Archive/Current Events/2008-06-16

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Sugar Digest

It has been a busy week for Sugar Labs.

1. Sucrose: On behalf of the Release Team, Simon Schampijer announced Sucrose 0.81.2 (Development Release). Features of this new release include elimination of some platform dependencies, an improved activity-list view, a graphical user interface to the Sugar control panel (including settings for Frame activation delays), and expanded internationalization of Etoys. The next development release is scheduled in two weeks. Thanks to everyone who made this release possible! (Please refer to 0.82/0.81.2 Notes for detailed release notes.) XO users can test the release by updating to joyride-2024 (Please see http://xs-dev.laptop.org/~cscott/olpc/streams/joyride/build2024/).

2. Governance: One of the challenges that free and open-source projects face is the impact of governance on their community members: while FOSS licenses assure access to source code, that doesn't guarantee a successful project. A governance model can help ensure that the project is run in a professional, disciplined, and equitable manner. Good governance lets the community engage in discourse and provides a transparent mechanism for arbitration in the hopefully rare circumstances in which it is necessary.

Some attributes that are necessary for good governance include: meritocracy, transparency of process, open access to anyone who has demonstrated the skills to contribute, and a means to ensure a balance of control so that no one special interest wrests control of either the discourse or the decision-making.

A draft proposal for a governance model for Sugar Labs has been posted to the wiki (Please see http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/SugarLabs:Governance). Community input and feedback is important: please help us get this done properly. Feel free to make corrections and comments in the wiki or on the IAEP list.

3. It's an education project: This week has also seen a discussion of the educational mission of Sugar Labs in the main-stream media and blog-sphere—a refreshing change of pace from the focus on hardware. You can keep tabs on some of the threads by visiting the Press section of the wiki (Please see http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Press#Sugar_in_the_news).

4. Help Wanted: Sugar Labs was created to provide a mechanism for supporting the Sugar community of volunteers. These volunteers are engaged in a variety of activities: some are writing software to improve Sugar; some are porting Sugar to new platforms; some are developing new activities that run in Sugar; some are helping to debug Sugar and help with quality assurance; some are writing documentation for Sugar developers and for those who use Sugar in the field; some are developing new scenarios for learning with Sugar; some are using Sugar and reporting upon their experiences to the community; and some are providing help and support.

Since we started Sugar Labs, we have been receiving a number of requests for help: porting Sugar to new distributions; tuning Sugar on a specific hardware platform; developing specific Sugar activity; helping with support in specific deployments, etc. In order to expedite these requests, a new section in the wiki (http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_help).

5. Wiki: David Farning continues to make great progress in organizing and fleshing out the Sugar Labs wiki. He has moved a great deal of the Sugar documentation over from wiki.laptop.org and is in the process of finishing up the translation menus and importing of some missing images. In support of the Developer Team, he is setting up an automated API documentation generator set up as well as jhbuild. He is seeking some help from the learning community to set up the Education Team pages (Please see the stub at http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Education_Team).


Community jams and meetups

Tech Talk

6. Developer meetings: Weekly sugar developers meetings were restarted this past week; meetings are Thursdays at 17:00 (UTC) on irc.freenode.net, on the #sugar-meeting channel (Please see http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/DevelopmentTeam/Meetings). You are invited to join; please add topics that you'd like to discuss (Instructions are in the wiki at http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/DevelopmentTeam/Meetings#How_to_add_topics).

7. Review process: Simon Schampijer has written up notes about the code-review process (Please see http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/DevelopmentTeam/CodeReview).

8. Autodocumentation: As mentioned above, David Faring has put together an alpha version of an automated API documentation system (Please see http://www.sugarlabs.org/~dfarning/). The APIs are generated using epydoc, which only documents Python files; any C code (or other languages) are not documented.

9. Activities: Simon reports that a new version of the log-activity has been released (You can download the source from http://dev.laptop.org/pub/sugar/sources/log-activity/Log-9.tar.bz2 and the bundle from http://dev.laptop.org/~erikos/bundles/other/Log-9.xo). The new log-activity enables users be able to read the Sugar logs on non-XO platforms.

Bert Freudenberg reports the release of a new version of Etoys (See http://dev.laptop.org/pub/sugar/sources/etoys/etoys-3.0.2007.tar.gz and http://dev.laptop.org/pub/sugar/sources/etoys-activity/etoys-activity-82.tar.gz or the ready-to-use bundles http://etoys.laptop.org/rpms/etoys-3.0.2007-1.noarch.rpm and http://etoys.laptop.org/rpms/Etoys-82.xo). Look forward to more translatable phrases and a minor tile fixes.

Tomeu Vizoso has made great progress on the Browse activity (You can download the source from http://dev.laptop.org/pub/sugar/sources/web-activity/Web-89.tar.bz2 and the bundle from http://dev.laptop.org/~erikos/bundles/Web-89.xo). Improvements include making the object chooser transient on the activity window; an Edit toolbar; a Follow link item in the link palette; a palette for images; and a simple palette for links with an option to copy to the clipboard.

10. Feature freeze: The feature (and strings) freeze (20 June) is approaching very quickly (Please see http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/DevelopmentTeam/Release/Roadmap#New_features).

11. Games: Robert Krahn reports that more games (now available as activities that can easily be installed from the Browse activity) are available at http://www.swa.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/projects/olpc/ thanks to the efforts of the HPI Software Architecture Group at the University of Potsdam.

12. LiveCD: Wolfgang Rohrmoser reports that a new release (080607) of the Livebackup XO-LiveCD is available (Please see http://dev.laptop.org/pub/livebackupcd/build-708+joyride-2024). There is a mirror (ftp://rohrmoser-engineering.de/pub/XO-LiveCD/) in Germany.

This Live-CD project targets the main goals:

  • Give children, students, teachers and parents the opportunity to participate and use the educational software on a generic PC;
  • Demonstration of OLPC/Sugar software to non-developers; you can also start the sugar desktop on Windows, Linux or MacOS using a Virtual Machine; and
  • For developers the CD provides an easy maintainable Live-System, which could be used to develop and test activities on the Sugar desktop.

The main features and changes since version 080321 include:

  • Dual boot option for update.1 and joyride builds; you can try out the new Sugar design by booting a recent (2024) OLPC joyride version;
  • Improved CD customization; additional activities and RPM packages can be installed by putting them into CD top-level directories;
  • A new script to prepare USB boot devices out of the Live-ISO image;
  • Tested on a wide range of PC and laptop hardware and proved to work with all common virtual machines on Windows, MacOS and Linux;
  • Additional Xorg graphic drivers and improved X11 auto-configuration tools;
  • Bug fixes, updates and new activities; and
  • Linux kernel 2.6.24.7, using the aufs-filesystem.

Further information is available (Please see ftp://rohrmoser-engineering.de/pub/XO-LiveCD/XO-LiveCD_080607.pdf and join the discussion at http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/livebackup-xo-cd).

Sugar Labs

13. SOM: Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Image:2008-May-31-June-06-som.jpg). From looking over the map, the discussion seems to have been focused on Sugar development: what is used, needed, made and to be made.