[Sugar-devel] The ARM is near

David Farning dfarning at sugarlabs.org
Thu Aug 27 15:53:28 EDT 2009

On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 2:48 PM, Benjamin M.
Schwartz<bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> Sharp PC-Z1:
> http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/27/sharps-5-inch-pc-z1-netwalker-honors-the-zaurus-legacy/
> Nokia N900:
> http://maemo.nokia.com/n900/
> A new wave of devices is approaching.  They have touchscreens, but they
> also have qwerty keyboards.  They have long battery life, and built-in
> wireless networking.  They are lightweight, and sized well for children.
> They use Cortex A8 processors based on a core licensed from ARM.  They are
> designed to allow the user to replace the operating system as she chooses,
> but they only support one kernel: Linux.
> In my view, these devices are a natural target for Sugar, despite lacking
> full-size keyboards ideal for programming.  They are ready for us.  In
> fact, the PC-Z1 ships with Ubuntu preinstalled.
> Unfortunately, we are not ready for them.  Specifically, we have two major
> issues to solve:
> 1. Many Activities contain Fedora 9 x86-32 binary code, and just won't run
> on other platforms.  We need to reach a consensus on a multiplatform
> standard for Activities, and then implement it.  The options for such a
> standard are obvious enough.  The hard part is to choose the right one,
> implement it, and make it stick.

Are you up for championing this?  Abstracting out architecture
dependant code is painful yet very necessary process.


> 2. We have not done the work needed to make our interface work well on a
> touch-screen, with or without a stylus.  As touch-screens become more
> common, we risk being left behind.
> If you have the hardware to test these features, and the interest to make
> them happen, I urge you to take a lead.  Solving these problems is an
> important contribution that you can make.
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