[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] 2017 Goals for Sugar Labs

Tony Anderson tony_anderson at usa.net
Mon Apr 10 20:05:51 EDT 2017

I am afraid we are going down another rathole.

Walter has taken the time to write a set of proposed goals, so why are 
we talking about 2016 goals or writing new ones. As I think it should be 
clear, I want us to move past academic studies, discussing potential 
goals, writing detailed proposals and get on with the job.

While I get no response, I still believe it is clear to even the most 
casual observer that Sugar is locked into its association with the XO. 
Our primary goal should be to make Sugar available as supported software 
for the widest range of platforms.

Walter has suggested that making Sugar available as a supported release 
for the Raspberry Pi should be easy. Great! Then let's do it. If a Sugar 
release were available for the Pi, I would be happy to exhibit it at the 
Pi and More meeting in Trier on June 24, 2017. Before Walter can 
approach the Raspberry Pi Foundation to have Sugar included in NOOBS, it 
first has to be released and supported by Sugar Labs and proven through 

Having Sugar distributed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation would be a much 
more important marketing step than anything I have seen mentioned in the 
past two years.

Walter believes that the Trisquel version of Sugar is supportable. If 
so, then let's put the image on Sugar Labs and document how to install it

The current SOAS image can be downloaded and installed by dd to a usb 
stick but you wouldn't know that from the Sugar Labs website. This is 
really easy to fix, so let's do it.

I can't believe there is no one in this community who knows enough about 
Windows 10 to suggest a method to implement Sugar there. So far the only 
technical suggestions I have seen came from Sean Daly many months ago. 
Microsoft has a partnership with Ubuntu to provide a Bash shell on 
Windows 10. I have yet to see an technical analysis of this opportunity 
as an approach to implement Sugar on Windows 10.

None of this will be easy. For example, many of our activities assume a 
1200x900 screen. If Sugar is to be supported on a range of platforms, 
this needs to be addressed. Sugar depends on wifi for collaboration. 
Supporting networking on a range of platforms will not be easy (the 
current Sugar on Ubuntu does not provide any networking support). The 
Record activity is our interface to a camera and microphone. This will 
not be easy to extend to support a range of hardware. PC hardware is 
moving to the amd64 architechture. This will affect Sugar releases - 
probably requiring arm, i686 and amd64 versions.

But all of this is a matter of doing, not talking.


