[Sugar-devel] Unified bundles
wadetb at gmail.com
Wed Apr 8 13:44:20 EDT 2009
On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 4:40 PM, James Simmons <jim.simmons at walgreens.com> wrote:
> Since two of my Activities are referred to by name in your proposal I
> suppose I should have an opinion on it, but I don't fully understand the
I'd definitely like to hear your opinion. Also, please don't
interpret this proposal as a critique of your activities, but consider
how they might work better for content creators in the described
> It sounds like you want to mix content and Activity in the
> same bundle. So I guess you could write some sort of presentation using
> pointer to the Browse component needed to use it?
Yeah, exactly. The idea is that there is a blurring of content and
activity already, it's impossible to tell which is which.
http://xent.com/~bsittler/yay-bee-see.html is a good example of this.
So are many Flash programs.
I want a way for "Content" to appear on the Home view along with the
activities. Users in school systems are likely to have a set of
important content on their XOs (math textbooks in PDF, etc) and it
should not be hidden in the Journal.
> You mention that Activities like Read, Read Etexts, etc. don't create
> content, and thus are not like real Activities. That is currently true,
> but lately I've been thinking of adding an Annotation feature to Read
> Etexts which would let the user attach notes to individual pages of the
> etext, as well as highlight passages with a yellow background (like
> marking up a book with a hi-lighter pen). The notes and highlight
> coordinates would be stored in as a collection of objects which would be
> pickled and the pickle file would be stored in a Zip file along with the
> original etext. So students assigned to read an etext could create
> their own content in the form of notes and highlights and share these
> with other students along with the text.
That sounds great! My idea doesn't limit that though, in fact it
encourages it. The intent is to allow all forms of content to have
more activity-like features.
> Originally Read and the rest did not appear in the Activity ring, and
> the only way to launch them was to resume a Journal entry with the
> supported MIME type. This was a source of frustration to me because my
> own Activities make use of Zip files and there are at least three
> Activities that use them: Read Etexts, View Slides, and Etoys. I was
> constantly launching Etoys when I wanted to launch one of my own
> Activities. What I really wanted was to have my documents display the
> icon of the Activity needed to read that and launch that Activity when
> resumed. Having the Activity launched from the ring and open that ugly
> dialog solved that problem for me in two ways:
Agreed. What my proposal allows is for someone to make a zip file of
Animal slides (renamed as AnimalSlides-1.xo) with an activity.info
indicating *which content viewer (aka activity) should open it*. The
slides would appear with an icon in the home view.
To me, this sounds like exactly what you were hoping for - so long as
people are willing to make content available as .xo files.
> So yeah it's ugly, but it gave me a way to do something I really wanted
> to do. What would be nice is if the Journal let you specify a default
> program to open a given Journal entry that otherwise would only be known
> by its MIME type. I could download a Zip file from Gutenberg, then open
> the Journal entry information page. Right now the launch button shows a
> menu of all the Activities that can be used to open it and you pick one
> from that menu. But what if there was a similar menu that let you
> choose the default Activity, and once you chose it that icon was used
> for the entry in the Journal? Zip files used in Etoys could be given
> the Etoys icon, slide collections the View Slides icon, etc.
I agree that handling of plain MIME objects in the Journal could be
better. One way to deal with this would be to offer a Bundler
activity which takes zip files and/or loose files and packages them
into Unified bundles. The created bundles would have their "open
with" set in activity.info.
> I'm not sure why I'd want a content bundle that worked the way you
> describe "Slides Content Viewer" and "Etexts Content Viewer". Etexts
> contained in Zip files can already be downloaded from Gutenberg, and
> slide collections are just images in a Zip file. It takes some work to
> create these, but less than creating a bundle would be.
I guess that depends on what tools are available for creating bundles.
FWIW, bundles can be distributed on activities.sugarlabs.org while
regular zip files need some other distribution mechanism.
> I could see the point of an HTML bundle. Gutenberg has books with
> illustrations in HTML format and making a bundle would give you a way to
> read these offline.
Yeah. HTML and SWF based bundles were the core requirement that drove
this proposal, but it became clear at some point that it applied to
other content types as well.
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