notes on Journal feedback (was Re: Bundle activity)

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at
Tue Oct 7 06:14:13 EDT 2008

On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Erik Garrison <erik at> wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 09:17:16AM +0200, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
>> On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 10:40 PM, Erik Garrison <erik at> wrote:
>> > When I was in Uruguay more teachers asked me about issues with the
>> > Journal than anything else.  I keep poking on this issue to remind
>> > people that it's not going away in the field.
>> Could you please tell us more about the issues reported?
> 1) Data loss.  Teachers I met mentioned seeing bugs where the students
> Journal was wiped clean, or where things went missing.  Without live
> examples this is pretty hard to diagnose.  Perhaps an effect of running
> on such an old build.

Yes, this improved in 0.82 and is a big goal for 0.84:

> 2) Journal startup failures borking the whole system / Journal never
> completing startup but Sugar starting.  Possibly because of NAND-full.
> If so we have fixed it.  Interestingly, I heard about kids resolving
> this issue manually from the command-line (although their teacher didn't
> know exactly what they did!  I'm guessing they removed their data
> directory.).

Yes, IMO, this is the same issue as 1)

> 3) "How do I share files to/from an XO?"  "I just did this work but now
> where is the resultant file?"  Interface with the outside world.

How could we better define the "outside world"? Do you think we could
get a list of the main use cases when taking data out of XO systems?

> 4) General usability concerns; questions about why the design was
> chosen.  Difficulty finding things in the produced action history.

How could we get to know which are those concerns? Perhaps we could
try to get the people who can give this feedback on the olpc-sur
mailing list, have some discussion there in spanish and then summarize
in the global lists and wiki? And if you could by a chance remember
any concrete usability concern, please post it here.

I think we all agree that the journal sucks in a lot of senses. We are
trying to improve it by implementing the biggest missing pieces and
patching the biggest wholes, but if it was at all possible to choose
the priorities based on real feedback from the field, I'm pretty sure
the result will be much better. Do you think we can get feedback on a
form we can actually use?



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