On 04/11/2017 04:55 AM, Caryl Bigenho wrote:
> Sorry Laura, but I don't think you actually read what I wrote. Most of 
> the "Goals" you refer and the objectives you refer to are really 
> "activities." Please re-read my letter below and, if you think I am 
> wrong, I suggest you Google "Goals vs Objectives vs Activities" to see 
> what they really are.
> As an educator I have spent many hours writing goals, objectives, and 
> activities (many of the latter were actually to qualify for grant 
> money). It was part of my job and that of many other educators.
> Now, back to goals... We should start with 4 - 5 clear, concise, goal 
> statements (each may cover a fairly broad topic). I suggest something 
> simple, such as Google Docs as a place to start. When we have 
> something concrete that most folks can agree with and support, it will 
> then be time to move them to the wiki.
> Remember the KISS principle. It is how to get things done! (also can 
> be Googled or searched for in Wikipedia if you need clarification).
> Caryl
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Laura Vargas <laura at somosazucar.org>
> *Sent:* Monday, April 10, 2017 11:45:26 AM
> *To:* Caryl Bigenho
> *Cc:* Samson Goddy; sameer verma; Lionel Laské; Adam Holt; 
> ignacio at sugarlabs.org; walter.bender at gmail.com; Tony Anderson; George 
> Hunt; José Miguel García; SLOBs; iaep; sugar-devel; Dave Crossland
> *Subject:* Re: [IAEP] [Sugar-devel] 2017 Goals for Sugar Labs
> Hi Caryl and all,
> Last year we - as a community - made the exercise to document a list 
> of technical and organizational goals here at the wiki:
> https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/2016_Goals
> It may be the logical start point for an updated version.
> As for Objectives, and according with our mission*, earlier this year 
> I suggested:
> [1] To sponsor any motivated, active individuals in need to continue 
> doing the best they can to support our mission.
> [2] To make sure our servers are safe and our systems are distributed.
> [3] To maintain domains and trademarks.
> As for the official mission I would be on favor of eliminating the 
> text "Originally part of the One Laptop Per Child project" just 
> because it is irrelevant.
> From https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Mission
>   *Mission
> Sugar Labs^® <https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Trademark> is a 
> volunteer-driven member project of Software Freedom Conservancy 
> <http://www.sfconservancy.org/>, a nonprofit corporation. Originally 
> part of the One Laptop Per Child project, Sugar Labs coordinates 
> volunteers 
> <https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Getting_Involved> around the 
> world who are passionate about providing educational opportunities to 
> children through the Sugar Learning Platform. Sugar Labs® is supported 
> by donations and is seeking funding 
> <https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Donate> to accelerate development.
> Regards and looking forward for your comments,
> Laura Victoria
> 2017-04-10 11:58 GMT-05:00 Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com 
> <mailto:cbigenho at hotmail.com>>:
>     Hi Folks,
>     First, thanks go to Walter for the very comprehensive review of
>     Sugar Labs and what has been done and is currently being done. It
>     is very helpful. However, it, in no sense of the words, represents
>     goals and objectives for SL going forward.
>     I know Sameer really does want to share more with us to assist in
>     developing a viable list of goals and objectives, but I also know
>     he is very busy with his teaching job.  So, I have taken the time
>     to find a couple of resources from education that show what goals
>     and objectives really are and how the activities we choose to
>     undertake are related. These resources are attached.
>     The next thing that needs to be done is to go through Walter's
>     fine document and identify all the specific areas Sugar Labs works
>     with and write one goal for each. Don't do anything else until
>     these goals are written. These should be done in a sharable online
>     document. Everyone who wants to participate should be encouraged
>     to do so. There should be no special priority attached to any of
>     these goals. At this point they would be of equal value.
>     There should be one goal for each area... I suggest we start with
>     these 4 broad areas:
>      1. Sugar
>      2. Sugarizer
>      3. Stand Alone Projects
>      4. School Server
>     Each goal should be concise and precise. _Preferably one
>     sentence._ Under each goal go objectives. There can be _more than
>     one_ objective per goal.
>     An objective should follow the form of *Who* is going to do *What*
>     by *When* and *How* will success be measured.
>     A goal can have several objectives under it... for example, the
>     objectives for Sugar could have objectives addressing both Raspian
>     and Trisquel (two separate categories).
>     Once the objectives are filled in, it will be time to start
>     working on activities. These will include actual activities like
>     producing a new version of Sugarizer, conducting a Music Blocks
>     workshop, showing Sugar Labs "products" and recruiting users and
>     volunteers at Linux conferences and educational conferences, etc.
>     After this every project proposed can be analyzed with the
>     question in mind, "How does this project help Sugar Labs achieve
>     its stated objectives (and thus its goals as well).
>     Please! Someone start a doc for this to all happen. Begin with
>     just the 4 (or 5 if you want to separate Raspian and Trisquel).
>     Make a simple goal for each. Then collaborate on getting the goals
>     "just right" before moving on to objectives.
>     Then do the same thing for objectives.
>     This may seem like a lot of "busy work." But, trust me it isn't.
>     It will give Sugar Labs a strong platform to work from, enabling
>     the best use of limited time and resources.
>     Caryl
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *From:* IAEP <iaep-bounces at lists.sugarlabs.org
>     <mailto:iaep-bounces at lists.sugarlabs.org>> on behalf of Laura
>     Vargas <laura at somosazucar.org <mailto:laura at somosazucar.org>>
