1. The OLPC XO 1.75 machines (beta units) are starting to be distributed to developers. This machine is ARM based, which means that it will have superior battery life once all of the fine-tuning is complete. It also means that it uses some different components, e.g., audio circuitry, so there is some driver work to be done. But so far, so good.
One of the nice things about the 1.75 is that the OLPC engineering team threw in a few additional sensors. Saadia Husain Baloch got the accelerometer working and I immediately wrote a Turtle Art plug-in (included with v114). Saadia wrote a fun 'etch-a-sketch' program in Turtle Art that works by shaking the machine.
Not to be outdone, I added an enhancement to the Portfolio activity while I was on a short flight last week. If you hit the left side of the XO, it will advance to the next slide. If you hit the right side of the XO, it will return to the previous slide. The person sitting next to me on the plane told me, "That's the strangest thing I have ever seen anyone do with a computer."
The bottom line is the more sensors the better: we want to give young learners more opportunities to observe and interactive with the physical world.
2. At the Desktop Summit held in Berlin earlier this month, the Senate of Berlin and TSB Technology Foundation Berlin presented an award for promising project ideas based on open software to be realized in Berlin. The prize was given to Raffael Reichelt for his idea of opening real labs as a place for children to learn and work with Sugar.
In the community
3. The September (10–11) Paris Sugar Camp is building up momentum. Preliminary program:
- Saturday morning: “Fix Sugar Docs” camp (Part 1);
- Saturday afternoon: Plenary session (OLPC France’s activities, OLPC deployment feedback, etc.);
- Sunday morning: “Fix Sugar Docs” camp (Part 2);
- Sunday afternoon: CodeCamp (bug hunting, code reviews, learning Sugar, ideas, etc.)
4. At the end of October (28–30) there will be a GTK3 hackfest at the BRMLAB Hacker Space in Prague. The focus will be:
- removing Hippo and other custom widgets;
- migration path to GTK3 (Do we ship two toolkits? Do we migrate the shell and the toolkit and activities at once?);
- porting Sugar's theme to GTK3;
- other introspected libraries that need work (namely Network Manager)
5. The Sugar localization/developer/design/activity/release/testing teams have been busy working on the 0.94 release. This release will feature:
- the reenabling of a filter in Home View (important now that there are so many activities);
- a more efficient Activity-startup animation;
- the ability to duplicate (with the intention of modifying) activities from the View Source submenu
- View Source for the sugar-toolkit;
- $HOME/Documents added to the Journal Volumes toolbar to facilitate access to files created outside of Sugar;
- enhancements to the wireless-network Frame device, including adding text for disconnected state;
- support for removing connections and “forgetting” network credentials;
- standardization to an improved reference design for Sugar toolbars;
- refactoring of pootle/git interface to bring the location efforts into sync
Many thanks to everyone who has been working so hard on this release.
Gary Martin has generated a SOM from the past few weeks of discussion on the IAEP mailing list.
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