Collaborative Activity Development

Jim Gettys jg at
Mon Apr 14 17:11:50 EDT 2008


We really would like to get the Sugar UI components running on vanilla
Linux desktops, and the apps all interoperating....

Help greatfully appreciated...
                          - Jim

On Mon, 2008-04-14 at 13:02 -0700, John Gilmore wrote:
> "Morgan Collett" <morgan.collett at> wrote:
> > I'm now working for OLPC, on improving activity collaboration.
> This is great!
> The best thing OLPC could do to improve activity collaboration is to
> get it working for ordinary programs -- running on the X Window
> System, or on MacOSX, or Windows.  Why doesn't AbiWord already
> collaborate with Write?  Why doesn't Firefox collaborate with Browse?
> It's the same code base.
> Tying collaboration to Sugar is a losing strategy.  Once the rest of
> the world figures out that *their* programs should be trivial to
> collaborate in too, they'll reimplement collaboration (likely in an
> incompatible way).  Then Sugar's collaboration will be an orphan
> rather than the mainstream.  Instead, if OLPC's collaboration code
> supported cross-platform collaboration, OLPC's model and its
> implementing code would spread throughout the whole computing
> infrastructure.  And that would bring in a new pile of contributors,
> enhancing, debugging, and porting it everywhere.
> Easy collaboration is one of OLPC's key advantages over its
> competition.  Making that a reality for all the kids (and adults) in
> the world requires a broader vision.  Merely debugging what makes
> Sugar apps fail to collaborate under load, or getting a few more Sugar
> authors to add collaboration, won't suffice.
> 	John
> PS:  If there is a simple way to install a couple of RPM's or DEB's, add
> a paragraph of code and a few automake macros, and add collaboration
> to any program written in C or C++, then please document it!  (If on
> the other hand "it only works in Python" and "requires sugar-jhbuild"
> then there's some work to be done.)
> PPS:  This review of AbiWord says:
>   The new AbiWord supposedly offers real-time document collaboration
>   developed for the OLPC project and implemented by means of an
>   experimental plugin. As per the AbiWord-2.6 release notes, there are
>   three implementations of the plugin, one for the OLPC, and two (an
>   XMPP-based one and a pure TCP/IP one) for Linux. The Linux plugins
>   compiled without any issues, but AbiWord couldn't activate them. The
>   plugin isn't currently available for Windows.
>   [ says the Windows plugin is available on 2.6.2 now.  But
>   I never did find the collab plugin, nor any documentation for it.  The
>   2.6.0 release notes imply that the three available collab plugins can't
>   actually interoperate with each other!]
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Jim Gettys
One Laptop Per Child

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