>     *Sent:* Monday, April 10, 2017 7:31:18 AM
>     *To:* Samson Goddy
>     *Cc:* SLOBs; iaep; sugar-devel; Dave Crossland
>     *Subject:* Re: [IAEP] [Sugar-devel] 2017 Goals for Sugar Labs
>     Thank you Samson
>     Then I guess the email format is not the best choice. Could you
>     please document it on a wiki page at the Sugar Labs wiki?
>     Blessings and a nice week to all
>     Laura Victoria
>     2017-04-10 8:25 GMT-05:00 Samson Goddy <samsongoddy at gmail.com
>     <mailto:samsongoddy at gmail.com>>:
>         If i am wrong, walter made it clear earlier that this is a
>         "draft proposal" meaning you can input.
>         Samson
>         On Apr 10, 2017 2:15 PM, "Laura Vargas" <laura at somosazucar.org
>         <mailto:laura at somosazucar.org>> wrote:
>             2017-04-09 19:03 GMT-05:00 Walter Bender
>             <walter.bender at gmail.com <mailto:walter.bender at gmail.com>>:
>                 On Sun, Apr 9, 2017 at 7:56 PM, Dave Crossland
>                 <dave at lab6.com <mailto:dave at lab6.com>> wrote:
>                     Hi
>                     Thanks Walter. I'd like to better understand some
>                     additional context before diving in :)
>                     Does this mean Sameer you have stopped the project
>                     planning process you started, and we should not
>                     expect you to restart it again?
>                 At the most recent SLOB meeting Samson brought up the
>                 fact that we were still waiting and so I volunteered
>                 to write something up to get the conversation going again.
>             Thanks for doing this Walter,
>             After a quick read, I have to confess I feel sad and
>             excluded because none of the projects I have worked on [1]
>             is mentioned on your view of Sugar's history.
>             Regards and blessings,
>             Laura V
>              [1] http://pe.sugarlabs.org/ir/Proyectos
>             <http://pe.sugarlabs.org/ir/Proyectos>
>                     Walter, are these the goals for this year, or are
>                     they your proposal for the goals for this year?
>                 Not sure I understand what you are asking. I wrote up
>                 a draft of goals but they are not "the goals" until we
>                 agree to them.
>                 regards.
>                 -walter
>                     On Apr 9, 2017 3:31 PM, "Walter Bender"
>                     <walter.bender at gmail.com
>                     <mailto:walter.bender at gmail.com>> wrote:
>                         As per the discussion in the last Suagr Labs
>                         Oversight Board Meeting, I had agreed to write
>                         a draft statement of goals for 2017. The
>                         document below includes feedback from Samson
>                         G. I hope this document can serve to
>                         revitalize our discussion from 2016 that never
>                         reached resolution.
>                         Sugar Labs Plans, Goals, Aspirations
>                         What is Sugar Labs?
>                         Sugar Labs creates, distributes, and maintains
>                         learning software for children. Our approach
>                         to learning is grounded in Constructionism, a
>                         pedagogy developed by Seymour Papert and his
>                         colleagues in the 1960s and 70s at MIT. Papert
>                         pioneered the use of the computer by children
>                         to help engage them in the “construction of
>                         knowledge.” His long-time colleague Cynthia
>                         Solomon expanded up his ideas by introducing
>                         the concept of engaging children in debugging
>                         as a pathway into problem-solving. Their 1971
>                         paper, “Twenty things to do with a computer”,
>                         is arguably the genesis of contemporary
>                         movements such as the Maker Movement and Hour
>                         of Code.
>                         At the core of Constructionism is “learning
>                         through doing.” If you want more learning, you
>                         want more doing. At Sugar Labs we provide
>                         tools to promote doing. (We focus almost
>                         exclusively on tools, not instructional
>                         materials.) However, we go beyond “doing” by
>                         incorporating critical dialog and reflection
>                         into the Sugar learning environment, through
>                         mechanisms for collaboration, journaling, and
>                         portfolio.
>                         Sugar Labs is a spinoff of the One Laptop per
>                         Child (OLPC) project and consequently it has
>                         inherited many of its goals from that project.
>                         The goal of OLPC is to bring the ideas of
>                         Constructionism to scale in order to reach
>                         more children. A particular focus is on
>                         children in the developing world. In order to
>                         meet that goal, Sugar, which was originally
>                         developed for OLPC, was by necessity a
>                         small-footprint solution that required few
>                         resources in terms of CPU, memory, storage, or
>                         network connectivity. The major change on
>                         focus from the OLPC project is that Sugar Labs
>                         strives to make the Sugar desktop available to
>                         multiple platforms, not just the OLPC XO hardware.
>                         Who develops Sugar?
>                         Sugar Labs is a 100% volunteer effort
>                         (although we do occasionally raise money for
>                         paid student internships). Sugar development
>                         and maintenance is incumbent upon volunteers
>                         and hence we strive to provide as much control
