1. I spent the weekend in Bergen, Norway at a Skolelinux sprint ("Software for educators with an open mind"). The meeting was organized by Knut Yrvin and Petter Reinholdtsen and held at the local university. It was a great opportunity for me to get more insight into both the goals of and processes employed by the SkoleLinux community. It was also a chance to meet in person some long-time collaborators and the next wave of contributors, many of whom were as new to Skolelinux as I was.
Like Sugar Labs, Skolelinux is committed to providing great learning tools to teachers and students. (I had not realized that my former student, Håkon Wurm Lie, was involved in the initial launching of SkoleLinux.) They primarily work with universities and secondary schools; they have focused on packaging "handpicked software" addressing daily needs in schools in such a way that it is easy to install and maintain. They are a Debian shop; they have a kickstart that supports a work flow within a school setting.
In the very early days of OLPC (early in 2006) I had spoke with Knut; at the time it wasn't yet clear where we (OLPC) were heading regarding software and packaging. Today, it is clear that working with Skolelinux would be both an appropriate interface into the greater Debian community and a way for us to get more insight and help in regard to packaging Sugar in a way that makes it easier for teachers and schools to deploy.
2. In response to a question this weekend about running Sugar Activities outside of Sugar—I had more often thinking about the opposite problem: running GNU/Linux applications inside of Sugar—I spent time exploring the limitations of running Turtle Art from the shell. It was pretty trivial to launch Turtle Art, but I have yet to figure out a way to invoke a substitute to the Sugar toolbar, the datastore, or collaboration. Over time, it seems that all three of these modules could be dropped in or pulled out on the fly.
In the community
3. La Facultad de Ingeniería organiza el "Scratch Day – ORT Uruguay University" que tendrá lugar el 15 de mayo.
The Engineering Faculty at ORT University in Uruguay is hosting "Scratch Day" on 15 May 2009.
Gary Martin has generated a SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see SOM).