Congratulations! but Sugar sucks

C. Scott Ananian cscott at
Fri Jul 25 01:02:30 EDT 2008

On Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 8:18 PM, Benjamin M. Schwartz
<bmschwar at> wrote:
> really surprisingly short.  Each item on the list has been debated to a
> stationary point over the last two years, so all that is left is to make a
> final decision for the engineers to execute.  Each task could be completed
> or hugely improved by a single developer in a few months, provided that we
> do not allow changes to the requirements, and the developers are not asked
> to split their time and focus.

I do not believe that either of these statements is correct.

We are not lacking in decisions: we have substantially complete
designs; we are lacking implementation.

Each of your items is not the work of "a single developer in a few
months": solving these problems is realistically a year's work at
least, if we have a single developer working full time on each.  And
honestly, OLPC does not actually have the resources to devote a even
single unique developer to each.  If they did, we would not have any
releases made, languages added, deployment issues addressed, emails
sent to devel@, additional engineers interviewed and hired, or any of
the myriad other tasks which the overstretched OLPC engineers
currently do.

We need realistic management and expectations, and I'm afraid that,
"so let's just do these things" isn't going to help us much.

But in one fundamental way you are entirely correct: these are (some
of) our goals for our platform, and we should ensure that we are
making progress in each release toward these ends.  We should ensure
that *some* progress is made in each of these areas in 9.1, and *some
more* progress in 9.2, and so on until the features are complete.  If
we allow the work to be arbitrarily deferred, we will never get any
closer to where we want to be.

ps. and, of course, you've neglected "software for kids that does
things kids want to do", "powerful and pervasive collaboration" and
"mesh networking" in your list of items.

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