[Sugar-devel] Dextrose 1 report from Paraguay

Gary Martin garycmartin at googlemail.com
Thu Sep 30 13:10:20 EDT 2010

Hi Martin,

On 30 Sep 2010, at 17:25, Martin Abente wrote:

> 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).

Many thanks for passing on this feedback! I always read such reports from the field with great interest as it helps ongoing design decisions.

> 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]:

Is os376py available? I had been testing os373pyg for a while (the latest py build I can find). I didn't realise there was a newer version being tested.


> * 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
> discussion).
> 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
> achieve.
> 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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