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

Tony Anderson tony_anderson at usa.net
Wed Mar 15 23:32:09 EDT 2017


Sugar now provides in the Journal a link to the Documents directory. 
This, of course, has the problem that the display does not show 
subdirectories. I have toyed with the idea of having the tutorials use 
Sugar Commander and the excellent gedit activity instead of the shell 
and nano. However, at the end I believe that the Terminal activity is 
simple to use and that learners should become familiar with the file 
system through shell commands. The nano editor is easy to use.

I think that a second round of tutorials introducing Sugar Commander, 
gedit, and git could be introduced for learners already familiar with 
shell commands and nano.


On 03/15/2017 10:49 PM, James Simmons wrote:
> Tony,
> 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 
> <http://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 
> <mailto:tony_anderson at usa.net>> wrote:
>     Hi, James
>     If you go to activities.sugarlabs.org
>     <http://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 <mailto:laura at somosazucar.org>> wrote:
>>         2017-03-14 7:13 GMT-05:00 Walter Bender
>>         <walter.bender at gmail.com <mailto:walter.bender at gmail.com>>:
>>             On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 12:45 AM, Tony Anderson
>>             <tony_anderson at usa.net <mailto: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 <http://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
>>                 _______________________________________________
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>>             -- 
>>             Walter Bender
>>             Sugar Labs
>>             http://www.sugarlabs.org
>>             _______________________________________________
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>>         -- 
>>         Laura V.
>>         *I&D SomosAZUCAR.Org*
>>         “No paradox, no progress.”
>>         ~ Niels Bohr
>>         Happy Learning!
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