[Sugar-devel] XO Infinity?

Sebastian Silva sebastian at fuentelibre.org
Wed Feb 18 21:32:47 EST 2015

Hi Tony

I applaud you for asking some important questions going forward in such
a concise way.
Even though we're officially, as a software community,
hardware-agnostic, it is very good to discuss and find solutions to
common problems (such as availability of appropriate hardware).

It seems from here as if consumer product manufacturers, telecoms, and
software vendors were coalesced, and wished communities such as
ourselves did not exist.

I'll try to answer bellow, but I am just a volunteer such as yourself
and don't represent Sugar Labs.

El 17/02/15 a las 21:05, Tony Anderson escibió:
> Hi,
> I am sceptical that the XO market will ever be able to sustain
> manufacture of an XO-specific product. I hope and wish I am wrong.
> However, I think we need to look for alternatives. Possibly the most
> serious impediment to success of the OLPC initiative has been the lack
> of laptop available for purchase by a deployment in small quantities.
I like initiatives like the Kit Kano, for instance. I've grown to expect
revolutions to happen slowly. I know eventually the killer durable,
attractive, affordable, usable and truly libre solution will arrive.
Part of that task is in our hands (the software, this /is/ the Sugar
community after all). Attractive, usable, truly libre. Simple,
collaborative, reflexive.
> As Wayan Vota said, 'Would you recommend a new deployment with the
> XO?'. My answer would be yes, provided the deployment had a reliable
> source of XO laptops for under $200 (and spare parts).
> The XO-1 is still viable provided that there is a source of ongoing
> support.
I do all my work in a year old $199 Chromebook with Parabola GNU/Linux.
It is about as libre as it gets, and whooping fast with a Haswell processor.
However Google seems intent to only allow such a setup for "developer
mode" (which can wipe your drive at a wrong keystroke on boot).
> I must applaud Samuel Greenfeld's initiative to create community
> builds of the XO software. As Bernie Innocenti pointed out at the
> Malaysia summit, finding a community that can sustain support for the
> XO builds going forward is probably the number one problem facing the
> community.
+1 I've failed to respond but do plan to resume work on XO (and regular
PC) builds soon. I count on picking up from Samuel's work and as usual,
have our develop, build and publish process be community-oriented.
> There are Android tablets on the market which can be purchased with a
> case and keyboard:
> http://www.sears.com/proscan-7inch-internet-tablet-with-8-gb-and/p-020W006276292001P
> Rabi Karmacharya believes we need a minimum 10" screen, the above has
> 7" and is quoted at $69.
> Is there a comparable device with a 10" screen at 1200x900 or better
> for under $100, under 200$?
> The CTL Education Chromebook is available for $279
> (http://ctl.net/ctl-education-chromebook). Does it offer the
> capabilities we need? Can alternate software (such as Fedora/Sugar) be
> installed?

We must raise awareness at the level of the people who consult with us,
with regard to the importance of devices respecting users (and
deployments). It is not acceptable to be tied to one "software store".
It is not acceptable to have our governments procure machines that
require non-free software to work, or worse, have no support at all.
> Is our future to go away from Fedora/Sugar (Linux/Gnu/Sugar) and to
> base our deployments on Android?
Fedora/Sugar need not be the only option. I'f like to see more
Sugar-like initiatives, i.e. tailored desktops.
> Does this mean we must abandon our insistence on open source and open
> educational resources? 
> Is it possible to deploy an Android system without access to the internet?
Probably. Not too interesting.
> There are currently 200+ educational activities available for Sugar.
> Must we give these up?
No! We should strive to mantain some compatibility for as long as possible.
> Do we need to reprogram them in javascript?
Rather create new ones, support and fix old ones! It's not easy as there
are few hands.
> If we are to continue with Fedora/Sugar, can this software be
> installed on Android tablets?
Most likely nope.
> The world's professional programmers are now either (or both)
> programming for the javascript/html market or the Java Android market.
> Does this mean we need to jump on those bandwagons? Should we shift
> our 'view source' initiative to Java or to javascript/html?
> In summary, I believe that the future of the olpc initiative depends
> on the skills, commitment, and hard work of the community. I think it
> very unlikely that our challenges will be met by a 'magic wand' waved
> by OLPC reborn, OLPC Australia, or other agency. It's up to us.
Much as yourself, I feel the loss of the momentum the OLPC community
had. But I am profoundly aware that, in all, this story is still just
beginning, and there are plenty of worthy initiatives around us. And we
ourselves keep pushing forward for Sugar, the vision, not necessarily a
specific implementation.

I have a short saying about this last bit. I offer it to you. Call it
Sebastian's Razor. "Si no es libre, no existe".

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