We are on the eve of the release of Sugar (Sucrose 0.84). This is the second major release since Sugar Labs was founded and the community has shown great discipline in keeping to the release schedule while simultaneously making great strides in usability and stability. The complexity of the release process has been compounded by the fact that we are targeting a much broader base than previously. Not only are we working with many more GNU/Linux distributions (easily twice as many as with 0.82), but the LiveCD/LiveUSB distributions are playing a major role in our outreach strategy—supporting this diversity requires much more coordination and more testing cycles. As the new release is pulled into the distributions we'll undoubtedly get feedback about bugs—we are still too thin on the testing (Bug) team, but nonetheless, we are on a trajectory towards a much improved product that will reach many more children in the coming months.
While much of work has been targeting low-level improvements, some user-facing Sugar (Glucose) highlights include "resume by default", which makes it much easier to access on-going projects and greatly reduces clutter in the Journal, and universal "view source", activated by "Shift-Alt-V". The community has also been busy enhancing Sugar Activities (Fructose). Old favorites have seen improvements and many new Activities have been added.
The Localization team has been busy. We have almost complete support for more than 25 languages and almost 70 active language teams.
The biggest changes in terms of infrastructure are the switch over to Gitorious for project hosting and the recent addition of addons.sugarlabs.org. Gitorious makes Sugar truly a distributed project. No one gates adding new projects or forking of existing projects. The intelligence is "in the leaves" and now the control is in the leaves as well. Visit addons.sugarlabs.org if you haven't done so already. It is modeled after the Mozilla addon site and it is much more accessible for the user (and efficient for the developer) than the cumbersome wiki interface we had been using. Further, it is designed for scale.
We are also on the eve of launching a static website as a series of landing pages for sugarlabs.org. Christian Schmidt and the Design Team have worked tireless to built a site that will be much more accessible to teachers and parents, many of whom have found the wiki to be impenetrable. Sean Daley and the Marketing Team have been helping fill in the many holes in the site's content and also turning my academic-speak into something comprehensible. A highlight of the new site is a beautifully illustrated narrative by graphic artist, Dongyun Lee. During a heated feedback process some great ideas for a children-oriented site that more directly interfaces to Sugar were voiced. Something to aspire to in the coming months.
Kudos to Simon Schampijer and all the members of the Release Team., Sayamindu Dasgupta and the Localization Team, Bernie Innocenti and Dave Farning and the Infrastructure Team, Christian, Dongyun, Sean, and all the members of the Design and Marketing Teams, and all the Activity authors and the various teams at the upstream distributions who have been helping with packaging, debugging, and feedback.
Community jams, meet-ups, and meetings
- Walter be hosting a meeting of the Oversight Board this coming Friday (2009-03-07) at 14 UTC, 9 EST on irc.freenode.net #sugar-meeting
- Walter be hosting a meeting of the Education Team this coming Friday (2009-03-07) at 15 UTC, 10 EST on irc.freenode.net #sugar-meeting
- Homunq will be hosting a Google Summer of Code meeting on Wednesday (2009-03-05) at 17 UTC, 12 EST on irc.freenode.net #sugar-meeting
Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see SOM).