Talk:Oversight Board 2008 Candidates
Curious - how does one vote for an 'alias' (FFM). Hey may be known to OLPC/Sugar folks, but nothing identifies him as an actual person....
- 1 Background on the candidates
- 1.1 Aaron Kaplan (aaronk)
- 1.2 Ben Schwartz (bemasc)
- 1.3 Bernie Innocenti (bernie)
- 1.4 Chris Ball (cjb)
- 1.5 Chris Leonard (cjl)
- 1.6 Christian Marc Schmidt (christianschmidt)
- 1.7 Christoph Derndorfer (christophd)
- 1.8 David Farning (dfarning)
- 1.9 Edward Cherlin (mokurai)
- 1.10 Erik Blankinship (jedierikb)
- 1.11 Firefoxman (ffm)
- 1.12 Greg Dekoenigsberg (gregdek)
- 1.13 Henry Hardy (hhardy)
- 1.14 Hernán Pachas (hpachas)
- 1.15 Iain Davidson (ixo)
- 1.16 Marco Pesenti Gritti (marcopg)
- 1.17 Martin Dengler (mtd)
- 1.18 Pablo Flores (pflores)
- 1.19 Rabi Karmacharya (rabikarma)
- 1.20 Rafael Ortiz (dirakx)
- 1.21 Simon Schampijer (erikos)
- 1.22 Tomeu Vizoso (tomeu)
- 1.23 Walter Bender (walter)
Background on the candidates
Aaron Kaplan (aaronk)
Aaron is the founder and an active member of OLPC Austria, where he has, among other projects, ported Sugar to the Classmate PC. Aaron is a programmer; he studied maths and computer sciences in Vienna, and is the founder of the funkfeuer wireless community mesh network.
Ben Schwartz (bemasc)
Ben is a graduate of MIT with degrees in “Physics with Electrical Engineering” and “Mathematics with Computer Science”. He is a PhD program in the department of Biophysics at Harvard University. Ben has been an active contributor to Sugar and written some key Sugar activities, including the Distance Activity.
Bernie Innocenti (bernie)
Bernie is a volunteer working for the Sugar Labs team. Until February 2008, he was a full time volunteer developer at OLPC. His job was hacking X, the base Fedora OS, the Linux kernel, some i18n and input work. Later on, until April 2008, he was CTO of OLPC Europe and traveled around to present the OLPC project to government officials and dignitaries. Bernie has been instrumental in helping set up the Sugar Labs back-end infrastructure and spent the summer in Nepal, working with teachers and the FOSS community.
Oversight Board Platform: To position itself as THE educational environment of the future, Sugar needs to grow a larger user and developer base. This is only possible by transforming Sugar into a truly community-driven project with its own independent identity.
Goals for Sugar Labs:
- Further enhance our public-facing web presence and development infrastructure;
- Work with multiple hardware and OS vendors to make Sugar available to the widest-possible user base;
- Foster the creation of companies and groups offering professional Sugar consulting and outsourcing;
- Continue to enroll volunteer community members in key roles of our infrastructure and public relations;
- Raise funding to sponsor developer meetings and our presence at major international events.
Anti-goals for Sugar Labs:
- Hire a large team of software developers – this would end up discouraging outside contributors;
- Brew a custom OS platform – we work with distributors, we don't compete against them;
- Let Sugar Labs become unfairly biased towards specific partners -- that would undermine our relationships with other partners;
- Trade project autonomy for funding or support – we're glad to offer our services, not our souls.
Personal agenda: to explore the possibility to build a small team of Sugar hackers that would offer consulting services such as porting to specific hardware platforms or development of features. Internet would be our office. Over the next few years, computers will become central in world education. This will in turn stimulate the creation of a florid industry offering hardware, software, and contents for the specific needs of schools. Sugar has a great competitive advantage over any proprietary offering on the horizon and it has a huge momentum. This is why Sugar is a rewarding business opportunity to invest in.
Chris Ball (cjb)
Chris is a software engineer at OLPC. He is primarily responsible for OLPC's power-management work, but has also worked on the automated testing tinderbox and most anything else that comes along. Chris is the author of the Pippy activity, as well as Words and WikiBrowse. Chris has been a steadfast supporter of FOSS as a foundational principle for Sugar and OLPC.
