Archive/Current Events/2008-12-01

Sugar Digest

1. Sugar Camp Digest: First, I would like to thank Bernie Innocenti for organizing a great week. He was tireless in his efforts to find us meeting rooms, maintain the schedule, and help keep things together when tempers flared—as they will when people are passionate about their work. Second, I would like to thank the more than 30 people were able to attend in person and many more who joined by IRC or phone.

Unfortunately, I missed the first half of the meeting due to a scheduling conflict, but by all reports it was a productive three days.

I joined the group on Thursdsay morning and it was clear that a rhythm had been established.

  • Greg Smith led a useful discussion on how we could work better with the Sugar deployments (See Sugar-meeting.odp.
  • Caroline Meeks got people excited about her plans to pilot "Sugar on a Stick" (Sugar on LiveUSB) in a Boston Public School (See Sugar on a Stick presentation).
  • Brendan Powers talked about the various LTSP deployment approaches taken by Resara when they work with schools and how Sugar could be used under these conditions (See Resara.ppt). Sugar is rapidly moving into a broader place.
  • Ed McNierney led a discussion on the needs of OLPC in the coming months—he presented a number of challenges, not too many of which the Sugar community can help with or have much influence over. Reading between the lines it was clear that OLPC will not directly support Sugar development itself much longer. We need to acknowledge that as a community and continue to work with OLPC while seizing the other opportunities for distributing Sugar that are emerging.

Friday was very up beat and productive.

  • Evangeline Harris Stefanakis led a discussion on the use of portfolios that was inspirational. (I followed up the discussion with a demonstration of a Sugar portfolio tool I am building—See Portfolios.odp). The ensuing discussion reminded everyone that Sugar is "an education project."
  • Greg Dekoenigsberg, David Farning, and I then led a discussion about the current state of Sugar Labs (See SugarLabsOverview.odp). David reviewed the team structure and Greg then led us in a much-needed marketing exercise to clearly articulate out vision and goals in just a few sentences (our elevator pitch). One concrete outcome of the discussion will be the creation of To Do lists on every team page in the wiki. Please help us populate these lists with tasks for both newcomers and veteran Sugar contributors.
  • C. Scott Ananian gave a rapid-fire talk about collaboration that highlighted the need and opportunity to make collaboration with non-Sugar users more facile (See sugarcamp-collab.pdf).
  • Christian Marc Schmidt and Eben Eliason led a discussion about future design opportunities for Sugar (See sugar_design.pdf). We made progress on the Home View, the Journal, and collaboration.
  • Christian also proposed that we create a small static HTML web site for to give a high-level overview of the project and direct people to appropriate areas of the wiki (See Marketing Team#Sugar_Labs_website).

Saturday, a smaller group met. We continued the marketing discussion, Bernie gave an overview of the Sugar Labs infrastructure (See SugarLabsInfrastructure.odp), and then we discussed the Sugar Roadmap, coming up with specific milestones (and champions) for the Sugar 0.84 Release. We focused on stabilization and further development of key Sugar differentiators such as collaboration, the Journal, and view source. 0.84 is going to rock! We also did some brainstorming about how to enhance the collaboration features of the core Sugar Activities (Fructose)—we'll be soliciting more ideas and volunteers in coming weeks.

Mel Chua led a wrap-up discussion where we discussed what was awesome, interesting, and frustrating about Sugar Camp. The awesome list was lengthy!! To me, seeing the energy and focus of such a talented group of people gave me confidence that Sugar has real legs. Perhaps the most actionable frustration is that we didn't do well at soliciting the ideas and opinions of the less aggressive or more remote members of the community. It felt as if some important voices are not being heard; we need that input and feedback. Suggestions as to how we can do better are welcome.

Community jams, meet-ups, and meetings

2. FUDCON: The Fedora users conference will be held at MIT on 9–11 January. Stay tuned for details.

Tech Talk

3. Sugar: Simon Schampijer finished the frame device support for wireless devices in Sugar. He updated the radio off code in the control panel to work with NM 0.7 and fixed several small issues in the mesh code. He fully back ported these changes to sugar-0.82 for usage in the upcoming F10. With the help of Sayamindu he fixed an error which was preventing Sugar to start with the Russian locale and added a log out option to the menu.

Simon also issued the second developer release in the 0.84 cycle (sugar-0.83.3.tar.bz2 and a new Sugar toolkit sugar-toolkit-0.83.2.tar.bz2). In addition to bug fixing there are some changes:

  • "View source" support. As a fall-back, the source of an Activity is shown, but this behavior can be overridden, e.g., Browse still shows the source of the document.
  • Sugar now supports setting up a priority list of languages: Not all programs have translations for all languages. You can create a list of languages in the Control panel that are used to display messages in place of a non-existent translation.
  • More work has been going into the Sugar support for Network Manager 0.7. We finished the support for wireless devices in the frame, updated the radio off code in the control panel to work with NM 0.7 and added WPA support.
  • Three more activities are now part of Fructose: Image Viewer, TurtleArt, and Jukebox.

4. Activity activity:

  • Pippy-30
  • TurtleArt-18
  • Map-2.xo
  • ImageViewer-4
  • Browse-101
  • Read-61

Sugar Labs

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