Archive/Current Events/2008-12-15

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Sugar Digest

1. SFC: Sugar Labs and the Software Freedom Conservancy have (finally) issued a joint press release regarding our joining the conservancy.


Sugar Labs joins the Software Freedom Conservancy

Boston, MA, December 9 2008: Sugar Labs today announced its membership in the Software Freedom Conservancy, an organization of free and open source software projects. Sugar Labs supports the free and open source desktop environment, Sugar, originally created for the One Laptop per Child Project (OLPC). The Sugar community now has an active global developer base that is focused on engaging young children in learning through computing and the Internet. As a member of the Conservancy the Sugar community will work to accelerate the adoption of the Sugar learning platform and strengthening the project by attracting new industry members and community contributors.

In May 2008, the Sugar project became independent of OLPC, making Sugar available to a wider community of Sugar developers and users. Subsequently Sugar has been ported to Debian, Ubuntu, and other GNU/Linux distributions. Sugar can now run on almost any computer hardware. In October 2008, Sugar Labs released Sugar Version 0.82, which features enhanced usability and stability. In November, Sugar announced the availability of the pre-alpha version of "Sugar on a Stick", a LiveUSB image of Sugar that gives children access to Sugar on any computer with just a USB key. Joining the Conservancy is an important milestone in the path towards making Sugar available to children everywhere.

Founded in March 2006, the Conservancy allows developers of its member projects to unite under a common organization which provides much-needed administrative services to them. This structure spares each software project the burden of starting and maintaining its own independent non-profit organization. Sugar labs has joined as the Conservancy's fifteenth member project.

And Sugar is now listed on the Member Projects page at the conservancy. A tip of the hat to Bradley Kuhn and Karen Sandler for their hard work on behalf of Sugar Labs.

2. Sugar local: Rafael Ortiz and Sebastian Silva are making progress on Sugar Labs Colombia. They now have email addresses (@ for their members and a new list (sugar-colombia AT A wiki and a static landing site are being built.

3. Sugar style: It was remarked on one of the lists that there is no introduction to Sugar for people with preconceptions about computer user interfaces (e.g., Windows and GNU/Linux desktop users). I am reminded of Brian Harvey's classic, Computer Science Logo Style, that many of us C programmers used a guide to Logo-style thinking. Maybe someone could write a chapter for the Sugar FLOSS manual on the Sugar style?

4. Sugar look: Christian Schmidt has fleshed out the Marketing Team/Logo page in the wiki, adding more colors, SVGs, and some guidelines for use. Also, Jameson Quinn has been leading an "animated" discussion about using a Sugar Glider as our mascot. (A Sugar Glider is a "flying" marsupial from Australia.)

Community jams, meet-ups, and meetings

5. FUDConF11 will be held at MIT (Cambridge, MA) 9–11 January.

6. There will be a Skolelinux/Debian-Edu developer gathering in Trondheim, Norway 23–25 January 2009 (See 2009-01 Trondheim).

7. There will be a Python for Teachers workshop at Pycon in Chicago in late March, 2009.

Tech Talk

8. SVG performance: When I made the transition from GIF to SVG rendering in Turtle Art, we took an unacceptable hit in performance. It has motivated a number of people have jumped in to the discussion about SVG rendering in Cairo and GTK. Stay tuned for recommendations on how to tune SVG rendering.

9. Michael Stone and Martin Dengler continue to plug away at C. Scott Ananian's Journal rebase. Follow the fun.

Sugar Labs

10. Self-organizing map (SOM): Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see SOM).