Landes, in SW France,
from the 1 to the 5 of July. This year, Squeak/Smalltalk will be
largely represented with conferences and workshops

OLPC France is planning an Idea Contest
which will be announced at the meeting (http://2008.rmll.info/).

===Tech Talk===

9. Patch reviews: Marco Pesenti Gritti has recommended that we go back
to using Trac as the primary mechanism for patch reviews: "While it's
good to have patches review on the list so that everyone can
participate easily, it also makes it very difficult to track the
status of each patch and it's easy to forget some of them." The new
process (http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/DevelopmentTeam/CodeReview#Patch_submission)
is described in the wiki.

10. Turtle Art: Arjun Sarwal reports progress on a modification of
Turtle Art with sensors that uses python-alsaaudio, which makes
getting samples much easier and more straightforward.

11. Measure: Arjun has also been reorganizing the wiki pages
associated with Measure Activity and sensors with the aim that there
should be more easily accessible information on the page (A very rough
outline here http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Measure/New_temp). Arjun hopes
to release a new Measure Activity in a week or so that is more readily

12. Logo: Brian Harvey is looking for help "sugarizing" Berkeley Logo,
an interpreter for the Logo programming language licenced under GPL.
It currently runs under Linux from an xterm window and a separate X11
window for graphics. (The source code is available at
http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~bh/logo.html). There is also an
experimental version using wxWidgets that is about 90% working. Brian
thinks it may be relevant because that version knows about creating
and managing windows, including an interactive text window, so it
might be an easier starting point for a Sugar version (Please see

13. Vision processing: Nirav Patel is working on a library of computer
vision tools for pygame (Please see
http://git.n0r.org/?p=pygame-nrp;a=summary). There is currently a
pygame version 1.8.1 with the addition of a camera module that
supports v4l2 cameras that use MMAP and have pixelformats of RGB24,
RGB444, YUYV, SBGGR8, or YUV420. Basic usage is as follows:

 import pygame
 from pygame import camera

 cam = camera.Camera("/dev/video0", (640, 480), "RGB")  # the third
argument can be YUV or HSV too.
 frame = cam.get_image() # the frame returned is a 24bit pygame Surface

See http://eclecti.cc/bytes/living-pointillism-a-pygame-webcam-script
and http://eclecti.cc/files/centroid.py for more examples.

14. Sugar almanac: Faisal Anwar continues to make progress (with
community contributions) on the Sugar almanac (Please see
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Sugar-api-doc). He asks that you pease keep
the feedback coming. Among many other additions, the Sugar Almanac now
has a section on using the datastore.

15. Tomeu Vizoso's busy week:
* Talked with Dennis Gilmore about making a new release of Gnash for the XO;
* Clean up the Trac mess along with Marco;
* Use the correct activity icon for drag and drop; and
* Fix alignment of icons in the frame.

=== Sugar Labs ===

16. Self-organizing map (SOM): Gary Martin has generated another SOM
from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Image:2008-June-21-27-som.jpg). List
activity picked up this week; the ongoing Smalltallk/Debian drama is

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