Data Storage and User-facing System Requirements [was Re: [sugar] 9.1 Proposal: Files]

Benjamin M. Schwartz bmschwar at
Thu Oct 30 15:09:16 EDT 2008

Hash: SHA1

Erik Garrison wrote:
> It seems from my reading of mailing lists, IRC logs, and listening to
> conversations with people that we are trying to resolve all of these
> issues by implementing more code to get around difficulties imposed by
> our current data storage implementation and security model.
> My argument is that we can do less work and get an improved result from
> the user's perspective by removing the layers of code (datastore and
> security restrictions) which prevent applications from behaving as they
> normally do on other systems.

Erik:  If you want applications to behave as they do on other systems,
then why not just use an other system?

I am not being facetious, and I hope I don't seem disrespectful.  If you
are not interested in Sugar's goal of rearchitecting the computer
experience to optimize for our students, then don't use Sugar.  It sounds
to me like your goals would be achieved, for example, by running Andres's
debxo-LXDE or the Fedora XO spin, perhaps with minor UI customizations.

Sugar is not nearly finished, but it is headed for a realm of new
features, including an entirely new metaphor for stored data.  You seem to
be proposing that we stop that development process because our current
betas (Sugar is still in beta) are not up to the quality of mature
systems.  This upsets me.  Please don't derail this train just because it
has not yet reached its destination.

If you would like to argue that OLPC should not be shipping Sugar, because
it is not ready, then I am happy to listen.  If you would like to argue
that the datastore and Journal, once their implementation catches up with
our designs for the future, will still be inferior to traditional
filesystems for our target users, then that is an architectural discussion
we can have, though you will meet a great deal of resistance.

I think you should take a look at Ubuntu Netbook Remix.  It's a very
stable, simple platform that presents a classic Linux desktop environment
in a UI optimized for small computers.  You might find that you prefer it
over Sugar.  There's nothing wrong with that.

- --Ben
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