>                         as possible to our community members,
>                         including our end-users. (In fact, one of our
>                         assertions is that by enabling our users to
>                         participate in the development of the tools
>                         that they use will lead to deeper engagement
>                         in their own learning.) Towards these ends, we
>                         chose the GPL as our primary license. It has
>                         been said of the GPL that it “restricts my
>                         right [as a developer] to restrict yours [as a
>                         user and potential developer]”, which seems
>                         ideal for a project that wants to engage a
>                         broad and diverse set of learners. But at
>                         Sugar Labs we go beyond the usual goals of
>                         FOSS: a license to make changes to the code is
>                         not enough to ensure that users make changes.
>                         We also strive to provide the means to make
>                         changes. Our success in this goal is best
>                         reflected in the number of patches we receive
>                         from our community. (We achieve this goal
>                         through providing access to source code and
>                         development tools within Sugar itself. We also
>                         actively participate in workshops and
>                         internship programs such as Google Summer of
>                         Code, Outreaching, and Google Code-In.)
>                         Who uses Sugar?
>                         Ultimately, our goal is to reach learners (and
>                         educators) with powerful tools and engage them
>                         in Constructionist learning. Currently we
>                         reach them in many ways: the majority of our
>                         users get the Sugar desktop preinstalled on
>                         OLPC XO hardware. We have a more modest set of
>                         users who get Sugar packaged in Fedora,
>                         Trisquel, Debian, Ubuntu, or other GNU/Linux
>                         platforms. Some users get Sugar on Live Media
>                         (i.e., Sugar on a Stick). Recently Sugarizer,
>                         a repackaging of some of the core Sugar ideas
>                         for the browser, has been finding its way to
>                         some users. There are also a number of Sugar
>                         activities that are popular outside of the
>                         context Sugar itself, for example, Turtle
>                         Blocks, which has wide-spread use in India.
>                         Harder to measure is the extent to which Sugar
>                         has influenced other providers of
>                         “educational” software. If the Sugar pedagogy
>                         is incorporated by others, that advances our goal.
>                         Who supports Sugar?
>                         When we first created Sugar Labs, we
>                         envisioned “Local Labs”—hence the name “Sugar
>                         Labs”, plural—that would provide local support
>                         in terms of local-language support, training,
>                         curriculum development, and customizations.
>                         This model has not ever gained the scale and
>                         depth envisioned (we can debate the reasons
>                         why), although there are still some active
>                         local communities (e.g., Educa Paraguay) that
>                         continue to work closely with the broader
>                         community. There are also individual
>                         volunteers, such as Tony Anderson and T.K.
>                         Kang, who help support individual schools in
>                         Rwanda, Malaysia, et al. An open question is
>                         how do we support our users over the long term?
>                         What is next for Sugar?
>                         We face several challenges at Sugar Labs. With
>                         the ebb of OLPC, we have a contracting user
>                         base and the number of professional developers
>                         associated with the project is greatly
>                         diminished. How can we expand our user base?
>                         How can we attract more experienced
>                         developers? Why would they want to work on
>                         Sugar as opposed to some other project? The
>                         meta issue is how do we keep Sugar relevant in
>                         a world of Apps and small, hand-held devices?
>                         Can we meet the expectations of learners
>                         living in a world of fast-paced, colorful
>                         interfaces? How do we ensure that it is
>                         fulfilling its potential as a learning
>                         environment and that our users, potential
>                         users, and imitators are learning about and
>                         learning from Sugar. Some of this is a matter
>                         of marketing; some of this is a matter of
>                         staying focused on our core pedagogy; some of
>                         this a matter of finding strategic partners
>                         with whom we can work.
>                         We have several near-term opportunities that
>                         we should leverage:
>                         * Raspian: The Raspberry PI 3.0 is more than
>                         adequate to run Sugar—the experience rivals or
>                         exceeds that of the OLPC XO 4.0 hardware.
>                         While RPi is not the only platform we should
>                         be targeting, it does has broad penetration
>                         into the Maker community, which shares a
>                         synergy with our emphasis on “doing”. It is
