[Sugar-devel] [ANNOUNCE] Sucrose 0.86.0 Final Release

Simon Schampijer simon at schampijer.de
Wed Sep 30 16:01:04 EDT 2009

Dear Sugar Community,

this is the Final Release in our Sucrose 0.86 development cycle 
(http://sugarlabs.org/go/0.86/Roadmap#Schedule)! Sucrose 0.86 is the 
latest version of the Sugar learning platform, consisting of Glucose, 
the base system environment; and Fructose, a set of demonstration 

Sucrose is released every six months. Each new release contains new 
features, improvements, bug fixes, and translations. Sucrose 0.86 
continues this tradition and is our third well-planned release to date.

Full release notes with all the links and pictures can be found at: 

Many people contributed to this release indirectly, including testing, 
documentation, translation, contributing to the Wiki, outreach to 
education and developer communities. On behalf of the community, we give 
our warmest thanks to the developers and contributors who made this 
Sugar release possible.

Thanks everyone for your great contributions!

In behalf of the sugar community,
    Your Release Team

== What is new for users ==

=== Activity Toolbar redesign ===
The toolbar used in the Activities has been redesigned. The previous 
design using small text tabs to group toolbar options together caused a 
number of usability difficulties. Many of these issues have been 
addressed in the redesign. For example, the redesign provides a solution 
for the "how do I stop an activity" issue (the older toolbar design did 
not provide an always visible "Stop" button, causing confusion for our 
young learners). Among the Activities, Browse, Write, Calculate, 
Terminal, Read, ImageViewer, and Turtle Art have already been ported to 
use the new Toolbar design, while work on many others is under way.

=== Switch to Metacity window manager ===
Sugar has switched from Matchbox to a new window manager, Metacity. 
Matchbox was designed for small devices; it forces ''all'' applications 
to run maximized. Sugar can be run on devices with much larger screens, 
and while activities native to Sugar are designed to be run maximized 
(full screen), some applications not specifically designed for Sugar can 
behave in unexpected ways when run with Matchbox. The switch to Metacity 
means that many "unsugarized" applications will run better inside of 
Sugar (e.g. Inkscape, Gimp). We endeavor to ensure that "traditional" 
desktop applications run well in Sugar, without requiring programming or 
behavioral changes.

=== Flash Activities ===
Gnash has been added to the Sugar Platform, meaning that authors of 
education content can use Flash tools to create first class activities 
for Sugar.

=== Tabs in Browse ===
Some web pages contain links that are designed to be opened in a new 
window. The Browse Activity now opens these links in new tabs inside the 
main activity window, similar to the behavior of most common web 
browsers, thus providing a better browsing experience. Note that this 
feature does not yet allow the user to explicitly open any link in a new 
tab or explicitly create a new tab.

=== Ad hoc Networking ===
New ad-hoc networking facilities allows you to connect with other Sugar 
users over wireless in an ad-hoc manner without relying on any wireless 
networking infrastructure. This is the so called "under-a-tree 
scenario", where children can work, play, and learn collaboratively in 
any place imaginable, without requiring any wireless access point, which 
for many children is unavailable or only available at school. (The One 
Laptop per Child XO-1 computer provides similar functionality with its 
firmware-based 802.11s (mesh) network.)

Ad-hoc networking allows Sugar to use this feature with most of the 
wireless hardware commonly found on computers. Furthermore it allows one 
to share an Internet connection using the same mechanism.

=== Read ===
The Read Activity now has support for Epub files. Epub is a standard 
format for ebooks which is gaining fast acceptance in the (e)book 
publishing and distribution community. A number of websites such as 
feedbooks.com, epubbooks.com and Google Books provide high-quality, Epub 
books for download at no charge. In addition to Epub support, this 
release of the Read Activity also lets one associate (add and edit) 
notes with bookmarks, and it has a more useful full-screen view that 
roughly indicates battery life without requiring the invocation of the 
Sugar Frame.

=== Software Update ===
The software-update control panel is now included in standard Sugar. It 
uses the Sugar Activity Library at http://activities.sugarlabs.org to 
check for and install the latest Activity updates available. This makes 
it easier for users to update to the latest version of a given Activity, 
and makes smoother for developers to publish and distribute newer 
version of Activities.

=== Improved Accessibility ===
Some parts of Sugar (Journal and Home list view) have been modified to 
use Gtk+ widgets, instead of HippoCanvas, which had no accessibility 
support. This is a part of an ongoing effort to make Sugar work 
seamlessly with accessibility tools such as screen readers and 
magnifiers so that everyone can benefit from Sugar, regardless of 
physical or mental abilities. Among other accessibility enhancements, 
more Sugar tools now show their keyboard shortcuts to help their 
discovery and Activities in the activity tray frame use palettes that 
show both their names and text title.

=== Keyboard Settings ===
The Sugar control panel (found under ''My Settings'') has a new section 
for selecting multiple keyboard layouts, as well as the keyboard model. 
This feature will allow users who do not use the US QWERTY keyboard 
layout/model to easily switch to their preferred configuration.

