An OLPC Development Model

Mikus Grinbergs mikus at
Fri May 9 16:02:07 EDT 2008

> *But* I also think it should be possible to run a Sugar activity on a
> standard desktop and a desktop application in the Sugar shell. Integration is
> great and we should encourage it, but we can't assume it will always happen.
> And in the cases it doesn't happen, not-integrated is better than nothing.

Frankly, I don't see a logic difference between Negroponte talking 
about extending the OLPC hardware to Windows (presumably to increase 
recognition of the OLPC),  and those talking about extending Sugar 
to a standard desktop (presumably to increase recognition of Sugar).

I'm under the impression that the Sugar shell was specifically 
designed to be EASY TO LEARN for people lacking Western education. 
Yes, there are many who desire to run desktop applications (without 
having to re-program them) in the Sugar shell.  But *already* there 
have been successful efforts at 'sugarizing' certain applications 
('opera' comes to mind).  From my perspective, what is needed is an 
__excellent__ "thunk" layer to wrap around desktop applications. 
Developers -- don't agonize -- go do it !!  [The most intractable 
problem seems to be Bitfrost - the security model for Sugar is NOT 
the same as the security model for current desktop applications -- 
something has to give (or be re-programmed).]

But I don't see a pressing need to run individual Sugar activities 
(without the Sugar shell) in another environment.  [Would it really 
increase the world's recognition of Sugar?]  [The Sugar environment 
is "pared down" -- why should for example users of non-Sugar 
environments be asked to install applications which can draw just a 
single small screen ?]  If there *is* a market, again availability 
of a "thunk" layer might provide the most wide-spread benefit.

I *do* see a two-fold use for porting the Sugar shell to various 
distributions:  (1) People without a Western education, who have 
access only to a "standard desktop", ought to find the Sugar shell 
(together with a set of Activities that runs under it) easier to 
learn.  (2) By exposing more people to Sugar (including making 
development resources available), hopefully the pool of contributors 
to "providing computerized help/information to those who previously 
could not afford it" will grow.

My $.02     mikus

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