[Sugar-devel] Making OLPC / Sugar Labs more approachable (was: Re: OLPC 10.1.2 Release Candidate 1)

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Sun Aug 8 17:36:40 EDT 2010

On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 5:09 PM, Christoph Derndorfer
<christoph.derndorfer at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 3:56 PM, Ed McNierney <ed at laptop.org> wrote:
>> Instructions:
>> 1. Report bugs at http://dev.laptop.org/newticket - if necessary, register
>> first at http://dev.laptop.org/register (as mavrothal kindly points out)
>> 2. If you have interesting experiences or user information to contribute,
>> please do so at http://wiki.laptop.org
>> 3. If you're unwilling to perform steps 1 and/or 2 as appropriate, please
>> don't expect the bug to be fixed, or for anyone else to even know about it.
> I know I'm repeating myself here but I find the attitude expressed in these
> instructions and particularly point 3 troublesome and a continued source of
> frustration for me as well as other people I've talked to. Even more so I
> think it's a very clear symptom of the much-discussed disconnect between
> developers and end-users in the OLPC and Sugar Labs context.
> The core here is that software developers seem very reluctant to step out of
> their own comfort zone when it comes to processes and tools (a.k.a. point 3
> a.k.a. "my way or the highway") yet consistently expect teachers and other
> XO and Sugar users to do exactly that.

What was the context for Ed's post? And who was his intended audience?
Certainly not the end user. In .uy we have discussed various
mechanisms for bug reporting by children and teachers. The current
plan of record is to use some sort of web form where the bugs are
aggregated by a technical liaison. The liaison might then be trained
in filing the occasional ticket on Trac. As with any software (and
hardware) project, different people in the support hierarchy utilize
different tools.


> This leads to the current situation in which crucial information and
> feedback from these users does not make it back to developers and the
> broader community. Therefore rather than working on things that users need
> or need to work reliably (e.g. the Journal) resources are spent elsewhere.
> But that's all just basically a recap of the IRC discussion on #sugar
> earlier in the week and many hours of discussions with Bernie and others in
> Paraguay over the past 2 weeks.
> Now at this point I'd normally stop but seeing that I've been increasingly
> frustrated about this and have subsequently complained a lot about it I'll
> get off my ass and try something to improve the situation a bit.
> Over the next 6 weeks (can't make promises beyond that since university and
> my job will then start again) I plan to:
> (a) Contact people at deployments asking for their input as to whether they
> see a need for a closer feedback-loop between deployments and development
> (because maybe I'm seeing issues when in fact there are none). For this I'll
> rely on the people I know plus the contacts listed at
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Deployment_Team/Places for starters but please
> send along any suggestions on who else to get in touch with.
> (b) If it turns out to be a need then ask for input as to how these needs
> could be best communicated so we can figure out an appropriate process.
> (c) Try to schedule some sort of meeting with several deployments, possibly
> as a continuation of the Sugar Labs deployment meetings on IRC or via a
> Skype call or something. In my mind the focus here should be input into what
> deployments would like to see development focus (more) on.
> (d) Compile all the resulting input into a readable format and distribute it
> where seen appropriate.
> Things I most likely won't do as part of these efforts include (but aren't
> necessarily limited to) setting up new mailman-lists, creating a new
> category on w.l.o or w.s.o and following wiki talk-pages, asking for a trac
> instance, learning to use git send-email, switching to Mutt, booting into
> Ubuntu instead of Windows 7, etc. ;-)
> As always, let me know what you think.
> Cheers,
> Christoph
> --
> Christoph Derndorfer
> co-editor, olpcnews
> url: www.olpcnews.com
> e-mail: christoph at olpcnews.com
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Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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