[Fwd: Re: Walter leaving and shift to XP.]
akonstam at sbcglobal.net
Wed Apr 23 17:12:15 EDT 2008
I would suggest that you don't really understand the reason for
supporting open source. No software running on top of XP, for example,
will free of the pressures form MS to do what they want you to do. And
what they want you to do may have nothing to do with the desires of
teachers and students across the world.
Currently, any software problems that occur in the f 7 base for sugar
can be dealt with by altering code that developers have access to. That
openness will not come from MS. If there is a problem with the
underlying operating system fixing the problem will depend on MS largess
which up to now has been minimal.
-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Carol Lerche <cafl at msbit.com>
To: devel-list <devel at lists.laptop.org>
Subject: Re: Walter leaving and shift to XP.
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 15:28:46 -0700
The OLPC Association has done amazing things with limited resources and
deserves to take great pride in this. However, this Negroponte
quotation from the article seems correct to me:
He lamented that an overriding insistence on open-source had hampered
the XOs, saying Sugar "grew amorphously" and "didn't have a software
architect who did it in a crisp way." For instance, the laptops do not
support Flash animation, widely used on the Web.
"There are several examples like that, that we have to address without
worrying about the fundamentalism in some of the open-source community,"
he said. "One can be an open-source advocate without being an
You have to prioritize your goals when they conflict. The question to
consider -- is it really the case that having a 100% pure open source
platform is more important IN THE SHORT TERM than making a type of
content available that is ubiquitous as a format for delivering
educational content. Gnash is simply not an equivalent product to the
Adobe player IN THE SHORT TERM and it would have been a pragmatic choice
to work hard to get Adobe to permit their flash player to be shipped
with the XO.
By making these tradeoffs of upholding purity of open source when
teachers and school/ed ministry people obviously prioritize the content
ahead of the purity of the implementation, one ends up in a place where
time is short and an MS port may be catching up. Of course the target
audience will prefer the solution on which they can deliver the content
they want. Essentially the attempt at total purity may result in a much
worse outcome with respect to the open source goal.
Recriminations against Negroponte are less productive than learning from
the consequences of trying to achieve an overly ambitious constellation
of conflicting goals. Instead reach the goals in priority order through
realistic, explicit, predictable and explainable phasing, as now seems
to be the plan. Certainly, if Walter manages to get funding for a
project to expand sugar for other platforms it will assist in reaching
the final target. More resources will be available to attack the
problems posed by adopting an entirely new user interface such as sugar,
while being asked to deliver applications and content that are the most
understandable part of the OLPC package to the adopters..
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You can always tell the people that are forging the new frontier.
They're the ones with arrows sticking out of their backs.
Aaron Konstam telephone: (210) 656-0355 e-mail: akonstam at sbcglobal.net
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