[Sugar-devel] Dextrose 1 report from Paraguay

Martin Abente mabente at paraguayeduca.org
Thu Sep 30 12:25:04 EDT 2010

Since early this year, the technology team from Paraguay Educa with the
guide of Bernie Innocenti started the development process of a customized
build, known as the "py (Paraguay)" build. Originally started as a spin of
OLPC's build but then it migrated to Sugar 0.88.

A few months later, members of the Sugar community, Plan Ceibal and
Activity Central joined our efforts into what today we know as Dextrose.
Since a few months we have been doing some tests at one Caacupe school.
Recently, we provided Dextrose 1 (os376py) to the all the kids and teachers
from the 5th and 6th grades (around 60 testers).

What we aimed at was to have a stable build with all the customizations,
bug fixes and enhancements we developed based on deployments urgent needs,
Fore more information about Dextrose customizations please visit [1].

The os376py has a few differences with os373pyg (Standard Dextrose 1) that
is available at [1]:

* No Gnome, only Sugar.
* Only 21 Activities selected by our education team. These activities are
protected (can not be erased using the user interface).

The last friday (Sep 24) we officially finished the last testing process.
Our test consisted in simply letting the kids and teachers use this build
for 15 days. Previous tests (using the same simplistic method) showed us
that is an decent testing method, since teachers and kids know they can
complain all they want (and they do).

Here is the list of the most important findings:

1. Annoying bugs are not longer noticeable, for example:
  * Empty neighborhood view.
  * Random Sugar freezes.
  * Random Sugar restarts.

2. In the practice, use only Sugar. (This could require a separate

3.  Huge success of customizations.
  * Kids find extremely useful the new methods to control the cursor. This
includes the stylus mode and the game pad control.
  * Kids can easily relate the meaning of each expression at the resources
stats icon with the system load status. In many cases it helps them to
prevent system overloads.
  * Kids are now aware of the backup facilities. Now they can backup and
restore the journal whenever they want.
  * Teachers have noticed that kids can not delete the educational
activities. Now they are aware about the protection feature and they want
to discuss about the activities list with the education team.

4. Decent stability state, this contributed on how teachers perceive Sugar
as a Education tool.
  * One teacher was simply glad that she would use it without being worry
about earlier technical problems.
  * The other teacher mentioned us that she was extremely confident about
usage of Dextrose in the classroom, to the point that shes planning a full
learning period using exclusively Sugar. She said "Now I can try and see
how far my students can go". This is a huge step forward in what we try to

As a personal message to the people who got involved in this project.
Definitely, our efforts were worthwhile.

[1] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Dextrose

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