Archive/Current Events/2013-12-25

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Sugar Digest

1. A typical evening on the #sugar irc channel:

[19:59]  * walterbender heads to dinner... no more reviews for a few hours
[20:00] <Foo> I'm tired :P
[20:00] <Bar> By the way, How old are you
[20:00] <Foo> Bar, 14 :P
[20:00] <Bar> oh, I am 10
[20:00] <Foo> :)
[20:00] <Foo> mini hacker :P
[20:01] <Bar> :)
[20:01] <Bar> lol
[20:01] <Foo> :P
[20:02] <Bar> So besides this, what do you do for fun?
[20:02] <Foo> in linux? None :P
[20:03] <Foo> Programming in python is fun :)
[20:03] <Foo> In windows play games (WoW)
[20:03] <Bar> Oh nice, I play ambit of Wow
[20:03] <Foo> :P
[20:03] <Bar> a bit lol
[20:03] <Foo> I didn't like lol
[20:03] <Foo> (Its #OT)
[20:04] <Bar> lol? the key or the game xD
[20:04] <Foo> the game :P
[20:06] <Bar> lol, I ment I play a bit of Wow, so I said a bit lol since I said ambit wow
[20:06] <Foo> :P
[20:06] <Bar> xD
[20:06] <Foo> what are building now?
[20:07] <Bar> umm.
[20:07] <Foo> dnarvaez, I founded a bug in sugar-build
[20:07] <Bar> So far Volo
[20:08] <Foo> Bar, ok
[20:10] <Foo> dnarvaez,
[20:10] <Foo>
[20:14] <Bar> how big is karma?
[20:14] <Foo> I don't know
[20:22] <Bar> Foo, so far I am at the Sugar tool kit
[20:44] <Foo> Bar, works?
[20:48] <Bar> yup
[20:49] <Foo> Bar, if you need more help, sent me a mail

1. Free software gives its users the license to make changes. Sugar tries to go a step further. It gives its users the means to make changes. And there is evidence that in fact our users do make changes.

2. I got off the plane from Malaysia just in time to get on line for the start of Google Code In. We've been at it two and 1/2 weeks and we have almost 70 tasks completed by 29 participants. (There are many more students working on their first task.)

3. Had a chance to visit some old friends and colleagues in Brazil last week, Jose Valente and Cecilia Baranauskas. I gave the keynote at CBIE 2013 at UNICAMP and had a chance to talk about Sugar and pedagogy. Because it was Thanksgiving week, I could not resist showing a picture of Bernie in front of a table full of pies. I then explained the Thanksgiving tradition of family, friends, and food. I bake special pies and cakes for Thanksgiving and I use tools that I only take out for special occasions. These tools are on a high shelf in my kitchen. So I have to reach for them. Those of you who know me, know that my coffee maker is an everyday tool, so it lives in a place of honor on a low shelf, where I have easy access. What should be on every learner's low shelf? What should be ready at hand? I spent the rest of the talk arguing that programming should be on every learner's low shelf.

In the community

4. Many thanks to Danishka Navin, Jeff Plaman, and the faculty at UWCSEA, where we held a Turtle Art Day on November 15. A classroom full of fifth graders spent their morning programming. I quote on of the students below:

"In a program called Sugar we learnt to make lots of different patterns by commanding the turtle to do things. E.g. Arc 90o and go forward. Using this we could create many different things including paint which you could control using your voice! I really enjoyed it because I never knew something so complicated could be really fun and quite simple as using a comande [SIC]! I never thought I could be quite capable of doing something like that."

Lunch was Indian food from the cafeteria, including freshly baked nan. If food was that good when I was in school, I may have been more attentive.

The afternoon was spent in discussions with teachers about pedagogy and strategy for introducing/leveraging Sugar in both UWCSEA and the various programs that the students encounter through their community service efforts. One attraction of Sugar is that it presents a level playing field.

That evening we piled into a van and drove to Malacca.

5. TK Kang organized olpc BaseCamp @ Malacca 2013 from November 16 to 18. We met up with many old friends (Bernie, whom I never see in Cambridge, was in Malacca). We spent a lot of time with both turtle and pedagogy. I ran a very fast-paced workshop and then joined a thoughtful discussion of next steps in outreach to and support for teachers. Jeff will be organizing a regular series of learning team meetings for people in the region (East Asia) to complement the meeting we hold in Spanish in the West.

At both events, I was able to distribute USB keys with Sugar on a Stick preloaded, thanks to the generosity of and

Tech Talk

6. Flavio Danesse shared the Python Joven site with me. I am super impressed and super jealous of their cool logo.

7. Please visit the 0.100/Testing page for Sugar set up by Gonzalo.

8. Aleksey Lim has set up a new stats server for Sugar.

Sugar Labs

9. Please visit our planet.