Archive/Current Events/2008-09-22

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Sugar Digest

1. Windows pain: It was announced this week that Microsoft would be conducting a pilot program in Perú with Windows running on the OLPC-XO hardware (Please see LAPTOP CON WINDOWS). This announcement has dominated the discussion on the Sur mailing list and has given rise to fear, uncertainty, and the spreading of much misinformation about GNU/Linux and Sugar. For example, it was posted to the list that one needed Windows in order to run Java and Flash programs and that one had to weigh the Write Activity against the hundreds of educational programs available for Windows. All that has been announced so far is a pilot; Perú remains committed to Sugar and FOSS.

It is important that the Sugar community keep united and focused on providing a great educational experience to children everywhere. We need to work together to demonstrate to decision-makers that Sugar and FOSS solutions will lead to improved learning and academic outcomes, improved national economic competitiveness through the development of a creative society, and that the total cost of technology ownership, including recurrent and “hidden” costs and external dependencies argues favorably for FOSS solutions.

2. Deployment Team: A Sugar Labs Deployment Team has been formed to voice and support the needs of Sugar deployments to the Sugar community and to organize forums for the exchange of experiences between Sugar users and between Sugar user and Sugar developers (You can follow the development in the wiki at Development Team). We plan to meet biweekly on, Channel #sugar-meeting as we begin getting ourselves organized. Minutes from the last meeting are posted in the wiki.

3. Guides to action: One of initial tasks of the Deployment Team is the creation of some guides to action. In parallel with the OLPC Deployment Guide we had written in support of large-scale OLPC/Sugar deployments, we are creating guides to community outreach (Yes Sarah Palin, we think community organizing is a useful and positive endeavor) and Small Sugar deployments, which we hope will facilitate more grassroots use of Sugar (Please contribute to these guides at Guide to Community Outreach and Small Development Guide).

4. Category:Stub: There are a number of pages in the wiki that could use some tender loving care. Please see Category:Stub for a list of where you could help us with our documentation efforts.

5. Feedback: We continue to get helpful feedback from the field regarding Sugar and Sugar Activities. Of note is the blog being written by student in Australia being mentored by Bill Kerr (blog).

6. Etoys refresh: Kim Rose reports that the Etoys team launched the redesigned website this week. There is much improved content and tutorials. It features a new Etoys release for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux which is compatible with the OLPC version now. Example projects are embedded in the website and viewable with the Squeakland browser plugin. On the XO, visiting these projects downloads them to the Journal instead.

7. FUDCon: Christoph Derndorfer wrote up notes from the Sugar Labs meeting at FUDCon. (For those of you not familiar with FUDCon, it is the Fedora Users and Developers Conference. The name derives from FUD—an acronym for fear, uncertainty and doubt, a typical tactic used by the opponents of free and open source projects to prevent their widespread adoption—and con—in opposition or disagreement with; against.) At the meeting, an impressive list of todos was generated (Please see [[Events/FUDCon_Brno_2008/Notes|FUDCon notes]).

Community jams and meetups

8. Traducción jam: We are considering a translation jam the week of 20 October in Lima, Perú to translate the Sugar FLOSS manuals into Spanish (and Aymará)? If you are interested in joining us (in person or remotely) please contact with Raphael Ortiz (dirakx AT or me (walter AT

9. Aymará jam: Yama Ploskonka organized the "Trasnoche de Traducción Aymará" in La Paz, Bolivia last weekend. He reports that despite the political unrest, about a dozen volunteers made progress towards an Aymará translation of Sugar.

10. K–12 Open Minds Conference: Sugar Labs will be represented at the Open Minds Conference in Indianapolis at the end of the month. The conference, which is designed to make free and open-source software and system more available and easier to use by K–12 educators, will offer a great forum for feedback about how we can improve upon Sugar outreach efforts.

Tech Talk

11. Report from engineering: Simon Schampijer continued this week in fixing bugs and smaller regressions for the 8.2 release. In collaboration with nearly the whole tech team we landed the discard network history feature for the control panel #7480. Simon continued with Marco Pesenti Gritti to clean up the bundlebuilder so that rpm packaging of activities gets easier and did some work on landing the activities in Fedora rawhide. Meanwhile, Marco has been chasing down memory leaks in order to lesson the frequency of out of memory problems. He found a dbus-python leak for which he has submitted a patch upstream.

12. Sugarbot: Zach Riggle reported on his progress work on Sugarbot, a graphical user interface automation utility for Sugar. We hope to land his work in sugar-jhbuild and the buildbot soon, as it has potential for helping with testing as we continue to improve Sugar and the Sugar Activity community grows.

13. Pydocweb: David Farning has been testing a new tool, pydocweb, for writing API documentation. The tool can be used to collaboratively edit docstrings in a Python module (in this case, Sugar) via the web, and merging changes made easily back to the sources (Please see Pydocweb).

14. Activity updates: There are updates available:


Sugar Labs

15. 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-September-6-12-som.jpg). This week, the focus is clearly on the discussion about Sugar Labs membership.