[Sugar-devel] some efforts that would be really useful for deployments

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Thu Nov 26 13:02:47 EST 2009

On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 5:17 PM, Daniel Drake <dsd at laptop.org> wrote:
> Customizing browse homepage
> The procedure to do this is too complicated for most deployments, and is
> undocumented.
> Customizing which activities are in the favourites view by default

One thing I am hoping for is to include a "sample customisation
script" with image-builder that shows all the customisation tricks we
know, commented out.

The same tricks (which conffiles to write to) should be included in
the kickstarts for the F11 builds...

> Automatic activity upgrading
> Activity updating is too difficult for young children to understand and
> is very hard to coordinate across a classroom.
> This one I have never had time to hack a fix into place.
> Also the "You should upgrade your activities" notice needs to die.

IMHO, we need to hook this up better with olpc-update.

> Unregistering from an XSes / registering with multiple XSes
> A hack available here: http://dev.sugarlabs.org/ticket/362
> Still no user-friendly or documented way of doing this.

Unregister I don't mind, but register w multiple XSs does have is
troublesome aspects...

> Full journal restore, and backup control
> http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/9250
> We still don't have a good way of browsing backups or restoring multiple
> files (e.g. the whole journal) in 1 go.

Happy to help on the Moodle side on this.

For example, if Sugar can understand a "collection of JEBs" format, I
would be happy to implement that from the Sugar side. That would be a
trivial thing to implement at both ends...

> Registration is a real headache in classrooms right now. It's just a bit
> of an alien concept for new computer users.

Registration -- maybe we can advance the protocol a bit, relying on
some of the crypto in place.

Example: Issue a challenge with a nonce, and if the server gives us a
good (signed) reply, auto-register.

> If
> you try to register before connecting then a bug somewhere means that
> you can't even complete a successful registration after connecting --

You've mentioned that a few times. I've seen situations that sure
looked like that, but I cannot repro that bug on 802, and reading the
code there's no smoking gun. There must be something subtle to this
particular problem.

> But why do we force users through the pains of registering at all? We
> control all the technical bits, lets automate it to hunt down the
> specific school server and register.
> http://dev.sugarlabs.org/ticket/1152

For non-OLPC-crazy-crypto deployments, other means of identifying the
server as legit can be rigged up...

> And once we're that far, why do users have to select which network to
> connect to?  This is also a significant classroom challenge.

Right now, distro spinners can "seed" networks.cfg -- from
olpc-configure or a similar init script. Maybe it could be something
that olpc-configure knows how to do, and then reads from an
/etc/olpc-configure/trusted_networks and merges that smartly into
networks.cfg ...


 martin.langhoff at gmail.com
 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
 - ask interesting questions
 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
 - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff

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