[Sugar-devel] Sugar Digest 2009-12-10

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Dec 10 09:54:22 EST 2009

=== Sugar Digest ===

1. Of course the big news this week is the launch of Sugar on a Stick
V2 (Blueberry). Sebastian Dziallas has done a great job of
synthesizing the joint efforts of the Sugar (0.86) and Fedora (F12)
communities. The new release is a huge improvement over Strawberry
(our beta from last spring.) Sean Daly and the marketing team have
done an outstanding job of getting the word out. There has been
far-reaching coverage of the release in the press—all quite favorable.
Congratulations to the Sugar Community for a great effort and
wonderful results.

2. I gave the keynote at the Netbook World Summit in Paris on Tuesday,
where I used the occasion to formally announce the Blueberry release.
This is the second year of the Summit; it is a relatively small
event—about 200 attendees—but very well representative of the netbook
industry, which is dominated by the European market. While I mostly
discussed Sugar, it behooved me to talk a bit about the netbook
industry as a whole. I picked up on a theme from my talk last year:
"culture war". Last year, I described the advantage that the netbook
had over the smart phone because it was free from the restrictions
placed on it by service providers (a polite term for phone companies).
I predicted an explosion of innovation in the netbook market and a
homogenization of the smart-phone market. Boy was I ever wrong.
Netbooks, for the most part, all look the same and all offer the same
functionality (Litl being a notable exception). Meanwhile, Apple and
Google have turned the smart-phone industry on its head. How many
"apps" are in the Apple store this week? The key in my mind was that
the netbook industry has aligned itself more closely with "software as
a service" proponents such as Microsoft while control of the smart
phone has been wrestled away from the service providers—the consumer
is (at least to some extent) the driver of change (See the discussion
of the caveats associated with the "there's an app for that" culture
in an earlier posting). So my challenge to the netbook community was
to invest in empowerment of the consumer to be a creator. The form
factor of the netbook not only makes it better suited for netbooks
than a smart-phone, but also better suited for almost any creative or
expressive task. We learn through doing and the netbook can be a
platform for doing.

3. In a related topic, there has been a discussion on the devel list
about packaging. I've argued that perhaps we are not friendly enough
to new (children) developers and that we should offer more on-ramps if
we really want to spread the culture of doing and sharing.

4. Another interesting discussion—prompted by the inclusion of some
ebooks in the Blueberry release—has been on the topic copyright. What
licenses would be appropriate for material included in a Sugar
release. Is the commercial vs non-commercial (NC) distinction
important? Or is the most important distinction between share-alike
(SA) and non derivatives (ND)? We had a good discussion on the topic
at last week's oversight board meeting (See the
and will (hopefully) wrap up the discussion at this week's meeting.
Please join us at 15 UTC (10 EST) on Friday, 11 December, in
#sugar-meeting on irc.freenode.net.

=== In the community ===

5. It is not too late to participate in this week's Squeakland Book
Sprint to create a Reference Manual for Etoys. You can find more
information at [http://wiki.squeakland.org/display/sq/Book+Sprint].

6. Steven Parrish has blogged
[http://smparrish.livejournal.com/11639.html] about Sugar at FUDCon,
the Fedora User and Developer Conference held this past weekend in
Toronto. These opportunities for face-to-face meeting are important.

"I met Sebastian Dziallas of 'Sugar on a Stick' fame. Bernie Innocenti
and Peter Robinson who ar both volunteers for SugarLabs. We spent some
time talking Sugar and plans to evolve Sebastian's SOAS and my 'Fedora
for the XO-1' projects from Fedora Remixes to actual Spins and the
work that will be involved in doing so. Sebastian and I also gave a
joint talk during BarCamp on both of the afore mentioned projects."

7. Tomeu Vizoso has been representing Sugar Labs at Ceibal 09 in
Uruguay. At this annual gathering of OLPC participants, Tomeu has had
an opportunity to interact with both engineers and teachers. Expect
details in his blog. Meanwhile, for those of you who speak Spanish,
you may want to read Gonzalo Odiard's
post] to the Sur list. As Gabriel Eirea notes in a reply to Gonzalo,
"[that] Tomeu be invited to this event and stay working a few days
represents a significant [positive] change" in the Ceibal attitude
towards the community.

=== Help Wanted ===

8. Speaking of blogs, we are looking for someone who would want to
take over management of Sugar Planet and to help it further flourish;
we could use a new CSS and HTML templates, improved
editorial controls, new writers, etc.

=== Tech Talk ===

9. As mentioned above, Steven Parrish has been making steady progress
on F11 for the OLPC XO-1.0 laptop. This effort is key to being able to
run the more recent (0.84 or 0.86) versions of Sugar in Peru and
Uruguay. Any help you can offer Steven (including testing) would be
greatly appreciated.

=== Sugar Labs ===

10. Gary Martin has generated a SOM from the past week of discussion
on the IAEP mailing list (Please see


Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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