>                         low-hanging fruit. With a little polish we
>                         could have an image available for download
>                         from the RPi website.
>                         * Trisquel: We have the potential for better
>                         leveraging the Free Software Foundation as a
>                         vehicle for promoting Sugar. Their distro of
>                         choice is Trisquel and the maintainer does a
>                         great job of keep the Sugar packages up to date.
>                         * Sugarizer: The advantage of Sugarizer is
>                         that it has the potential of reaching orders
>                         of magnitude more users since it is web-based
>                         and runs in Android and iOS. There is some
>                         work to be done to make the experience
>                         palatable on small screens and the current
>                         development environment is—at least my
>                         opinion—not scalable or maintainable. The
>                         former is a formidable problem. The latter
>                         quite easy to address.
>                         * Stand-alone projects such as Music Blocks
>                         have merit as long as they maintain both a
>                         degree of connection with Sugar and promote
>                         the values of the community. It is not certain
>                         that these projects will lead users towards
>                         Sugar, but they do promote FOSS and
>                         Constructionist principles. And they have
>                         attracted new developers to the Sugar community.
>                         * School-server: The combination of the School
>                         Server and Sugar desktop is a technical
>                         solution to problems facing small and remote
>                         communities. We should continue to support and
>                         promote this combination.
>                         Specific actions: After last year’s Libre
>                         Planet conference, several community members
>                         discussed a marketing strategy for Sugar. We
>                         thought that if we could reach influencers, we
>                         might be able to greatly amplify our efforts.
>                         There are several prominent bloggers and
>                         pundits in the education arena who are widely
>                         read and who might be receptive to what we are
>                         doing. One significant challenge is that
>                         GNU/Linux remains on the far periphery of the
>                         Ed Tech world. Although the “love affair” with
>                         all things Apple seems to be over, the new
>                         elephant in the room—Chromebooks and Google
>                         Docs—is equally difficult to co-exist with.
>                         Personally, I see the most potential synergy
>                         with the Maker movement, which is building up
>                         momentum in extra-curricular programs, where
>                         FOSS and GNU-Linux are welcome (hence my
>                         earlier focus on RPi). (There are even some
>                         schools that are building their entire
>                         curriculum around PBL.) We can and should
>                         develop and run some workshops that can
>                         introduce Sugar within the context of the
>                         Maker movement. (Toward that end, I have been
>                         working with some teachers on how to leverage,
>                         for example, Turtle Blocks for 3D printing.)
>                         It is very much a tool-oriented community with
>                         little overall discussion of architectural
>                         frameworks, so we have some work to do. But
>                         there is lots of low-hanging fruit there.
>                         regards.
>                         -walter
>                         -- 
>                         Walter Bender
>                         Sugar Labs
>                         http://www.sugarlabs.org
>                         _______________________________________________
>                         IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a
>                         laptop project!)
>                         IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
>                         <mailto:IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org>
>                         http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
>                         <http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep>
>                 -- 
>                 Walter Bender
>                 Sugar Labs
>                 http://www.sugarlabs.org
>                 _______________________________________________
>                 IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
>                 IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org <mailto:IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org>
>                 http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
>                 <http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep>
>             -- 
>             Laura V.
>             *I&D SomosAZUCAR.Org*
>             “No paradox, no progress.”
>             ~ Niels Bohr
>             Happy Learning!
>             _______________________________________________
>             Sugar-devel mailing list
>             Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>             <mailto:Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org>
>             http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
>             <http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel>
>     -- 
>     Laura V.
>     *I&D SomosAZUCAR.Org*
>     “No paradox, no progress.”
>     ~ Niels Bohr
>     Happy Learning!
> -- 
> 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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