[Sugar-devel] content bundles and the "OLPC Library" Browse home page

Eben Eliason eben at laptop.org
Thu Mar 19 14:22:12 EDT 2009

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:06 PM, Gary C Martin <gary at garycmartin.com> wrote:
> On 19 Mar 2009, at 16:58, Wade Brainerd wrote:
>> My hope going forward is that .xol bundles merge with .xo bundles and
>> that they become one and the same, each appearing on the Home view for
>> example.  HTML would just be another development platform for writing
>> Sugar activities, and what used to be non-interactive library content
>> would become first class activities (not necessarily with interactive
>> features, but possibly).
> +1 This is my hope/goal also, a selection of Sugar Activity templates/
> examples that provide a trivial path for various media types to be
> integrated as first class Activities.

I don't have any disagreement with making a variety of development
platforms available for activity developers, HTML included, but I
don't understand why this is conflated with content bundles.  As I've
always seen them, content bundles are meant as a delivery format for
sets or collections of content: images, sounds, books/pdfs, etc.  What
benefit is gained by considering such a collection of objects as an

- Eben

> This does raise the topic of scalability for the home view (a likely
> controversial Design Meeting on Saturday...) but having so much
> educational content it creates a UI presentation issue, would be a
> good UI issue to be solving :-)
> FWIW, the current favourite view + full list view scales well in this
> scenario; the list view as an equivalent your virtual book shelf, and
> the favourite view as your current working set.
> Regards,
> --Gary
>> There are discussions about this becoming a GSoC project, provided we
>> get a good student to do it.
>> Cheers,
>> Wade
>> On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 3:07 AM, S Page <skierpage at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> In SoaS2 I downloaded a .XOL and was able to run it from the Journal
>>> and it unpacked into ~/Library.
>>> But Browse doesn't show it on a library page.
>>> User "cwhii" noticed this a while back and complained about it, Sugar
>>> bug #1 (!), http://dev.sugarlabs.org/ticket/1 :
>>>  I expected "OLPC Library" with a list of libraries to pick from.
>>> That bug somehow turned into "Add support to Browse for
>>> distro-customised start page" and was upstreamed to Ubuntu.
>>> But Ubuntu providing a home page isn't going to bring the OLPC
>>> Library
>>> feature back.  I filed bug 574, http://dev.sugarlabs.org/ticket/574
>>> "Sugar lacks OLPC's dynamic content library".  The code to rebuild a
>>> page whenever you install a collection is in is package
>>> olpc-library-common, it's also the same code to build the OLPC home
>>> page from a template (more details in
>>> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Library#Developers:_How_it_works ).  Sugar
>>> 0.84 still expects this code: sugar-toolkit's contentbundle.py tries
>>> to invoke /usr/share/library-common/make_index.py when you install a
>>> .xol content bundle.
>>> I think the existing package would do the right thing in latest Sugar
>>> to recreate a library page.  The only wrinkle is that Browse
>>> hardcodes
>>> (in webactivity.py)
>>>  _LIBRARY_PATH = '/usr/share/library-common/index.html'
>>> as its home page, but make_index.py doesn't build this, it builds
>>> index.html in
>>>  output_path = '/home/olpc/.library_pages' # old but kept around
>>> for upgrades
>>> The latter page is hardcoded to refresh to the former, and so the
>>> user
>>> in Browse sees the newly-generated library page that links to her
>>> newly downloaded content.
>>> Although .xol collection handling is in sugar-toolkit, I think the
>>> format and the nifty updating library page could be a general design
>>> for content downloaded from the web, separate from Sugar.  But what
>>> are the plans for collections and "the library" in the future?  Are
>>> people thinking they'll be replaced by packages, or some library
>>> metadata format?  The elusive Sj wrote
>>> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Dynamic_library back in 2008...
>>> Cheers,
>>> --
>>> =S Page
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>>> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
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