journal is hard (was Re: notes from the field - Mongolia)

John Gilmore gnu at
Fri Oct 10 12:46:41 EDT 2008

> > This could be made much easier if Sugar apps prompted the user for
> > tags when shutting down an application.
> Yes, I think we need to assume this model.  I don't think this is
> going to break the basic paradigm of Sugar, since this prompt need
> only happen for *new* activities.  Anything which has been previously
> kept in the Journal will continue to autosave.

Warning -- when you tell the system to shut down, from the XO-man menu,
some existing Sugar apps are hanging instead, prompting the user about
whether to save a useless Journal entry about themselves, or whether to
just quit.  I noticed this in a late 8.2.0.

(A normal Linux shell "shutdown now" command will tell all processes
to terminate ("kill -TERM"), wait about 30 seconds to give them all a
chance to do it nicely, then will kill any remaining ones off nastily
("kill -KILL") and shut down the system.  I didn't wait around long
enough to see whether Sugar's shutdown hung forever, or did that too.
I strongly recommend that Sugar reimplement what long experience has
showed was useful: do what the user told you to, don't let individual
activities make the system hang forever by asking stupid questions.)


PS:  Wasn't Sugar going to be a modeless, promptless GUI for pre-literate
people?  :-/

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