Chris Leonard (cjl)
Chris is a PhD biomedical researcher whose responsibilities include running an IT shop at a small pharmaceutical company with some very specialized requirements for blending IT and science. Chris is interested in making a personal contribution to the educational effort through content development in the field of health. He has found a wealth of opportunities to do something useful and rewarding and has worked to leverage what he has learned to assist others in getting involved with the project. Much of this has taken the form of behind-the-scenes work as a wiki sysop on both the OLPC and Sugar Lab wikis, working to lower language barriers (e.g. creating and deploying the GoogleTrans-xx templates for “reverse localization”), and reaching out to folks from deployments via IRC, wiki or e-mail to help them get their stories on the wiki. Most recently he has been working as a member of the “support gang”. Chris is interested in the educational goals of (lower case) olpc and how best to achieve those goals and believes that the separation of software development (Sugar Labs) and hardware marketing/deployment (OLPC) is a “good thing” and that with careful nurturing, the whole will become greater than the sum of the parts alone.
Chris would like to contribute his expertise in working with and advising non-profit organizations (various patient advocacy groups), government agencies (external reviewer/advisor National Institutes of Health, Roadmap Initiative) and software development operations (member of the Scientific Advisory Board of a scientific software firm, Artuslabs). Chris has a great deal of experience in acting as an “honest broker”, analyzing the roles and needs of various stakeholders and designing and implementing strategic plans to achieve optimal results. Chris believes he has the necessary expertise to advise SUgar Labs on a wide scope of issues that it faces in this initial stage of it's growth.
Christian Marc Schmidt (christianschmidt)
Christian is the lead user-interface/graphic designer from Pentagram working on Sugar. Christian has worked closely with Marco, Eben, and the original Sugar team for two years and continues to help us work though the numerous design challenges we face. For those of you who don't know it, Pentagram is one of the leading graphic design houses in the world. A sample of Christian's work can be found at http://www.christianmarcschmidt.com/.
"To add a few words here: I am interested in working with all of you to extend the Sugar user-interface, on OLPC as well as on other platforms and devices, in keeping with the established visual and interaction design principles, while also thinking about new opportunities. This includes maintaining our focus on a 'universal' design language through the use of body metaphors, full-screen zoom-levels and color signifying identity and ownership."
Christoph Derndorfer (christophd)
Christoph is the co-editor of olpcnews.com and a member of OLPC Austria. His main focus of contributions to Sugar (and OLPC) is in the areas of documentation (activity handbook / booksprint) and community outreach / presentations (chemnitzer linuxtage, cebit, austrian computer association, various austrian universities, olpc grassroots bootcamp).
David Farning (dfarning)
David's interests include community building. He is perhaps the most active contributor to the Sugar Labs wiki; he is starting a Sugar BugSquad and writing an API tutorial. He has been establishing relationships with Skolelinux, Edubuntu, and Fedora edu as well as reaching out to educational communities and embedded communities. David is creating activities.sugarlabs.org based on addons.mozilla.org; his initial a.m.o patchset is pending review by Mozilla.
Edward Cherlin (mokurai)
Mokurai is founder of Earth Treasury, an NGO to link schools around the world for education and business. He volunteers at OLPC as a volunteer coordinator, localization administrator (Khmer and Kreyòl), and general knoker (an especially Yiddish know-all, the kind who did math homework in pen), based on:
- his training as a mathematician, classroom teacher, amateur musician and linguist, philosopher, and Buddhist priest; plus
- his lifetime of encyclopedic reading, many years in high-tech market research and technical writing, and work in Unicode and Free Software.
Mokurai's vision for the XO is to End Poverty at a Profit all around. The mission is whatever planning, funding, research, development, and deployment is needed to make that happen, with a focus on Management by Exception in order to keep on top of what is needed in changing circumstances. Sugar Labs has the Sugar software as its main focus, but needs to work with others on the rest of the mission. We should raise substantial funding to support these substantive projects, up to the point at which they can become self-sustaining, in the manner of the Grameen Group of companies.
These are the principal elements of the mission today:
- Extend the OLPC and Sugar Labs work with evidence-based education research, curriculum development, and the redesign of textbooks. We must take maximum advantage of software on the XO, and of the best research that we can find or carry out on how children learn, and what is of greatest value for them to learn.
