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

John Watlington wad at laptop.org
Mon Aug 9 01:27:04 EDT 2010

On Aug 9, 2010, at 12:46 AM, Neil Graham wrote:
> On Sun, 2010-08-08 at 19:55 -0400, John Watlington wrote:
>> On Aug 8, 2010, at 7:15 PM, Neil Graham wrote:
>>> There is a small open handheld console. http://www.openpandora.org/
>>> http://pandorapress.net/  The openness and friendliness of the community
>>> environment is a model for how things can work.
>> The support page on that wiki points you to enter the bug in their bug tracker.
>> What part of Pandora were you holding up as an example of better practices ?
> Goodness I didn't realise the difference was that profound.  Community
> involvement is not a link on a webpage.  If that is the level of
> interaction that you have been looking at then you haven't even been in
> the right book let alone on the right page. 

What thread were you responding to ?
My comment was in direct response to the mail that started this thread:

> On Aug 8, 2010, at 5:09 PM, Christoph Derndorfer wrote:
>> 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.
>> 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.

I repeat my question to you:
How does OpenPandora provide a better method for users to feedback
comments/problems to developers ?

> I doubt I ever clicked on that link, yet I know how many Pandora's are
> out there, where the various components of the as yet unassembled
> Pandora's are,  what has been the most recent problem in getting them
> going.

Hmm.   Most of that information is readily available for XOs as well.

> I don't actually have a Pandora but I know that the first few units had
> sticky shoulder buttons, I also know that was due to the paint, and what
> they did to solve the problem.

And people on the OLPC devel mailing list are aware of early problems
with the pre-production XO-1.5s.   If you don't like mailing lists, there
is the wiki page for each version of hardware, e.g.

> There is a huge amount of transparency that just isn't there with

Building first-rate hardware requires playing with the big boys.
And while I might not like the secrecy they impose as a condition for
playing, the end result is cheaper and more powerful for having played.

> Perhaps that was out of necessity,  most Pandora purchasers paid one or
> two years ago.  You can't ask people for a million dollars then not
> produce anything for a year without letting them know something is
> happening.  Nevertheless it has much better results.  There isn't the
> them and us feel. 

We usually have to do a significant amount of hardware and software
development using chips that haven't even been publicly
announced yet.   The alternative is to use older, more power hungry
chips (as with XO-1).

As soon as possible, OLPC makes a significant effort to ship free
prototypes to anyone asking for one for a particular purpose
(e.g. working on Gnash, or Sugar).    And we use the devel mailing
list to keep these early users appraised of release and problems.

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