Documentation Team/Glossary

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A Sugar Taxonomy

The abstract design of the interface
The base Sugar environment
A set of demonstration activities
The interface, plus a set of demonstration activities
The base Linux distribution being used by Sugar
A complete disk image for Sugar


mesh network
A wireless mesh network is a communications network made up of radio nodes in which nodes can forward information on behalf of each other so that even nodes that are not in direct radio contact can communicate via nodes that are between them. The collective coverage area of the radio nodes working as a single network becomes a mesh cloud.
infrastructure mode
network connectivity through a WiFi access point, e.g., 802.11b/g
mesh mode
network connectivity through a mesh network, e.g., 802.11s
simple mesh mode
a mesh network that is running between laptops without a School Server
school server mesh mode
a mesh network that is mediated by a School Server
a discovery service for finding other laptops on the network
a protocol that the laptop uses for collaboration
a protocol for passing data between laptops
mesh channel
the laptops use three channels for communication: 1, 6, and 11; in simple mesh mode, the laptops can only see other laptops on the same channel; in a School Server mesh, laptops on all channels are visible
access point (AP)
an AP is a device that connects wireless communication devices together to form a wireless network. The AP usually connects to a wired network and can relay data between wireless devices and wired devices. Several APs can link together to form a larger network.
mesh portal point
a mesh node that serves as a gateway (portal) to a network external to the mesh

Operating system

operating system (OS)
The low-level system that manages the various files, processes, etc. needed to operate the laptop; the OS used by the XO laptop is the RedHat Fedora distribution of Linux.
a specific instance of the operating system, designated by category and number; e.g., OLPC Update.1-703; OLPC Joyride-1792; Ubuntu 8.4 Hardy Heron; Fedora 9

Internal storage

component that manages the access to the data displayed in the Journal; these data are stored in individual files; an index that contains the metadata and speeds up searches

External storage

jumpdrive/thumb drive/USB drive/USB stick/memory stick
A small, external storage device that plugs into one of the USB ports on a computer. They can store between 16MB (enough to hold several music files) up to 4GB (enough to hold several high quality full-length movie files) and a wide range in between. Jump drives are easily purchased at any electronic store starting as low as $5 to $10.
SD card
Secure Digital (SD) is a flash (non-volatile) memory card format used in portable devices, including digital cameras, handheld computers, PDAs, and mobile phones. SD card capacities range from 8 MB to 32 GB.

User Interface (UI)

A User Interface is defined by Wikipedia as "is the aggregate of means by which people—the users—interact with the system—a particular machine, device, computer program or other complex tools. The user interface provides means of:

  • Input, allowing the users to manipulate a system
  • Output, allowing the system to produce the effects of the users' manipulation."

So, the Sugar User Interface is all the icons and words and the screen they appear on, in addition to the keyboard, mouse, and touchpad buttons used to interact with those icons and words.

Sugar UI
the user interface of the laptop is called “Sugar”; it consists of four views, the Frame, and the Journal
home view
a view of what activities you are running and other status information;
group view
a view of your friends with whom you are working on shared projects;
neighborhood view
a view of who is on the network with you and what activities and content are being shared. The Network view is the starting screen on the XO-1 laptop.;
activity view
a view used by the current activity that is running on the laptop
the Frame, which can appear in any view, holds a clipboard, the task bar (for starting activities), navigation controls, and list of “buddies” (collaborators);
an special activity where you can see your previous work done in other activities. You can also resume the work done at those activities;
an user-interface element that appears in the top part of most activities and contains one or more toolbars
an user-interface element that can contains several buttons, text entry fields, drop-down menus, etc. that is usually contained in a toolbox; common examples of toolbars include: Activity, View, Edit, et al.
a black box that appears when the mouse hovers over an object; a palette can contain the name of the control, some details about it or some related actions

Activities and Content

an application that has an icon in the taskbar, e.g., Write, Record, Browse; Activities engage you in taking a picture, reading a book, creating a page, annotating a page, animating a drawing, making sounds and music, measuring and sensing, sharing your favorites, inviting your friends, surfing on the web, etc...
books, music, movies, photographs, drawings, etc. that are created on the laptop or downloaded to the laptop
content library
content that is created on the laptop is accessed through the Journal; preloaded content is stored in a library and is accessed through the Browse activity
bundle/activity bundle
a “zip” file with a .xo suffix used to package and distribute activities; bundles are installed in /home/olpc/Activities
content bundle/collection
a “zip” file with a .xol suffix used to package and distribute content; bundles are installed in /home/olpc/Library

Documentation and Support

a collaborative website that allows for community contributions and editing, e.g.,
IRC/chat (Internet Relay Chat)
real-time text chat used by the development and technical support communities (and hopefully the learning community as well)
email list
a collection of email addresses—an efficient way to send email to a group of people who share an interest


a server that is used to store and manage translation templates and files
POT file
the master translation template for a project
PO file
a file containing the instance of translated strings for a single language based upon a POT file