- Engineer appropriate solutions for electricity and Internet connections in even the poorest and most remote villages in every target environment, in collaboration with university Schools of Engineering, Engineers Without Borders, and others, in order to maximize the usefulness of XOs to children.
- Work with microfinance organizations to place these electricity and Internet solutions along with XOs. The intention is to jump-start local economies by selling modest amounts of surplus power and bandwidth, and thereby raise the money to pay off the original loans and make further investments.
- Create an R&D consortium to further all of these goals and whatever else turns out to be necessary. We know that issues of economics, governance, social attitudes, and sustainability are important. What do we need to know, and how can we come to know it? What can we learn from the children themselves, and from teachers, parents, and others?
- Tap into Barack Obama's plans to increase global development aid by $25 billion annually, including a $2 billion Global Education Fund; into the UN Millennium Development Goals program; Make Poverty History; and all of the other initiatives that share our vision, even if they don't know it yet.
- Save as many languages and cultures as possible from extinction by teaching the children how to record them.
- Link children, schools, and communities together around the world in a safe manner for collaborative development.
- Teach children how to create sustainable international businesses together using their new knowledge and skills.
Mokurai has extensive experience in every aspect of computers, as a tech writer, global market analyst, and software developer. Previous work includes math software and textbooks, Free Software for voting, Unicode support on the XO, [fighting spam around the world, and earlier anti-poverty projects. He can sometimes get people to stop talking past each other and answer the real questions (though not necessarily Nicholas). See, for example, the IETF discussions on multilingual URIs (link can be found on the User:Mokurai page in the wiki).
Erik Blankinship (jedierikb)
Erik is one of the principle authors of the Record Activity. Erik received his Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Laboratory. He also has an M.Ed. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. in English Literature with honors from the University of Maryland at College Park where he was a recipient of the Jim Henson Award for Projects Related to Puppetry. He has consulted for France Telecom, Motorola, Intel Research, and Ricoh Innovations on educational, assistive, and communication technology.
ffm is “a full time student who tries to take some time during the day to contribute” to Sugar Labs and OLPC. He is an administrator for both project's wikis.
Greg Dekoenigsberg (gregdek)
I am the co-founder and co-leader of Red Hat's community architecture team. As such, I am responsible for driving Red Hat's strategic investments in open source community development. I was the founding chairman of the Fedora Project board, and was primarily responsible for building Fedora's governance model. Currently, I serve as full-time primary liaison between Red Hat, the Fedora community, and the OLPC project, and is working actively to increase visible community participation within the OLPC project.
My priority for Sugar is to make it the desktop of choice for the “altruistic developer” – the savvy tech geek who is willing to live the Sugar experience. Sugar will improve rapidly when great free software developers are using it every day and feeling its growing pains directly. To that end, Jeremy Katz, Robin Norwood and I (all of Red Hat) have already proposed a feature in Fedora 10 to make Sugar one of the login options in gdm.
The absolute critical path for Sugar's success is to bring developers to the table. In Fedora, this is where I excelled, and I believe I can create the same results for Sugar.
Henry Hardy (hhardy)
Henry is the system administrator for OLPC. Henry's chief priorities for Sugar Labs are:
- Improve Sugar as a tool for learning and communicating; creating ideas, love and joy.
- Remain independent of undue corporate or government control or influence.
- Foster a community with substantive and constructive discussion.
- Not let egotism and pride get in the way of humbleness and consideration for others.
- Improve the build and release process.
- Put a computer in the hands of everyone.
- Use education to create a community to foster peace, tolerance, creativity and love.
Hernán Pachas (hpachas)
Hernán is the technical lead for the OLPC Peru deployment, the world's largest deployment of Sugar. He is an advocate for FOSS and founded a FOSS community at his university in Peru (USMP-LUG). Hernán is an Ambassador of Fedora for PERU, Red Hat Certified Technician, and Director of Operations of LPI Inc.
Iain Davidson (ixo)
Iain is a support volunteer from Bellingham, WA, USA. He has been one of the cornerstones of the OLPC support team, very active in the wiki, and has played a major role in testing and support for a number of Sugar activities, including: elements, xo-get, XoIRC, Speak, DrGeo, Clock, Doom, Colors! He has worked in support of Firefox, Opera, rsync , mc, thunar, xeyes, xawtv on the XO and has a number of activities in various stages of development. Iain also runs an XO repair center.
