[Sugar-devel] Future of Rainbow + Sugar?

Michael Stone michael at laptop.org
Tue Feb 24 12:57:07 EST 2009

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 12:29:57PM -0500, Wade Brainerd wrote:
>To me, Bitfrost was just one more lofty windmill OLPC tried to tilt because
>it seemed like an interesting challenge.  

So you've said in the past. What of it?

>I'm not clear why Sugar needs more protection from rogue activities than a
>normal desktop environment has from rogue applications.

The justification which interests me the most goes something like: "strong
protections mean that there is less risk that kids and teachers will break
things by installing software on their machines; therefore, educational
innovations will spread faster."

>Reinventing the desktop as a constructivist learning environment is a big
>enough task for one development team / community to swallow.  Reinventing
>security is an altogether separate cause.

There is no reinvention taking place here; instead, we are using both
long-standing OS features (discretionary access control; memory isolation) and
novel OS features (network containerization, cgroup-based memory resource
limits) in new combinations as they become available. What has changed is that
the Sugar UI and user expectations permit concentrated use of these features.

>That said, Rainbow exists, so we don't need to do anything to remove it.  So
>long as people step up to maintain it and help activity developers fix the
>issues they run into.

The issue is that rainbow "has been maintained" and its downstream users (e.g.
Sugar) need to give some feedback on the intermediate results so that there
will be time for its upstream author to respond to that feedback.

>But Michael, what you seem to be asking for - someone to pick up your solo
>project and finish it

Thank you, no. I apologize if my writing contributed to this gross
misunderstanding of my purpose.


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