[Sugar-devel] advice or direction on sugar development project
scottymon at gmail.com
Fri Jul 17 15:45:03 EDT 2009
I'm hoping this will be a good place to get connected with some people
who can help me with a Sugar/OLPC development project. Mainly looking
for advice and answers to specific questions, not necessarily
development work, but any help is welcome. Recommended to check out
this list by "sj". I don't know this person personally but one of my
team members (Becky Malamud ) does.
Anyway, our team (Rural Design Collective 2009) is working on a
project to bundle children's books from the Internet Archive into a
collection and make it available on the XO/OLPC platform in a friendly
and accessible way. There are 2900 books in the target collection, and
we estimate roughly 7 or 8 Gb of djvu files, about 2x that for pdfs.
In brief, our strategy along with issues we're trying to solve is as
1.create an autodownloader that will take a list of books (file) as
input and pull them into an “organized” directory structure off the
archive servers. We have already done this part.
2.Make a bundle(s) (or collection(s)) of these books and make it
easily distributable on the XOs. Here's where we could use some
2.1.we're thinking of putting the bundle on a flash drive, since the
XO can't store it. Are there any limits on size of bundles or
accessing flash drives that could be an issue?
2.2.With regard to “sharing” the collection: we're assuming that many
schools/users don't have access to a server or the internet, so how
best to make our bundle accessible to everyone?
a)Can the bundle stick be installed on one XO and accessed by others
via the mesh? Are there performance issues? -OR-
b)will each XO need its own stick? -OR-
c)is there a better way?
2.3.Select a format or formats to support. Pdf is supported out of
the box, but:
a)From a recent posting by sj, et al, we understand that pdf
performance in the read activity is very slow compared to djvu. Is
this true? From a “friendliness” perspective we want to maximize
performance and minimize file size. But the issue with going to djvu
is: it's not supported in read activity w/ sugar < 8.4? (is this
true?). Most XOs out there running < 8.4? (also true?). Thus, upgrade
needed to Sugar/Read, so:
can do sugar upgrade off of flash drive? Can automate upgrade to be
very user friendly/transparent? How? Is this even practical? -OR-
Could we just upgrade the read activity to support djvu? Same as above
– transparent upgrade off of flash drive, howto.
b)We're considering doing an ePub format experiment as well. This
would allow the books to be viewed in a web browser using AJAX
technology – eliminating the read activity compatibility issues (we
think). Right now we don't have books in ePub format, but that will be
coming soon. Thoughts on this as a direction?
3.Once we have the bundle and a way to distribute it, provide a
friendly interface to find the books and select them for reading.
Although they could be accessed from the Journal, we think a library
browser page would be nicer, so users could see book's cover
thumbnails, maybe a synopsis, and of course allow search by keyword
for titles/authors. Ideally, we'd distribute the browser page on the
same flash drive and it would be available to the browse activity. Is
there a method to access the library page and follow links to book
files on a flash drive?
4.Finally, we'd like to provide a set of utilities that would
automate download of materials and creation of content bundles along
with a nice interface to access them from the browse activity, and
optionally store it on a stick. The goal is to make it easy to do this
sort of thing so that the books can be read regardless of access to
the internet or a school server. Of course it could also be used on
systems other than the OLPC platform.
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