Marco Pesenti Gritti (marcopg)
Marco is the lead software developer for the Sugar project and is personally responsible for ~40% of the Sugar commits. Marco works for Red Hat and is based in Italy, outside of Milan. Marco is one of the founders of Sugar Labs.
Martin Dengler (mtd)
Martin is a professional programmer who got an XO to support the OLPC project and have a laptop for daily use. He has been an active contributor, not just to Sugar, but to project components such as power management, kernel, wireless, and various Sugar activities. He almost declined the nomination for the SugarLabs Oversight Board because it seemed like there were so many other very well-qualified people in the running, but kept himself in in case there seemed a desire for someone who was:
- A G1G1 donor
- A programmer who's had a number of patches to Sugar and other OLPC software packages accepted.
- Successful at making timely, practical decisions about software
- Not affiliated with OLPC or other Boston-area organisations
If elected, he will:
- Work amicably with other board members to
- Realize the promise of Sugar as an educational platform (e.g., among other things, implementing the "view source" key in the Sugar UI and Taxonomy#Fructose Fructose activities
- in a pragmatic but theoretically-motivated manner
If not elected, he will help SugarLabs/the board members to realize those goals anyway.
Pablo Flores (pflores)
Pablo has worked for Plan Ceibal in Uruguay (the OLPC deployment in Uruguay) since it began, in some official and some unofficial capacities. Pablo has a comprehensive “field look” on how Sugar is used in schools and how developers communities can contribute. Part of his experience is documented in the blog: proyecto-ceibal.blogspot.com; some of its articles have been translated by volunteers in olpc-ceibal.blogspot.com.
Pablo is currently working on two research projects related to Plan Ceibal and the 1:1 educational model:
- Proyecto Flor de Ceibo with Universidad de la República.
- ILATIS (Social Impact of 1:1 projects in Latin America and the Caribbean) with Fundación DESEM, within an international research team supported by IDRC-CRDI.
He recently produced the book Ceibal en la sociedad del siglo XXI. He is organizing a second Ceibal Jam!, engaging local communities to develop software for Plan Ceibal.
Rabi Karmacharya (rabikarma)
Rabi heads Open Learning Exchange Nepal (OLE Nepal), an organization involved in implementing the OLPC project in Nepal.
Rafael Ortiz (dirakx)
Rafael has been a volunteer for OLPC project for two years and has worked in different aspects of OLPC and Sugar, including localization, documentation, wireless networks, peripherals, testing, QA, and development porting Sugar software to Debian. Rafael is the Spanish localization administrator, and is list administration for OLPC colombia, OLPC sur and OLPC open.
Rafael is working in deployments for Colombia.
It is his interest that Sugar can be adopted by other hardware platforms besides the XO and that Sugar Labs does not lose focus on its pedagogical bases and feedback from deployments: the educational side of the project has to be the fundamental to all other processes, and that work must be done in union with countries.
Rafael asserts that although the XO/Sugar hardware-software combination is optimal, we can be more diverse by trying to get to other hardware platforms (in order to reach more children), but the important part is that Sugar must remain an educational software.
Simon Schampijer (erikos)
Simon is a software engineer under contract to OLPC. Simon has been a major contributor to Sugar, including components such as sugar-control-panel; he is the maintainer of the Browse Activity and has contributed to many other activities, including much of the work on music. Simon is currently serving as the manager of the Sugar Release Team, having overseen the release of Sucrose 0.82. Simon is a founding member of Sugar Labs.
Tomeu Vizoso (tomeu)
Tomeu is a Sugar developer under contract with OLPC. He works mostly in the Sugar shell and the Journal, but also maintains the DataStore. Tomeu is one of the major contributors to Sugar and is a founding member of Sugar Labs.
Walter Bender (walter)
Walter is a founding member of Sugar Labs. He was a founding member of OLPC, where he served as president of software and content. He left OLPC in order to build an independent home for the Sugar project, bringing it out from a narrow place. His aspirations for Sugar Labs are to bring a great learning experience to children and infect the education community with the spirit and culture of FOSS.