[sugar] where is Walter?

Andrew Smyth andrew.j.smyth at gmail.com
Tue Apr 22 17:10:16 EDT 2008

On Mon, Apr 21, 2008 at 8:38 PM, Drew Hess <drew.hess at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 21, 2008 at 5:15 PM, Kim Quirk <kim at laptop.org> wrote:
>  > OLPC has increased funding and resources in 2008 toward a continued
>  > commitment to helping kids in the least developed countries through
>  > deployment of XOs and Sugar. I don't think there is any shriveling or dying
>  > going on here.
>  It's reassuring to hear that Sugar (and, presumably, GNU/Linux) is
>  part of the commitment for 2008, at least.
>  Can someone from OLPC give a straightforward statement regarding
>  OLPC's longer-term commitments to deploying Sugar, GNU/Linux and free
>  software in general?

I don't think you'll see such a straightforward statement because OLPC
is primarily an *education* project.  Free software is important to
its education goals, but the project has (to date) underdelivered on
its potential, resulting in a system which is significantly inferior
to proprietary alternatives on several axes: stability, speed,
features, and has not adequately delivered on the power management and
mesh networking technologies necessary to distinguish OLPC from these
alternatives. (That said, there is a lot which OLPC's software stack
does which the proprietary alternatives do not: comprehensive focus on
children and teachers being foremost.)

So, OLPC is working very very hard to address this.  But the
management is keeping cards in its hands in case the ultimate
*education* goals of OLPC will be better served by a different
software stack.  Obviously, there are many of us who feel that the
free software alternative will be better in the long run.  But we need
to *show* this.    OLPC is funding Sugar aggressively (more than
doubling the number of in-house software developers this year, for
example); but we're under the gun to actually *deliver*.  All of you
on the list can help us.  If you care about free software on the XO,
we need to continue to make it the *best* alternative.

More information about the Devel mailing list