Archive/Current Events/2008-12-29

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Sugar Digest

1. gitorious: It was time to try migrating TurtleArt, the project I am maintaining, over to git.sugarlabs.org. The new git system we are using, gitorious, has a user interface that is more "web-friendly" than any git systems I have used before. It does a good job of leading through the process of creating new projects. One of the nice things about it is that anyone can create or fork a project unilaterally, thus I think it will work well with the distributed nature of Sugar development. (So fork your favorite project (TurtleArt) in order to try out your ideas!!!) I would recommend Marco Pesenti Gritti's quick guide to migrating projects and you may want to learn from my mistakes as well.

2. Sugar and GNOME:

BOSTON, Mass — December 22, 2008 — Sugar Labs, a member of the Software Freedom Conservancy, is joining the GNOME Foundation as part of the GNOME Advisory Board. Sugar Labs creates software for young children used on platforms like the One Laptop Per Child's XO. Sugar is based on the GNOME platform and relies on technologies like GTK+ and Telepathy.
"The resources made available by the GNOME project have been essential to the development of the Sugar learning platform", says Walter Bender, executive director of Sugar Labs. "The Sugar community looks forward to working more closely with the GNOME Foundation on topics such as GNOME Mobile and an upstream collaboration framework." Walter Bender will be representing Sugar Labs on the GNOME Advisory Board.
GNOME forms the basis of many platforms such as Sugar, Maemo, and Ubuntu Netbook Remix, and also delivers the desktop platform offered by companies such as Novell, Red Hat and Sun Microsystems. GNOME is actively cooperating with the makers of these platforms in order to make sure that they can use GNOME technologies as efficiently and effectively as possible and to enable cross-fertilization of resources. Members of the GNOME Advisory Board help the GNOME Foundation work with partner companies effectively and they also get a chance to collaborate with each other on their use of GNOME technologies.
"The GNOME Foundation is excited to have Sugar Labs join the advisory board." says Stormy Peters, executive director of the GNOME Foundation. "Sugar embodies the GNOME mission of making sure technology is available to anyone, not just technical people, regardless of culture, financial well-being or physical ability. The interface provided by Sugar offers an innovative way to interact with technology and the internet. This work is heavily influencing the GNOME community as they think about potential ways to improve GNOME in the future."

3. Sugar Labs™: Karen Sandler, a lawyer at the Software Freedom Conservancy, who has been helping us will all things legal has confirmed that our trademark application for the name Sugar Labs has been submitted to the USPTO (with the Conservancy, our parent organization, named as the applicant). "They indicate in our receipt that it will be 4–5 months before we are assigned an examining attorney. In the meantime the mark is a 'pending' application." Karen will start working on a trademark policy for Sugar that we will post in the wiki.

4. Mobilis (Encore): It is summer in Brazil. Paulo Drummond was the first one to bring to my attention that Mobilis has won a bid to bring 150,000 laptops to children in Brazil. (OLPC did not participate in the bid.) As I understand it, it will be running a Mandriva distribution of GNU/Linux. There has already been some preliminary discussion about a Sugar port to Mandriva. Let's make it happen.

5. Dailymotion seems to be the site where videos about learning projects are being aggregated. Sebastian Silva pointed out these video on the Sur list this week:

6. Hilaire Fernandes, who brought us DrGeo, has a new project underway:

I am working on a learning system written in Smalltalk. The contents is only in French for now, and only cover multiplication learning, but I am planing for more in various subjects. Underneath the curriculum is in a graph to help situating the learning progression of the learner.
Etayage is a French translation of Scaffolding, in relation to Joseph Bruner term. In iStoa.net, an Etayage is a set of exercises organized with a specific pedagogical goal. The whole is organized from the largest to the smallest as: Etayage > Etayage step > Exercise > artifacts A suggested reading in English: istoa-exercises.pdf --Hilaire

Community jams, meet-ups, and meetings

7. 9–11 January FUDConF11 at MIT (Cambridge, MA)

8. 25 April 2009 El Festival Latinoamericano de Instalación de Software Libre (FLISoL) in Caracas, Venezuela

Not only in Caracas...., El FLISoL (Festival Latinoamericano de Instalacion de Software Libre) is an distributed event: last one was made in 18 countries and more than 200 cities at the same day: April 26th. In 2009, It'll be at April 25th. We'll try to do a Sugar conference and a little Sugar workshop with children, parents and teachers in Bogotá, Colombia for that day. --Maria del Pilar Saenz

9. Lionel Laske posted a report about the OLPC France Code Camp held on 25 November in Paris. 40 attendees participated in a series of workshops:

  • The learning workshop participants drafted requirements for a French version of WikiBrowse and investigated the possibility of doing animation on an OLPC-XO.
  • The translation workshop participants translated the FLOSS Manual.
  • The School Server participants workshop focused on network configuration.
  • The Sugar workshop participants workd on a Mind-Mapping activity and video integration.
  • The Mono workshop participants wrote tutorials about designing Sugar Activity for C#/Mono developers.

Help wanted

10. I will try feature a small project each week that someone from the community could tackle. Would someone be willing to create a page in the wiki on how to use IRC? (And perhaps embed a web-based client such as mibbit somewhere?) Thanks.

Tech Talk

11. NM: Simon Schampijer landed wired-interface support for Network Manager. While doing that he reviewed and reworked the "device appears" logic with Eben Eliason. Simon also fixed a bug that could cause the wireless dialog to not appear.

12. Sucrose 0.83.3: Simon also did help to get Sucrose 0.83.3 out of the door. The following modules were released this week:

  • sugar-0.83.4
  • sugar-base-0.83.2
  • sugar-datastore-0.83.1
  • sugar-toolkit-0.83.3
  • sugar-artwork-0.83.2

13. There were also lots of updates to Sugar Activities this week:

  • Jukebox-6
  • Read-62
  • Browse-102
  • Chat-61
  • TurtleArt-24 (it will now export Logo code to the Journal)
  • TurtleArtwithSensors-5 (updated to accommodate the switch from numeric to numpy)
  • ImageViewer-5
  • Terminal-21
  • Colors!-13

14. Bert Freudenberg made a virtual machine that allows one to emulate the XO "in VMWare on a Mac, running Sugar in the XO's native 1200x900 resolution, scaled down to a nice physical size in a window on a regular screen (fullscreen works, too)."

15. Etoys 4.0: Bert also announced the first release of Etoys 4.0 this week. The major version jump signifies the end of a two-year relicensing effort.

Originally released in 1996, Apple relicensed the Squeak core under the Apache 2.0 license in October 2006 – thanks to Steve, Alan Kay, and the lawyers involved. Then, Viewpoints Research collected written relicensing agreements from several hundred later contributors under the MIT license – thanks to Kim Rose and the Squeak community volunteers. Finally, all the code in Etoys not explicitly covered by a relicensing agreement was removed, or rewritten, or reverted to an earlier version – kudos to Yoshiki Ohshima for the bulk of that work.

We are all looking forward to see Etoys properly packaged in more distributions now that the licensing issues have been cleared up.

Sources:

Packaged:

Sugar Labs

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