[Sugar-devel] Sugar Digest 2010-05-03

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Mon May 3 09:41:02 EDT 2010

==Sugar Digest==

1. I have fallen way behind in my blogging about Sugar Labs: the
combination of too much travel and too much time consumed with
repairing my house from flood damage has taken its toll. I'll try to
touch on a medley of topics today, referring to various email threads
on the lists for more details. (Also, the 'o' key on my keyboard has
become flaky—please forgive me any typs.)

Perhaps the most exciting news over the past few weeks has been the
numerous announcements about One Laptop per Child programs sprouting
up around the world. There was  an announcement of a significant
program in the Middle East
an initiative in East Africa
[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10091177.stm]; and when I heard
him speak in Miami last week, the president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo
Sosa, spoke about one laptop per child as a legacy he wants to leave
for his country. In every case, these are Sugar-based initiatives. It
is invigorating to see this steady increase in the application of our
efforts to provide great learning opportunities for children. (Kudos
to Sean Daly and the Marketing Team for their efforts in getting the
word out.)

The Sugar-on-a-Stick team is very close to releasing Mirabelle, which
is based on Fedora 13 and Sugar 0.88. It is an exciting release
because it is both a great effort in terms of content and process.
There has been a productive dialog between the packaging team, the
developers, testers, and the user community; as a result, we are
converging on a more sustainable process and we are better meeting the
needs of our users. Many thanks, especially to Peter Robinson, Tom
Gilliard, Caryl Bigenho, Mel Chua, James Cameron, Frederick Grose, and
Sebastian Dziallas.

The Paraguay team is wrapping up their work on porting Fedora 11/Sugar
0.84 to the XO 1.0 hardware. This is important because it will allow
deployments to migrate there installed base of machines to the same
system being deployed on the XO 1.5 machines, making the overall
support and maintenance problem more tractable. The team has also
backported a number of bug fixes and features, such as 3G support,
needed by deployments. It is a great example of downstream working
with upstream.

2. Dogi (Stefan Unterhauser), Adam Holt, and I were in Rochester this
week for a series of events at RIT: the OLPC Users Group Meeting; the
Dean's Lecture Series (I talked about why learning is so important;
[http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/6561388 video]); and the Imagine RIT
Innovation Festival. Our host was Stephen Jacobs. We spent some
quality time with his students, whom are in project teams, developing
two Sugar Activities: OVC (a video chat system being developed in
collaboration with the National Institute for the Deaf), and Fortune
Hunter, an adventure game geared towards 4th Grade mathematics. The
great thing about the program at RIT is the way in which the student
projects are being integrated into the global Sugar initative. I've
asked Steve to share his "secret sauce" with other universities so
that the model can spread.

One concrete outcome of the visit is the establishment of a Sugar
"Story Team". Remy D of the RIT Storytelling Team has volunteered to
lead the effort. Another tangible outcome is that three of the servers
donated to Sugar Labs from the Wikipedia Foundation have a new home at
RIT. Dogi worked with Steve's students to bring them up to speed on
how to maintain the servers.

3. The Sugar Oversight Board had an opportunity to meet face to face,
along with about 10 community members whom happened to be in the
Cambridge area. In addition to breaking bread together, we discovered
that we had consensus regarding the on-going trademark debate. We'll
be discussing and voting on the final wording of the policy next time
we meet in IRC and will be summarizing (a) how the decision was made;
(b) why it was made; (c) what alternatives were considered; (d) how it
fits in with the Sugar Labs mission; (e) how it impacts the Sugar; and
(f) how it impacts the Sugar community. Stay tuned.

4. There has been a renewed and intense discussion about maintenance
over the past few weeks. (The topic is an important one both to Sugar
Labs and our downstream partners.) Our developer and release teams
have been striving towards a set of well-documented procedures for
making Sugar a project "with continuity, with an adequate progression
in stability and new features and with a development process that
gives them some control." You can follow the latest thread of the
discussion [http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/iaep/2010-April/010740.html].

=== Help wanted ===

5. We are seeking to revitalize the deployment team and as a
consequence, we are seeking community leaders who can play a role in
organizing meetings on a regular basis. It is not necessary to be
fluent in all of the issues, rather, we need someone who will help
shepard the various parties into discussion once every few weeks. This
is a critical, missing piece of our strategy to keep open the channels
of communication between Sugar Labs and its upstream and downstream

===In the community===

6. There have been regular meetings of the OLPC Learning Team on
irc.mibbit.net channel #olpc-learning led by Joy Riach. The meetings
are held on Thursdays at 10 AM EST (14 UTC) and are conducted in both
English and Spanish. (Summaries of past meetings will be posted—I'll
report the details when they are available.)

=== Tech talk ===

7. I have been working with OLPC on a "high-school" keyboard for the
OLPC XO 1.5. I designed "non-membrane" keyboards in
[http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:OLPC-1.5-es-non-membrane.svg ] and

8. The Infrastructure Team is in the process of migrating some
services to some new hardware. We should expect some brief downtime
and better long-term stability as a result.

===Sugar Labs===

Gary Martin has generated a SOM from the past weeks of discussion on
the IAEP mailing list.


Visit our planet [http://planet.sugarlabs.org] for more updates about
Sugar and Sugar deployments.

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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