Fedora Desktop on XO

John Gilmore gnu at toad.com
Wed Jan 7 11:00:20 EST 2009

> I'm very interested on this, as it would give us also for free a FUSE
> interface. Why I haven't pursued it yet is because the API for
> developing new gio backends is still private and our new backend would
> then need to live inside the gvfs gnome module or as a patch in every
> distro. Aside from having to periodically adapt to any API changes.
> See http://mail.gnome.org/archives/gvfs-list/2008-May/msg00004.html
> That said, such a backend would be very simple, for the journal in Sugar 0.84.

Hi Tomeu, I'd say write the simple backend and submit it upstream.  Their
interface sounds very much like every other interface in a computer,
i.e. not quite done right in retrospect and always subject to change.
Their mailing list only got a dozen messsages that month -- it's not
evolving SO fast.  Host the code in their gnome module and then it'll
evolve along with the module and also go into each distro.

My idea is that when an ordinary GUI program pops up an "Open File"
dialog, if an OLPC Journal exists for that user, it will be one of the
icons in the left column (like "Desktop" or "File System" or each
mounted removable storage device).  If Journal is already the default,
or is selected, then the filename and type are pre-defaulted, though
the user can override them by typing.

Even on a sugarized OLPC, people are going to neet to touch files that
have real names in the real filesystem (e.g.  Python source code,
config files, even new firmware downloads) as well as Journal entries,
so they'll need ways to pick things OTHER than the Journal, too.

This design would also let people try out the Journal concept, just by
"apt-get install olpc-journal" and starting it up.  Then by picking
Journal in the file dialog or file browser, it will arrange the files
that they save or read, by date of access in one big glob, with tags
or whatever, rather than making them pick hierarchical names.  This
would all happen modularly, without installing the Sugar GUI.  (It
would only be interfaced to Sugar and Gnome, but maybe other desktops
would get the hint.)

This would also be a really cheap way to browse USB keys, etc.  Open
two Gnome file browsers (one hierarchical in USB key; the other in
Journal) and drag things back and forth.  The code's already there,
it just lacks this one interface.


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