Archive/Current Events/2008-12-22

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Sugar Digest

1. Sugar narrative: Caroline Meeks and I participated in a readathon at the Gardner School in Allston last week, giving us an opportunity to spend some time in classrooms in the school where we are planning a Sugar-on-a-Stick pilot. We also had an opportunity to meet with a former classroom teacher who is now focusing full time on curriculum development. There was synergy between all of our goals: good things will happen. However, one thing became obvious very early in the discussion: we are lacking a good narrative about Sugar and how it is used in schools. We have lots of pictures of children with laptops, but few of these pictures are illustrative of learning. We have some data—most notably from the Peru deployment—about the impact of Sugar on learning, but again, these are data illustrating results, not the process of achieving those results. While more deployment guides and lesson plans are being written, we still lack a compelling narrative.

Maybe it is time to dust off an old idea: Why don't we create a day in the life of Sugar, a movie/telenovela/graphic novel about various experiences with Sugar in the classroom? We have loads of material—we just need to start telling the story. Anyone interested in taking the lead on this project?

2. OLPC's Change the World program: It is refreshing to read that OLPC is beginning to embrace programs at a scale that can be launched at a grassroots level. Let's hope that this bottom-up approach is given a chance to get some momentum.

3. Sugar Workshop plan: Rafael Ortiz posted the workshop plan from a teacher workshop that took place at the Bunaima Foundation in Bogota, Colombia.

4. Local labs: We've been discussing frameworks for local/regional Sugar Labs. Please join the weekly discussion of the deployment team on Wednesdays at 14:00 UTC on irc.freenode.net channel #sugar-meeting. We'd appreciate more input from deployment teams around the world. There is a draft of a sample memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Sugar Labs and any organization that would like to establish a local lab. Please add your comments.

5. There is also Proposals Section in the wiki for aggregating information about potential grant opportunities for Sugar Labs and region groups. Please help us identify and pursue funding opportunities.

6. GNOME: I will be representing Sugar on the GNOME foundation board of advisers. If you have any Sugar-related concerns you would like voiced, please let me know.

7. Ignorant and seemingly happy that way: It seems there is still quite a bit of misinformation about free software in Texas (See Teacher Throws Fit).


Community jams, meet-ups, and meetings

8. It is not too late to sign up for FUDConF11, which will be held at MIT (Cambridge, MA) 9–11 January.

Tech Talk

9. git.sugarlabs.org: Marco Pesenti Gritti reports that the official repositories for the following modules have moved on git.sugarlabs.org:

  • sugar
  • sugar-base
  • sugar-toolkit
  • sugar-datastore
  • sugar-presence-service
  • sugar-jhbuild
  • read
  • chat

We are still working out some of the details regarding the process of a general migration to the new server.

10. Sugar team:

Marco's week also included:

  • looking into palette bugs in Sugar 0.83;
  • starting a team TODO, as substitute for the roadmap, which will be reviewed weekly;
  • writing about upstream/downstream relations with Sugar Labs;
  • updating jhbuild dependencies (to keep up with Tomeu Vizoso's changes);
  • discussing with Mel Chau and Simon Schampijer about testing team and bug squad; and
  • thinking about how to involve the community more directly in Sugar development; self-contained bundle vs packages with dependencies; and how to better expose information about core modules and activities to developers.

Marco also made good progress on collaboration dog-fooding, which reminds me: since we use Jabber extensively in Sugar, why aren't we using it for our discussions about Sugar?

Tomeu's week included:

  • working on file transfer in the Journal. Collabora Ltd. employees have been very helpful,

especially Guillaume Desmottes.

11. Activities:

Vincent Povirk reports that the Wine activity (Windows emulator) has advanced to the point where he think it is ready for testing by actual users (See http://wiki.winehq.org/SugaredWine).

I've release TurtleArt-23.xo, which does a local caching of the render SVG images, resulting in a great improvement in launch speed (with the exception of the very first time you run it). Next up for TurtleArt, a save option that outputs Logo code.

Food Force is available for testing (See http://code.google.com/pfoodforce/downloads/list).

Sugar Labs

12. Self-organizing map (SOM): Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see SOM).