[Sugar-devel] Making OLPC / Sugar Labs more approachable

Tim McNamara paperless at timmcnamara.co.nz
Sun Aug 8 19:43:00 EDT 2010

On 9 August 2010 11:02, Mikus Grinbergs <mikus at bga.com> wrote:

> > in general I think it's entirely appropriate to expect
> > that people asking for help do so via the correct channels
> I believe that "asking for help" should not be the only supported
> motivation for contacting developers.

Not at all, but it's a significant one.

> In my opinion, developers of a product ought to be interested in
> learning about shortcomings perceived in that product by users.

Looking into the original case - we had people on a public forum[1]
expressing frustration that yum fails to work among other things.

I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way - but are G1G1 laptop owners
considered the target market? If a user installs Skype on an XO-1, only to
find that it kills the sound, then I think it's okay for OLPC to abstain
from taking responsibility. Fora such as olpcnews.com attracts very
motivated individuals who experiment. That's great, but once they leave the
realm of the product, peer support takes over.

In practice, it seems that genuine issues from these comments do find their
way to the surface, albeit in roundabout way. OLPC & Sugar Labs are now
aware that yum doesn't seem to work.

> Are "the correct channels" any different than blinders ?
> mikus

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by blinders. Do you mean blinkers?
[edit: Wikipedia says yes]

In many ways that's true, but the metaphor doesn't transfer exactly. Each
channel (Trac, wiki, mailing list, local user group) deals with a different
type of problem. They e  simply to block unintended knowledge. However, it's
likely that some people will be put off - which means that they become
fairly blunt filters.

Where the metaphor does fit is using a system to create focus. It's
important to recognise that OLPC & Sugar Labs have very constrained
development resources. Therefore, systems that reduce load on developers
increases time on development.


[1] http://www.olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=4867
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