[Sugar-devel] Minor update to Make Your Own Sugar Activities!

James Simmons nicestep at gmail.com
Wed Mar 15 10:49:04 EDT 2017


I own an XO laptop from the first Give One Get One promotion, so I know
what it can do. I've used the Terminal Activity and I wrote the Sugar
Commander Activity because I thought that the original design of Sugar,
which made your thumb drive look like the Journal, was not such a hot idea.
In my opinion files and directories should look like files and directories
and the Journal should look like the Journal. I know that some of the newer
XO's can switch to a GNOME desktop.

I never tried developing Activities on an XO because I never had to. It is
definitely easier to do things the way I do it, and for someone living in
the U.S. with reliable internet it's pretty cheap. I agree that this is not
the case for all the students, or even most of them. It's a case of "to
those who have, more shall be given."

I had the same situation when I wrote *E-Book Enlightenment*. Free e-books
in English are plentiful, other languages not so much. I had to write
chapters on making e-books, figuring out what is in the public domain,
photographing book pages, building a device to hold books in place for
being photographed, doing optical character recognition, donating books to
PG and archive.org, etc.

Maybe MYOSA needs a chapter on using the XO for developing applications,
installing Git and using it locally, etc. My own XO has been in a drawer
for a couple of years.

James Simmons

On Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 12:46 AM, Tony Anderson <tony_anderson at usa.net>

> Hi, James
> If you go to activities.sugarlabs.org, you can register via the register
> link at the top right. This is not registration for Sugarlabs but for ASLO.
> As I understand the github repository, access with the ability to commit
> changes is closely held. The enables proposed changes to be vetted before a
> commit.
> However, the web page has a sign in link which gives limited access
> (create pull requests and comment on them, for example). That same two-step
> process is used for ASLO. The developer submits the change which puts it
> into a sandbox pending review.
> Actually Sugar has files, directories and a command shell (Terminal
> activity). It is relatively easy to switch activities via the Frame. I say
> this from several years of experience developing on the XO (easier than
> using usb flash keys to move code to the XO to test). The fact that Browse
> does not support flex and the unique XO screen makes testing on an XO
> essential if that is the target.
> The process of making changes via github to the Sugar core is certainly
> reasonable. However, nothing in this procedure interferes with a developer
> modifying and testing a change on an installed Sugar independently of the
> internet. Access to the internet being needed only to submit the change.
> The issue is not to use Sugar for everything, it is to use the available
> computer for everything (XO). In general, the XO is the first computer our
> users have used and, aside from an Android device, the only computer
> available. While used desktops and laptops are available, the $100+ funds
> are not available.
> The 'current setup' you mention depends on ready access to the internet,
> something not available for at least 2/3 of our users. It is a strength of
> Sugar that the source code is immediately available to the user without
> need of a repository (except access to activities not installed - a need
> supplied by a schoolserver). This allows learners to get into programming
> in a meaningful way using only what is installed on the XO.
> Tony
> On 03/14/2017 11:25 PM, James Simmons wrote:
> All,
> I only meant to make the manual actually tell where we currently put our
> code repositories, without rewriting the whole chapter. (I had hoped that a
> Google Code-In mentee might do that, but it didn't happen). The one piece
> of information that is still lacking is how to have your account added to
> the sugarlabs organization. That happened so long ago that I forgot how it
> happened. If someone could remind me I'll add that information to the note.
> I haven't done any Sugar development in years but I do program computers
> for a living and I use Git in my day job.
> Sugar has some good Activities to teach programming, but I don't think it
> is a great Activity development platform. For that you really need files
> and directories and a command shell, the ability to run Sugar as more than
> one user at a time, etc.
> I understand the desire to use Sugar for everything, but I think it would
> always get in the way. You wouldn't expect to be able to develop an iphone
> app on an iphone, or at least I wouldn't.
> If I wanted to teach Activity development to children I'd get some
> reconditioned desktop computers and install Fedora and Sugar on them. I
> have used nothing but reconditioned computers myself for years. It is
> amazing to me what you can get reconditioned on Amazon and elsewhere for
> around a hundred bucks. This is basically my price range for a "new"
> computer, and for that I can get a Lenovo or other quality brand with more
> than adequate disk space and memory. These computers are built for use in
> offices and have many years of life left in them. In Fedora you can run
> Sugar as a desktop environment as well as in a window. You can hook them up
> to a TV or a projector (something I remember many people wanted to do with
> the XO).
> I don't see ASLO being separate from Git as a problem. I think of it like
> the production environment at work. If it's good enough to use it goes on
> ASLO. If not, it stays in Git, but I might push my code to the central
> repository so others could fool around with it.
> Part of teach a child programming should be teaching him good work habits,
> and I think our current setup promotes that.
> James Simmons
> On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 9:28 AM, Laura Vargas <laura at somosazucar.org>
> wrote:
>> 2017-03-14 7:13 GMT-05:00 Walter Bender < <walter.bender at gmail.com>
>> walter.bender at gmail.com>:
>>> On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 12:45 AM, Tony Anderson <tony_anderson at usa.net>
>>> wrote:
>>>> On 03/14/2017 12:03 PM, Alex Perez wrote:
>>>> I would think ASLO could simply be made to inspect the contents of an
>>>> activity, upon upload, (since it’s just a zip file), and look for the
>>>> necessary string within activity.info, such that it could be displayed
>>>> under a “details” section of an Activity, within ASLO.
>>>> What I propose is that the ASLO page have a link to the github
>>>> repository. See the attached screenshot which shows a link to home page. I
>>>> would see this link being added here.
>>> +1. But that can be done if (1) we include the repo path in the info
>>> file and (2) do the work on ALSO to display it (I think alsroot was looking
>>> into this).
>> +1 to add the repository link field on ASLO.
>> This is an example where we all agree that something needs to be done.
>> Now, how do you propose we get it done?
>>> You proposal has no bearing on where the repo is hosted, as it should
>>> not.
>>>> Tony
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Sugar-devel mailing list
>>>> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>>>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
>>> --
>>> Walter Bender
>>> Sugar Labs
>>> http://www.sugarlabs.org
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Sugar-devel mailing list
>>> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
>> --
>> Laura V.
>> * I&D SomosAZUCAR.Org*
>> “No paradox, no progress.”
>> ~ Niels Bohr
>> Happy Learning!
>> _______________________________________________
>> Sugar-devel mailing list
>> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
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