Archive/Current Events/2012-05-11

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Sugar Digest

1. Simon Schampijer and the Sugar Development Team have announced the preliminary release of Sugar 0.96. This development release is a major milestone as it is the first Sugar release to incorporate the Gtk+ 3 toolkit and introspection, better aligning us with the GNOME development community and enhancing our long-term positioning vis-a-vis growth, stability, maintenance, and relevance.

There are some rough edges, as would be expected from such a major effort. Please report bugs!

New features include a port of the Browse activity to webkit.

There are OLPC builds available for testing and Sugar 0.96 in the Fedora 17 beta.

This extraordinary effort began at the Prague workshop organized by Daniel Drake. It was sustained by Simon, Gonzalo, and Manuq, with help from Benjamin, Tomeu, Gary, Raul, Marco, Bert, Martin, Chris, et al. Congratulations and thank you.

2. Block that metaphor: I am in transit to Korea; my first visit in more than six years. The occasion for this trip is a lecture at the opening of iLab, a new "Media Lab" at Pohang University of Science and Technology. So I am wearing my "former director of the MIT Media Lab" hat rather than my "founder of Sugar Labs" hat. Not that I won't try to inject a little Sugar into my keynote speech.

It was in Korea, 10 years ago, that I "revealed" the Seven secrets of the Media Lab., based on the symbols of the seven days of the week in the Chinese calendar: sun, moon, fire, water, wood, gold, and earth. Today, I am recalling four lessons learned -- both at MIT and at Sugar Labs -- based on the cardinal directions: the azimuth of the southern sky* can be used to align goals -- without common goals, we drift apart; the setting sun can be used to align expectations -- mismatched expectations can lead to disappointment regardless of the quality of the work; the rising sun is the source of new light (and new ideas) -- a reminder to invest in community; and the steady northern light is a message to leadership to provide a safe place for taking risks. Many of these lessons were reinforced by my experiences at OLPC and Sugar Labs.

  • Note that since Korea is in the northern hemisphere, the sun peaks in the south.

3. I get a lot of coding done on airplanes. What I have been experimenting with lately are: (1) some work related to the Gtk-3 port -- lots of little tweaks; (2) some enhancements regarding touch -- in Turtle Art, Abacus, and Dimensions (AKA Visual Match); and (3) different approaches to help -- specifically, I've revamped the introductory animation in Dimensions. Please try the latter and let me know if you find it useful.

In the community

5. Details for eduJAM! the week of May 7-12 in Montevideo are available. eduJAM will be followed by a code sprint on the 13th and 14th.

6. The week following eduJAM! will be a Squeakfest, also in Montevideo (May 17-19) and May 21-22 in Buenos Aires.

Sugar Labs

Gary Martin has generated SOMs from the past few weeks of discussion on the IAEP mailing list:

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