is anyone actually doing Windows on XO work here?

Albert Cahalan acahalan at
Tue Jul 21 14:08:58 EDT 2009

Ed McNierney writes:

> We've tried many times to make the very simple story about Windows
> support on the XO clear.  The conspiracy theorists don't really care.
> If you don't live in a fact-based universe, facts are irrelevant.
> Mitch is quite right, but we've said just about all of that before to
> little effect.  OLPCNews and Slashdot thrive on controversy, not
> accurate reporting.  I don't have much hope that we're going to say
> something now that makes the "OLPC has switched to Windows" crowd
> suddenly realize they're wrong.

You're not being fair to them. Your message has big problems.

Some of us know our Microsoft history. Anything you say is now
tainted by that. There is a **long** history of evil tricks.

Really there is only one way to fix the message, and I don't expect it
to ever happen. NN himself needs to personally and publicly apologize
for the XP adventure, admitting that it was harmful to the mission.
Nobody else can usefully apologize on his behalf. He probably also needs
to push a normal Linux desktop to be believable, because currently XP is
the desktop solution for the XO.

Finally, conspiracy theories are going to thrive whenever there is
a communication failure. OLPC decisionmaking is opaque, and decisions
have always been surprises. NN is simply not available to discuss
anything. Maybe you could get him on #olpc-devel twice a week or get
him to participate in two devel mailing list discussions per week.
People should feel that they know him like a Linus or Theo.

> Of course, Linux development is *far* more expensive for OLPC than
> Windows development is (and always has been), so if there were a way
> to convert all those Slashdot/OLPCNews typing fingers into volunteer
> coders it would be a nice improvement!

This is largely because you aren't doing normal Linux development.
Everything is custom. Porting from desktop Linux to MacOS is easier
than porting to the Sugar environment. For many apps, even a Windows
port is easier. Plain old Linux development is not unusually expensive.

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