[Sugar-devel] Python is good - don't waste time (was Re: The future of Sugar on XO-1s)

Tony Anderson tony_anderson at usa.net
Wed Apr 6 20:37:01 EDT 2016

Thanks, Walter

Beautifully said.


On 04/06/2016 09:17 PM, Walter Bender wrote:
> I'm going to land squarely in the middle on this issue.
> I agree with Sam that what we have to offer in the world of a 
> GNU/Linux desktop is far far better than any alternatives I have seen. 
> The opportunity for growth there is demonstrably great. We have pretty 
> decent offerings in Fedora, Debian, and its relatively popular Ubuntu 
> instance. And I don't think the GNU desktop is going to disappear as 
> rapidly as the pundits predict, despite the popularity of Android and 
> iStuff,  (And I think there are some serious problems of pedagogy in 
> the solutions offered in the smartphone space.) The GNU desktop is 
> going to be a relatively small market for the foreseeable future, but 
> one where we can show thought leadership, reach some kids directly, 
> and influence the rest of the ed tech industry through the tangible 
> demonstration of our ideas. One spark of hope is that the Maker 
> Movement -- the ed tech idea de jour -- is to a large extent Linux 
> based. Might make sense to revisit improving the Sugar experience on 
> RPi and other platforms popular with makers.
> Chromebooks are interesting in that (a) they can run GNU and 
> consequently native Sugar quite well -- but I doubt too many schools 
> will go down that path; and (b) you can almost treat them like 
> computers in that the form factor is bit more friendly to programming, 
> word processing, and other tool-oriented activities. That said, I hear 
> rumors that Chrome OS will be subsumed by Android, so it is not 
> obvious that it is a long-term viable solution any more than GNU. And 
> the service model that is inherent to the web is really problematic 
> from the point of view of children's privacy, security, and freedom.
> That said, there is something to be said for trying to meet people 
> halfway. The browser is ubiquitous. If we can develop within the 
> context of Sugar desktop and the browser, it is to a large extent a 
> win-win. This is why I have been wrestling with JavaScript in my newer 
> activities. (For similar reasons, I have tried to make most of my 
> activities run in GNOME as well as Sugar.) It opens some doors. While 
> not perfect, the Sugar JS activity experience is decent. And hopefully 
> Lionel's effort will help us reach kids we would not have otherwise 
> reached, even with a lesser solution than GNU. It is important that as 
> we develop in this space we keep in mind some principles, such as 
> making our source code readable, making sure things can run locally, 
> focusing on tools rather than apps, providing explicit mechanisms for 
> reflect, etc.
> -walter
> On Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 2:59 AM, <sam at sam.today <mailto:sam at sam.today>> 
> wrote:
>     Hi Dave,
>     On Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 10:46 AM, Dave Crossland <dave at lab6.com
>     <mailto:dave at lab6.com>> wrote:
>>     I would be happy if by 2020 the "classic" Sugar desktop was
>>     totally gone. Zero Python! In its place could be a laptop OS
>>     derived from ChromiumOS, plus a nodejs web server serving on
>>     localhost that is stuffed full of activities and content.
>     Why?  Why do we throw out the great technologies we have now?  Why
>     do we waste out time replacing Telepathy (amazing back end for
>     collaboration)?  Why do we waste our time replacing
>     GtkSourceView?  AbiWord?  WebKitGtk?  Gtk? These are great
>     technologies.  Sure they are not the current trend.  But unlike
>     your proposed nodejs server, we don't end up in callback hell.
>     We have a technology stack that we have used for over 10 years. 
>     Those people who OLPC paid to start writing sugar made good
>     choices; they left us with a great foundation even as OLPC down
>     sizes.  It works great across keyboard, mouse and touch (can
>     sugarizer even show a tooltip on long touch?).  It works great on
>     slow computers (my trusty old Core2Duo laptop runs sugar faster
>     than Sugarizer/webkit).  It works great off-line (collaboration
>     over salut doesn't need a centeral server). And all the activities
>     are written in python now.
>     Why waste time to javashit it?  You can install GNU on a
>     chromebook, you can install GNU on computer, you can install GNU
>     on some tablets.  Those are the pedagogic devices of now and the
>     future.  Those run faster with Gtk than with WebKit.
>     Don't waste time.
>     Thanks,
>     Sam
>     [GNU in this post refers to GNU/Linux]
> -- 
> Walter Bender
> Sugar Labs
> http://www.sugarlabs.org
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> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel

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