[Sugar-devel] Idea for SOC

NoiseEHC NoiseEHC at freemail.hu
Tue Mar 24 14:57:16 EDT 2009

Since my name was called:
> I think this would be a very nice feature to have.  However, I do not
> think it is very likely to happen.
> 99.9% of Sugar users use Sugar on an OLPC XO-1 (maybe even more).  In
> general, Sugar is designed to target low-powered devices.  Blender will
> not be usable on these computers, because they do not have enough disk
> space, enough memory, or any hardware 3D acceleration.
As far as I know Blender was ported to the XO but somehow it was not 
hyped too much. Probably it was slow (but wireframe mode should have 
been OK) and the small XO screen is not too well suited for that UI I 
guess. The main problem could have been that probably they had to use 
Mesa3D and it provides approximately 1-2 frame/sec "speed" as my test 
showed. You should ask them how that stuff turned out.
> Some people (like NoiseEHC) have discussed writing a fast, simple 3D
> library for low-powered devices like the XO, but this has not happened
> yet, so 3D development is not likely to work well.
Yeah, I tried to design this 3D library before I had a real XO and my 
design tried to utilize the Geode documentation which turned out to be a 
little bit "sparse"... So after I got an XO and realized that I had to 
scrap all my designs I turned to existing software rendering libraries 
(I have tried almost all of them).
The conclusion is that writing a 3D app is a lot of work so probably 
just porting an existing app is the most sane. The best way of providing 
software rendering support for an existing application is probably to 
port a software OpenGL renderer to the Geode. Unfortunately it is a LOT 
of work so when I tried it (the winner was the OGL ES software renderer 
for the ARM by the way - formerly it was called Vincent 3D) I did not 
finish before my free time ran out last year. The problem with all of 
this is that I do not see too many education programs for children which 
_really_ need 3D.
If you take this route then at least use this and do not reinvent the wheel:
> If you can demonstrate a 3D modeling program that runs in this limited
> hardware, then people will be more interested, but without such a
> demonstration I think it this project is unlikely to be accepted.
Just to be a little bit negative I have another problem with 3D design 
software is that probably children will not be able to handle them. What 
little research I did in this area showed me that something like this is 
the most likely to be used (browsing the remnants of the site is 
recommended to everybody, good research there):
It is java so good luck! :(

So my (uneducated) opinion is that only some voxel models could probably 
be drawn and painted by small children. I can imagine a program which 
offers a set of templates like human/horse/dragon which have animations 
like two legged walking/four legged walking/walking and flying and then 
children could modify (like widen the legs or drawing horns) and paint 
those skeletons. My big-big problem is that currently I do not see any 
sound educational activities which would really need 3D figures to 
animate. Of course I would like to be proven wrong.
BTW if somebody could post a video on YouTube which shows children using 
the Story Builder or Cartoon Builder on the XO I would be very happy.


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