[Sugar-devel] [IAEP] Planning for the future (Samuel Greenfeld)

Gonzalo Odiard godiard at sugarlabs.org
Fri Feb 27 12:09:30 EST 2015

Thanks Sora for sharing. We are working in a questionnaire to get more
from the local deployments. If you agree, we can send it to you
to get more information from Haiti deployments.


On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 5:19 PM, Sora Edwards-Thro <sora at unleashkids.org>

> I just got started with all of this in 2013, so my relationship with the
> project is very different from many others on this list. I'm also not a
> programmer. So this is just my perspective as a coordinator with schools
> using XOs in Haiti.
> I'm going to tackle the below item-by-item; looking forward to seeing what
> others have to say. Thanks for bringing these questions to us all.
> On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 2:09 PM, Samuel Greenfeld <samuel at greenfeld.org>
>  wrote:
>> I am not necessarily discounting XOs; but several community members have
>> said in the past they were not upgrading to the latest Sugar/OLPC OS
>> versions.  This is because newer versions tend to need more resources and
>> run slowly on older XO models.
>  Here's a table Martin Dluhos generated of the start-up times on XO-1s for
> different OS versions. It influenced our decision-making in Haiti (we have a
> customized version of 12.1.0) <http://wiki.laptop.org/go/HaitiOS>; I
> don't know what they decided in Nepal, where he was based.
> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0As_jQJX0Me6XdDI2clFpX1FFRHhKMHVFZGkyakdST2c&usp=sharing
> Here was my input on that decision: "My gut is "keep moving forward" and
> go with the latest thing because it's the latest, but I'm not the one who
> has to fix things when they go wrong...I just report them. Basically, I'm
> hoping those who have been involved much longer can help gauge what we're
> gaining and giving upin terms of not only speed loading activities but
> the support we'll require (12.1.0 more reliable, so less help needed?) and
> receive (13.2.0 more shiny, so more help offered?) to keep things running."
> Others should speak for themselves, but I think we stuck with 12.1.0
> because the deadline to get things figured out was coming up and we wanted
> something that had been battle-tested for the upcoming large and ambitious
> deployment.
> XOs may always be part of the community; but they are not necessarily
>> going to be the centerpiece going forward.
>  Volunteers have collected and refurbished significant numbers of XO-1s
> that are still awaiting deployment. It would be a shame to have those go to
> waste when they can do good somewhere. Same goes for perhaps 1000 XOs
> sitting in closets in Haiti - we've identified multiple schools (see here
> <https://projectrive.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/kenscoff-special-report/>
> and here <http://www.unleashkids.org/2014/07/11/special-report-thomazeau/>)
> that have abandoned these programs for lack of training and electrical
> solutions; a little funding and volunteer-work has been able to get those up
> and running again
> <http://www.unleashkids.org/2014/07/26/lascahobas-we-do-it-all/>.
> For my own project this summer: if we didn't have XOs, this project
> wouldn't be happening, because we'd be spending all our budget on tablets /
> laptops instead of the teacher training and programming assistance we'll
> need to get good results.
> So no, XOs aren't going to be the centerpiece, but in terms of our
> operations in Haiti they're definitely a big part of the picture.
>>    - An assessment of what is the current Sugar community, and what we
>>    would like to see the community become.
>> All I can give you is what we've got in Haiti. 13,200 XOs were apparently
> deployed. See the blog posts mentioned above for evidence that many
> actually made it to schools, but those programs did not survive into 2014.
> In terms of schools where Unleash Kids volunteers have deployed XO-1s or
> revived XO-1 programs:
> 60 to Mission of Hope (spring 2013)
> 25 to Silars' Orphanage (spring 2013)
> 10 to Ferrier (summer 2013)
> 10 to Ansapit (summer 2013)
> 20 to Cazeau (winter 2013)
> 18 to Hinche (winter 2013)
> (I know a team went to Leogane as well; I don't know what they did there)
> 25 to Delmas (summer 2014)
> 120 in Lascahobas (summer 2014) but only 60 XOs actually being used in
> classes
> 10 in Bois D'Avril (summer 2014)
> Programs are still going strong at Silars', Ansapit, Cazeau, and
> Lascahobas. Programs have run into funding problems at Mission of Hope,
> Ferrier, and Hinche, and Delmas. Bois D'Avril is doing its best, but they
> could use some more training.
> In 2014 I entered college and started considering how I can approach work
> in Haiti from the perspective of a researcher and get funding. Nick Doiron
> and I collaborated with others to create software for a USAID literacy
> competition. My school funded a pilot test
> <https://projectrive.wordpress.com/> of the software in December. We
> installed it on the schoolserver and accessed it through browsers on the
> XOs.
> I plan to acquire more funding to build on that project this summer. We'll
> be needing to write new software for some aspects of the project. I hope to
> host the application on the schoolserver, so that you don't need an XO or
> Sugar to make it work. That's partly because if we get good results and
> want to expand the program to more schools who already have their own
> devices, we need something that works for everyone. I'm not sure we can ask
> them to install a separate OS; we can ask them to go to a webpage or
> install a schoolserver.
> We've recently started discussing founding a nonprofit again among
> ourselves in Unleash Kids. We talk about this every few months and never
> really do anything about it, but personally I'm pretty gung-ho myself about
> actually doing something this time. The IRS just came out with a new form
> that's only 3 pages; it's supposed to make it easy for small groups like
> Unleash Kids seems to be to make ourselves official. I'm sure the
> accounting and process will be much more difficult than I'm assuming, but,
> again, it's something I kind of see as essential now that I'm looking at
> things in Haiti from a new angle.
> That's a very brief and extremely self-centered history of a single set of
> deployments within the community, but it's a start. Looking forward to
> hearing what everyone else has to say.
> On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 2:20 PM, Jerry Vonau <me at jvonau.ca> wrote:
>> > On February 24, 2015 at 8:55 AM Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > I don't think Sugar Labs has lacked a long-term vision. It has been
>> > since Day One to provide great tools for learning to children while
>> > being hardware agnostic. That said, our tactics have been slowly
>> > evolving as the market itself evolves. We launched Sugar Labs in early
>> > 2008 when it was clear to some of us in the community that many
>> > children would have access to computers other than the OLPC XO. We
>> > wanted to reach those children, and indeed, many Sugar users run it on
>> > netbooks such as the Intel Classmate. We've also continued to support
>> > the XO as well. There are ~3 million XOs in the field, most of which
>> > are still running Sugar as far as I know. (When I was in Nepal last
>> > year, I saw Sugar running on machines built in 2007, a testament to
>> > OLPC's hardware team.
>> It would be interesting to know what version of sugar/OS those XO-1s are
>> running.
>> > I am not sure why Sam thinks we need to discount
>> > those machines or the kids using them.)
>> I know this is not a sugar issue directly, more of an OLPC issue but since
>> Fedora F12 the entire i686 platform's userland is being compiled with
>> -mtune=atom[1] which would use sse[2]. This causes problems for some parts
>> of sugar[3] now that java[4] is being used more and the XO-1 lacks sse.
>> Fixing one package that uses sse might fix one issue but this is really a
>> distro wide setting and other issues may float to the top in other areas.
>> Just pointing out issues with XO-1s as I see it.
>> Jerry
>> 1. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/F12X86Support
>> 2.
>> https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc-4.6.2/gcc/i386-and-x86_002d64-Options.html
>> 3. http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2014-August/038536.html
>> 4. http://bugs.sugarlabs.org/ticket/4785
>> _______________________________________________
>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
>> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
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Gonzalo Odiard

SugarLabs - Software for children learning
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