Archive/Current Events/2009-07-01

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Sugar Digest

1. A dear friend and mentor, Henry Aristide “Red” Boucher, died yesterday at the age of 88. Red taught me never to say never. His energy and enthusiasm were infectious and his capacity to do the right thing was boundless. I'll miss him.

2. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Sebastian Dziallas and the Sugar community, Sugar Labs announces the availability of Sugar on a Stick, codenamed "Strawberry". It features the latest version of the Sugar desktop environment—Version 0.84—and a number of additional activities, providing a great learning experience for new and experienced users. For more information and instructions—how to put SoaS on your USB key or how to deploy it—please refer to our release notes.

Help Wanted

3. Lionel Laske has asked for help with the French version of the Sugar FLOSS manual. He is happy to announce the results of their efforts.

4. There is a new page in the wiki, What could I do in an hour?, for collecting ideas for quick contributions. Please add your ideas.

In the community

5. Coming up this week: Sugar at Linuxtag (24–27 June in Berlin). The marketing team has made a great banner to draw attention to our booth.

6. Also, Sugar at FOSSED in Bethel, Maine, 24–26 June. Caroline Meeks and I will be running a three-hour Sugar workshop for teachers.

7. And Sugar at NECC in Washington DC, 28 June–1 July. Mike Lee, Jeff Elkner and others from the Washington DC area will be representing Sugar Labs.

8. Squeakfest will be held in Los Angeles 10–12 August and in Porto Alegre 23–25 Julho.

9. There is an on-going discussion about setting up a program similar to the Fedora Ambassadors program to help facilitate more community involvement in Sugar. Sugar "Facilitators" would:

  • Represent Sugar to the wider public
  • Help spread the word about Sugar
  • Be a point of contact for local community members and channel the feedback to the Sugar community
  • Help recruit contributors
  • Think of creative ways for promoting Sugar in your region

Tech Talk

10. Tomeu Vizoso has been making great progress on improving support for Gnash/Flash based activities within Sugar.

11. David Van Assche started a thread on personalisation and collaboration. The gist of the discussion is that we should be able to enhance many of the collaboration and evaluation scenarios by capturing and sharing information about user preferences and activities. Please join the discussion as this could be an important topic for Sugar 0.86.

12. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Nexcopy had donated a USB replicator to Sugar Labs. Caroline and I have successfully used the replcator to make Sugar on a Stick keys—we'll be bringing the system with us to FOSSED this week. We plan to use it at the Gardner Elementary School this summer as well.

13. Eric Bachard reports on http://planet.go-oo.org/ that starting in July there will be a new collaboration between OpenOffice.org Education Project and Epitech Paris. Thomas Fontenay and Abdelkader Bellabes will work on a forked version of OpenOffice.org, named OOo4Kids, for performance improvement on low-power machines, like XO or gdium.

14. Manusheel Gupta reports the release of SocialCalc 0.8.3g for the Sugar environment. Please try SocialCalc.xo and share your feedback. Many thanks to Dan Bricklin, Luke Closs, K.S. Preeti, Nicholas Doiron, Claudia Urrea, and Vijit Singh.

Note to developers: K.S. Preeti has compiled a manual for programmers for SocialCalc.

15. Last week, I mentioned that I had modified Mitchel Charity's Ruler activity to look up the screen resolution so that it would render properly on non-OLPC-XO displays. I had been parsing xdpyinfo to get the display resolution. Tomeu recommended that I use gtk.gdk.screen_width_mm() instead. Alas, it turns out that neither method is returning the proper screen resolution (either from within Sugar or otherwise) on any of the machines I have been using. Back to square one.

Sugar Labs

16. Gary Martin has generated a SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see SOM).