Archive/Current Events/2008-09-08

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Sugar Digest

1. Election results: The Sugar community has cast their votes; the newly elected Sugar Oversight Board members are Walter Bender, Marco Pesenti Gritti, Tomeu Vizoso, Chris Ball, Greg Dekoenigsberg, David Farning, and Bernie Innocenti. We'll be holding our first meeting on the #sugar-meeting channel on irc.freenode.net on Friday, 5 September, at 14:00 UTC. The agenda is available here.

I'd like to thank the acting board—including Hernán Pachas, Aaron Kaplan, and Ben Schwartz—for all their help over the past three months and also all the candidates who took the time to participate in the election.

2. Book sprint: Adam Hyde and Anne Gentle organized a Sugar book sprint last week in Austin. We had a large number of participants both in person and online; the results are impressive and hopefully of utility to the Sugar community. Please see Sugar Manual and please help us improve the manual. (We also created a manual for the OLPC-XO laptop that is available at XO manual.) Many thanks to everyone who contributed, including Adam, Anne, David Farning, Mikus Grinbergs, Brian Jordan, Adam Holt, Janet Swisher, Morgan Collett, Yama Ploskonka, David Cramer, Emily Kaplan, Faisal Anwar, Christoph Derndorfer, Sandy Culver, Aaron Konstam, and the Sugar community.

3. LiveCD, LiveUSB: A LiveCd is important tool, as it makes it much easier for teachers to try Sugar in their classrooms (where often the school IT department prohibit teachers from install software on school computers). As part of the book-sprint effort (there is a chapter on Getting Sugar), David Farning led an effort to update the Sugar LiveCD and LiveUSB support. With much help from the community, we now have a script that builds LiveCDs and LiveUSBs. The script pulls from the latest Sugar packages (the previously available LiveCDs were based on a very old version of Sugar). We will begin hosting the .iso images for download on sugarlabs.org starting this week.

Community jams and meetups

4. OLPC Learning Club, DC: Kevin Cole reports from Washington DC that their learning club has been quite busy over the summer:

  • two video conferences with OLPC Ottawa, courtesy of Nortel Networks, which included a demonstration by the DC XO Repair Shoppe folks, and report by Mike Lee on his numerous activities;
  • a demonstration of Joyride;
  • a teleconference with Anna Schoolfield, who was "broadcasting live" from the Birmingham, Alabama XO Expo;

Materials are available at http://olpclearningclub.org/. The next meeting is scheduled for 15 November; Dr. Frank Linton, Sheng Zhao, and Matt Gallagher will present a tool for the automated periodic capture of audio data; with an example of its application to monitor honey bee health, part of an interdisciplinary effort by the Arlington Public Schools STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Program. Also, on 20 September, the club host another presentation by the XO Repair Shoppe guys: "Setting Up an XO Repair Center." Finally, the club will join Ubuntu DC and HacDC as the upcoming the Takoma Park Folk Festival.

Tech Talk

5. Goals: Simon Schampijer reports good progress on the Sugar Roadmap (Please see 0.84 Goals).

6. Activity updates: There are new versions of several key activities available:

  • Journal 98 (source) Key features include a messages indicating when NAND is "getting full" and "critically full" and better RTL support;
  • Read 50 (source; Read-50.xo) Key fixes/features include fixing several problems involving shared documents; keeping a bookmark across sessions; and inclusion of a preview thumbnail image in the Journal for PDFs.

7. Activities survey: Morgan Collett has published a survey of the current state of support for many core Activities (Please see Activities Survey).

8. PlayGo: Andrés Ambrois has made significant progress on the Go Activity. Version 3 (PlayGo-3.xo) includes Journal integration, options to set the board size, more robust collaboration, integration with GnuGo for playing against an AI, and scoring under Japanese rules. Andrés is hoping someone will design a "new kick-ass" icon for the Go Activity.

Sugar Labs

9. Self-organizing map (SOM): Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see Image:2008-August-23-29-som.jpg).