Activity Backward Compatibility (was re: Re: joyride 2128 smoketest)

C. Scott Ananian cscott at
Mon Jul 14 11:22:53 EDT 2008

2008/7/14 Kim Quirk <kim at>:
> 3 - Encourage schools to completely reflash (cleaninstall) their laptops
> each year. At the end of the school year, you save away kids data (hopefully
> that is done automatically) and you do a cleaninstall of the next year's
> image; retest all the latest versions of Activities that you want to use;
> and provide 'clean' laptops to the kids at the start of the next school
> year.

I also disagree: this is unnecessary and eliminates the benefit of
being able to roll back to your previous system if your upgrade broke
something -- which you might not find out about until months later,

The other points sound reasonable.  I think we need to include a
'contact email' field in the for each activity (i'm
kinda shocked we haven't done so yet) so that we can get in touch with
maintainers, and then write a more rigorous guide to "testing your
release before deployment" which helps countries go through the steps
necessary to qualify the release + activities before they put it in a

We need to allow local creation and maintenance of activities: OLPC
can't hope to write all the needed activities itself.  But at the same
time we need to empower the countries to set standards of quality and
kick the butts of activity authors if needed to get fixes made.  If
the activity is written under contract by the MoE, for example, then
they should have a process/contract in place for revalidating and
potentially patching it each year.  (Hopefully improving it, too, not
just maintaining it in stasis.)

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