1. I have spent much of the past two weeks finalizing the details of a proposal to the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). We are proposing to create hubs of international collaboration, leverage the diverse capabilities of partner institutions, to conduct a longitudinal study of the Sugar program on a global scale. Drafting this proposal is a first step towards to goal of rallying universities around the world to address some of the challenges I raised in a blog entry last year “A page from the Hilbert playbook”. What attracted me to this particular program, Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE), is that it encourages international collaboration. Sugar is global and to understand its impact, one needs to work globally.
2. I finally heard from the Free Software Foundation (FSF) that Sugar is listed in their directory of free software projects. I hadn't ever noticed that on their homepage they say, "Free software is the foundation of a learning society – where the tools we all use are free to share, study and modify." Is the tip of their hat to learning new? In any case, it is great to see them acknowledging the synergy between free software and learning.
Community jams, meet-ups, and meetings
3. Mike Lee has posted some great photos from the DC Learning Club meeting, where they tried booting SoaS on a variety of netbooks (See http://www.flickr.com/photos/curiouslee/sets/72157614277170318/).
Help Wanted / Help Received
4. It is dizzying trying to follow the pace of the activity leading up to the release of 0.84. Simon Schampijer and the release team are engaged in a testing sprint. You can join them on irc.freenode.net, #sugar. Interwoven with the testing of 0.84 is a flurry of work on Sugar on a Stick (SoaS)—indeed, much of testing is happening in that environment: Thanks to the hard work of Sebastian Dziallas and the SoaS team, Sucrose 0.83.6, the 0.84 Release Candidate 2, has find it's way into Sugar on a Stick (http://download.sugarlabs.org/soas/snapshots/1/Soas-200902231225.iso). Aleksey Lim has been chasing down bugs seemingly across every package. And Sayamindu Dasgupta and the localization team have been very patiently updating the translations.
5. Christian Marc Schmidt has been making great progress on the new static website (See http://www.christianmarcschmidt.com/projects/sugarlabs/betasite). We are still seeking more screenshots of the work of children using Sugar, i.e., "authentic" Sugar images.
6. Lionel Laské has been looking into the use of Mono as a Sugar resource, opening up to us the .NET community. Please see his post, “Mono on Sugar for dummies”, on the French .NET community site (http://www.techheadbrothers.com/Articles.aspx/developper-mono-xo).
8. Sascha Silbe "finally managed to get Linux working" on his phone, so he couldn't resist installing Sugar (See , , , and ). Sascha says, "No, it isn't really usable - only 64MB of physical RAM [5,6] means swapping ~30MB to SD just to start Sugar (no activities running). Sugar isn't touchscreen-"compatible" as well (there are no "plain" movements, just clicks and drags)." But it looks great.
9. Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see SOM).