=== Home Favourites View Improvements ===
Resuming and starting new activities from the Home favorites view has 
been enhanced by simplifying the Activity palettes so that activities 
cannot be accidentally deleted or removed from the favorites view. All 
Activity management is now done via the Home List View. Tip: To quickly 
start a new activity without using the palette, one hold the "Alt" key 
and click an activity icon.

=== Improved File Transfer ===
The Journal ''"Send to friend"'' feature has been extended to support 
file transfers via a Jabber server, previously this only worked for 
machines on the same local network. This now allows one to transfer 
Journal entries to any available friends, regardless of the underlying 
communication mechanism (a remote Jabber server, or the local network). 
One can use the Neighborhood View to add new friends.

=== New share button ===
The design of the share button has changed. We hope that the 
functionality is easier to discover that way.
[[Image:New share button.png|thumb|none|800px|The new share button.‎]]

=== Reordered the buddy menu items ===
As requested from the field, the order in the buddy menu has been 
changed. The shutdown options is placed first, as it is the most 
frequently used. The Restart option has been removed.

==Update to this version ==
Please use the instructions for your distribution (SoaS, Fedora, Ubuntu, 
Debian etc) of choice to upgrade to this release.

== What's new for developers ==
The following changes are important for developers using the Sucrose 
0.86 developer platform.

=== Widgets ===
* New Toolbars: Sugar has switched to a new toolbar design. The simplest 
example can be found in the hello world activity. If you want to group 
functionality into a secondary toolbar you can have a look at the 
terminal activity. To have a consistent layout over activities please 
group the edit and view toolbar to the left. The items on the toolbar 
should be aligned to the left.
* New Share button: The design of the share button has changed. If your 
activity does not support collaboration you can set the activity class 
member max_participants to '1' which makes the share button insensitive.
* CellRenderIcon: This new widget allows to place sugar svg icons in a 
gtk.TreeView. The '''CellRendererInvoker''' is used for the palette 
* RadioPalette: Base class for the ShareButton.
* PaletteWindow: A PaletteWindow widget has been added.

=== API ===
* To add the toolbar_box to the activity we use a toolbar_box property 
now instead of the set_toolbox method.

=== Dependencies ===
* Switch from Matchbox to Metacity. To activity authors this means that 
their windows need to be user-resizable which in turn requires that the 
layout adapts changes in window size.

=== Activity Authors guidelines ===
The md5 and sha module have been deprecated in python 2.6. Please clean 
up your sources accordingly. We encourage every author, fructose or 
other activity authors to follow the Code_guidelines. Please mind that 
we have the source view functionality enabled and that kids are able to 
have a look at the code. They hopefully find consistent and well written 

== What's new for packagers ==
* sugar-base: new dependency: python-decorator: 
* Sugar: Metacity: The switch to Metacity as window manager is dependent 
on this 
commit] that adds a command line option to disable autofullscreening 
maximized windows without decorations.
* Sugar: The keyboard control panel: 
http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/LibXklavier libxklavier >= 4.0, 
http://download.sugarlabs.org/sources/external/python-xklavier/ python 
bindings >= 0.2
* Flash Activities: Distributions need to package the last version of 
Gnash (v9).
* Tabs in Browse: Hulahop version >= 0.5
* Write: Abiword 2.8 is close to be released and will be part of the 
Sugar Platform 0.86, so we need to have the latest release in the 2.7.x 
series packaged so we start testing it.
* Read: New dependencies for Read version >= 70 (needed for epub 
support): webkitgtk (Note: 
http://code.google.com/p/pywebkitgtk/downloads/list pywebkitgtk has to 
be >= 1.1.6), python-lxml, python-BeautifulSoup
* sugar-datastore: LICENSE.GPL, README.txt files were renamed to COPYING 
and README; added AUTHORS and NEWS new files.

== Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (l10n) ==
Thanks to members of the worldwide translation team, who can be found on 
the [http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/localization localization mailing 
list], we have the following languages (listed alphabetically) which 
have significant support (more than 75% of the user interface translated):

* Arabic
* Dutch
* French
* German
* Greek
* Italian
* Japanese
* Portuguese
* Spanish
* Tamil
* Vietnamese

Altogether, 25 languages have more than 50% of the user interface 

== Compatibility ==
Collaboration in the Write activity will not work when the abiword 
backend is not the same (libabiword 2.6, 2.8).

== Detailed changes ==
=== Glucose ===
* [[0.86/Sugar|sugar]]
* [[0.86/sugar-toolkit|sugar-toolkit]]
* [[0.86/sugar-base|sugar-base]]
* [[0.86/sugar-presence-service|sugar-presence-service]]
* [[0.86/sugar-datastore|sugar-datastore]]
* [[0.86/sugar-artwork|sugar-artwork]]
* [[0.86/Etoys|etoys]]

== Getting the sources ==
If you want to package sugar for your favourite distribution or just 
want to examine sugar's lovely code ;) you can find all the source code 
of each module at the links below.

=== Glucose ===

=== Fructose ===
* http://download.sugarlabs.org/sources/sucrose/fructose/Log/Log-23.tar.bz2

=== Fructose dependencies ===

== Looking Forward to 0.88 ==
Planning of the next release cycle has started at 

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