[Sugar-devel] Children want Sugar 0.84, for the wrong reason

Bernie Innocenti bernie at codewiz.org
Sat Mar 13 08:11:38 EST 2010

On Sat, 2010-03-13 at 13:35 +0100, Bert Freudenberg wrote:

> So +1 to look customization. E.g., why not allow to change the
> gray frame color? In Etoys you can at least change the toolbar
> color (not permanently though, I should fix that). Even if it
> enrages our latte-drinking black-wearing designer friends ;)
> they're kids after all ...

I feel that Sugar should aim to reach the same level of "hackability" of
eToys: every UI element is an object that you could drag, drop, copy or

Of course, this has consequences in terms of stability and clarity.
Before we could unleash this power we need to think of ways to recover
from mistakes. If multiple undo is too hard, a "restore everything to
defaults" might be good enough.

Perhaps we're worrying too much. Re-installing the system from USB takes
only 3 minutes and is already being done very often. A boy just showed
up on the door of the repair lab, saying: "se borró el Navegador" (the
Browse activity deleted itself :-)

All we need to do is make the backup-update-restore procedure slightly
more automated so that kids and teachers could do it without bothering
the technicians.

Actually, we don't even need to worry too much for a solid backup and
restore procedure. I've always suspected that most kids wouldn't care
about preserving their diary. Now it's confirmed: kids are flocking here
to get the new version of Sugar even though their journals are not going
to be preserved across the upgrade.

On the other hand, teachers and teacher trainers always ask to preserve
the content of their journal. Technicians use a pair of simple shell
scripts to tar up the journal to a USB stick, so they don't depend on
being within the range of the correct school server.

I'll summarize all these things in a field report asap.

   // Bernie Innocenti - http://codewiz.org/
 \X/  Sugar Labs       - http://sugarlabs.org/

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