Fedora Desktop on XO

Eben Eliason eben at laptop.org
Fri Jan 9 11:11:06 EST 2009

On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 3:24 AM, Tomeu Vizoso <tomeu at sugarlabs.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 09:21, C. Scott Ananian <cscott at laptop.org> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 11:00 AM, John Gilmore <gnu at toad.com> wrote:
>>>> 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.
>> John, I don't know if you ever saw: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Journal,_reloaded
>> Given the massive disruption to the status quo, I'm not sure that I
>> would attempt to argue for one approach over the other; just noting
>> that there is an alternative.
> For the record, I think that Scott's approach is the best if it can be
> put to work.

I agree.  From a user experience point of view, I think something much
closer in functionality to Scott's prototype would be a big step
forward for the Journal.  I never had the chance to make proper
mockups of what it could ultimately look like in Sugar, but I hope to
still have the opportunity to do that.

- Eben

> If I'm working on something else is because we need to ship something
> better than what we had and didn't saw so clear how we could do it
> given the resources we have and all the open questions that there are.
> Regards,
> Tomeu
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