I'd like to facilitate a brainstorm on how we can make SugarLabs the easiest open education/educational technology community for people (especially new volunteers) to contribute to.
Topics and questions to touch on include "What resources do we have?" "What do we already do well?" "What projects do we admire for how they get new people started, and how can we learn from them?" as well as the following things below which should be easy to do as entry points (am I missing anything from the list? Core Sugar development is deliberately left out because Activity development can serve as an entry point to other kinds of code work.)
- Use Sugar in your classroom / to learn something yourself
- Create educational content for SugarLabs (content bundles, etc)
- Develop software Activities, or help with testing them
- Get (and provide!) training on and support for Sugar software
- Meet, ask questions, and get mentorship from people in the SugarLabs community
I would like to request 90 minutes (even better: 2 hours) and a room with giant whiteboards, wifi, and a projector. I'm also going to need butcher paper, tape, copious amounts of post-it notes and markers, a couple beanbags and a yoga ball or two, and as much of the most outlandish sports gear and/or children's toys as we can find. I'll bring the facepaint.
A short note on "qualifications," such as they are: I've been facilitating brainstorm sessions, primarily for design teams, engineering groups, and small businesses, for the better part of half a decade. I was first formally trained to do this when I worked at a product design firm where they literally run brainstorms for a living. I also tend to work in things I've learned from improvisational comedy (8 years) and the design courses that I took in college, so my techniques are occasionally a little bit unorthodox, and my brainstorm sessions run longer than usual (they include lots of different exercises, short breaks, and a reflection at the end). I've run several brainstorm facilitation workshops and would be happy to teach people who want to learn how to run their own, and I'm always eager to learn new tricks from other brainstorm fanatics. You could say it's a little-known hobby/obsession of mine that occasionally comes in handy.
I'm starting to articulate what I want to do within/for Sugar Labs - the current phrasing of it is: "Get people excited about Sugar and to the point where they can independently learn about, collaborate, contribute, and then mentor others in the areas they're interested in." So that's my big project.
Some good notes from C.W. Holeman II to start off from.
My experience in trying to simply take my existing content (http://emle.sf.net) and package it as a library content bundle indicates to me that it is not easy for a new outsider to contribute. Emle works on Firefox. I then tried it on the Sugar Browse activity which worked. Then I packaged Emle according to the documentation on the OLPC and Sugar Labs sites. The problem came when I tried to test my packaging. The issues for new outsiders: - There is documentation and notes that assume an XO machine vs Sugar running on an Ubuntu system. - What is supposed to be the same and what is expected to be different? - Hardware issues one could assume. - The opening page on XO is "OLPC Library" vs "about:blank" on Ubuntu. - Was the opening page a bug or an improperly installed Sugar? - Where does one ask these questions? - Where are the pointers to the proper bug tracking system? - Where is the documentation that tells one how to determine version information. - This is a rapidly changing system. - There is a lack of clear documentation on naming conventions. - Where is the documentation that identifies what specifications are trying to be implemented in a specific runtime version of sugar. - The multi-platform (XO, Ubuntu, Windows emulation) nature adds complexity. - Adding library collections will likely be the area for which the most outside contributions will be made (vs Activities, Sugar core code or Linux drivers). - This mass of library collection contributors will not need to have an XO machine to create new content nor to modify existing content.