Archive/Current Events/2008-09-15

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Sugar Digest

1. Oversight Board: The Sugar Labs Oversight Board meet on Friday (See minutes). The bulk of the discussion was in regard to the formation of committees: David Farning will organize/liaison with the Membership committee; Greg Dekoenigsberg will organize/liaison with the Events committee; Bernie Innocenti will organize/liaison with the Infrastructure committee; Simon Schampijer will organize/liaison with the Test committee; I will organize/liaison with the Deployment committee. Please contact us if you have interested in participating on one of these committees. The next meeting will be Friday, 19 September at 14:00 UTC (10 AM EST) on #sugar-meeting—please join us.

2. Study on the impact of ICT on educational outcomes: I spent an hour on phone with Nitika Tolani-Brown, a Research Analyst with the International Development Program at the American Institutes for Research. She and her colleagues are "conducting a comprehensive analysis of reliable research undertaken to date on the deployment of low-cost ICT to support education goals around the world with an emphasis on the developing world. The purpose of the study is to increase understanding of the impact of ICT on educational outcomes in children and adults and, ultimately, to generate an innovative research agenda to address salient issues." We discussed Sugar Labs, its goals and the status of the various Sugar deployments around the world. They are keen to get more input for their report. Feel free to contact Nitika (ntolani-brown AT or visit with your thoughts on "current projects as they relate to the use of ICT in educational settings within developing countries, any evaluations conducted on these projects (or evaluations of other projects that you may know of), as well as your perceptions on the challenges users and developers of ICT solutions face and the future of this field." Their report will be posted publicly towards the end of the calendar year.

3. Field reports: There have been some brief reports coming in from Sugar trials, notably Rodolfo Pilas's report on the olpc-sur list (olcp-sur) and Waveplace blog (waveplace blog). Any and all feedback is enormously valuable: please speak up.

4. Regional Sugar development teams: There are several regional initiatives in the formative stages that are looking for feedback in terms of how to best structure themselves. In an effort to increase the level of participation in the developing world, it is being proposed to build local teams to work full time on the further development and support of Sugar as a vehicle both for advancing the opportunity for a quality education for the children of the region and to create a viable community around free and open-source software, a major movement internationally that is fueling innovative technology and economic growth, but that has yet to take root in much of the developing world. Local groups are seeking funding for three years, after which they expect to have a self-sustaining enterprise that also serves as a focal point for entrepreneurship and job creation. Any input on how to best structure such initiatives and from whence to seek funding would be appreciated.

Community jams and meetups

5. FUDCon Brno 2008: Christoph Derndorfer reports from Brno that Sugar Labs had a strong presence at FUDCon (attending were Tomeu Vizoso, Marco Pesenti Gritti, Simon Schampijer, Bernie Innocenti—freshly back after 2 1/2 months of volunteering at OLE Nepal—Daniel Jahre, Christoph Derndorfer, and Greg deKoenigsberg). A presentation which focused on the Sugar platform, Sugar Labs and especially how the Fedora community can support the ongoing efforts was held at Saturday's barcamp. In addition Tomeu, Marco, Simon and Bernie spent a lot of time refining the 0.84 roadmap and feature plan. There were also many lively discussions about the current state of Sugar / Sugar Labs and many ideas, plans and to-dos for the weeks and months ahead were written down. They will be posted on the IAEP mailing-list and appropriate places in the wiki once everyone has recovered from FUDCon.

Tech Talk

6. Sucrose: Simon Schampijer reports that the Sugar release team has released the Sucrose 0.82.1 stable release. Owners of an XO can test it in in latest joyride or the stable 8.2 branch >= 758.

7. Sugarbot: Zach Riggle reports progress on Sugarbot, a GUI automation utility for the automating the testing of Sugar Activities. Sugarbot supports continuous integration with Buildbot, so that multiple platforms and host configurations may be tested seamlessly; developers can more readily perform regression testing on their Activities, enhancing reliability and efficiency. A screencast of Sugarbot is available, as well as the package.

8. Beagleboard: Koen Kooi reports that the basics (sugar, sugar-base, sugar-toolkit, sugar-presence-services and sugar-artwork) are now running on the beagleboard (See sugar-running-ångström).

9. X: Bert Freudenberg wrote the long-awaited X Activity (See and download it from X-1.xo). Thus Sugar now supports an X11 desktop as an Activity that can run regular X11 applications.

10. Testing: There has been great feedback from various individuals and teams testing Sugar and Sugar Activities, including the "Wellington testers", Gary Martin, Douglas Ridgway, "Team Perú", and Mikus Grinbergs. Many thanks for your efforts.

11. FLOSS Manuals: The manuals for a number of Sugar Activities are now published (including manuals for Write, Terminal, Chat, Browse, Record, and TurtleArt). Please help us improve these manuals by going to where the editable versions reside. Note that we are including tutorials and notes to parents and teachers as part of the documentation effort. Helping expanding these sections would be greatly appreciated.

Sugar Labs

12. Self-organizing map (SOM): Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see SOM).