Archive/Current Events/2010-10-17

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Sugar Digest

1. Simon Schampijer (erikos) and the Release Team have made the Sucrose 0.90 tarballs available (See 1). The release notes are available at 0.90/Notes. 0.90 represents a significant improvement over 0.88, most notably in regard to dozens of new learning activities; support for ad hoc networks and a more stable collaboration experience; a new Home view configuration able to display more activity icons; improved filtering options in the Journal; and additional key bindings for using Sugar on non-OLPC-XO hardware. None of these changes are dramatic: our goal is steady improvement, without requiring schools to make any major changes to their current Sugar processes. Kudos to the Design, Developer, and Testing teams for all their contributions.

0.90 will be incorporated into the upcoming Sugar-on-a-Stick release. It undoubtedly has some bugs, so any testing you can provide would be appreciated. See...

2. I've been spending way too much time in airplanes and airports of late: two trips to Europe in two weeks. I was on a review committee at KTK in Stockholm at the beginning of last week and gave a keynote at the Open World Forum in Paris at the end of this week. I head to Costa Rica to run a Sugar/OLPC workshop with Claudia Urrea next week.

The good news is that I get a lot of code written on the airplane. I have been working on some significant enhancements to Turtle Blocks, Sliderule, Abacus, and Visual Match (AKA, Dimensions).

Turtle Blocks v99, which will be released this week, includes re-skinable turtles, which means you can use the turtle as a sprite to do animations. I also fixed up a number of small bugs, such as a problem with the upper bound of the Random block. The Set XY block now honors pen up and pen down. And most blocks that take two arguments will auto-expand to prevent overlapping. I also added locale support for the form of the decimal point when using number blocks, e.g., in German, a comma is used to designate the decimal point; in English, a period is used.

Sliderule v21 now supports copy/paste so that you can copy the results of your calculations to the clip board and paste numbers into the slide and reticule. It also has undergone a major refactoring with the intension of making it easier to create custom slides and to make further modifications to the code.

Abacus v19 also supports copy/paste and, perhaps more interesting, when you switch between different abaci, the value propagates from one to the next, so you can see how the same value is represented on different abaci with a single button click. (Thanks to Tony Forester for coming up with that feature request. Also thanks to Shanjit Singh Jajmann for adding the copy/paste tool bar.)

Visual Match v26 lets you load custom card sets from the Journal. You can create cards using Paint, Turtle Art, Record, Browse, etc. (Any tool that lets you find or create images.) The only requirement is that you number your images 1 to 9, or 27, or 81, depending upon how many dimensions you are rendering.

3. Reminder: we will be holding our mid-term election this month to fill three oversight board positions. Ballots will be issued to all Sugar Labs members. We have five great candidates – Chris Ball, Adam Holt, Steven Parrish, Rosamel Norma Ramirez Mendez, and Gerald Ardito – who represent the breadth of the Sugar community: developers, teachers, packagers, and community outreach. No matter whom we elect, the community will be richer because of their participation.

In the community

4. There will be an OLPC/Sugar/Realness summit October 21 – 24 in San Francisco. The summit is being hosted by the San Francisco Bay Area OLPC community. More details are available at [1].

Sugar Labs

Gary Martin has generated a SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list.

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