[IAEP] Announce: OLPC software strategy.

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Wed Jul 7 20:35:15 EDT 2010

On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 3:01 PM, Chris Ball <cjb at laptop.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> Now that the 10.1.1 release for XO-1.5 is out, it's a good time to
> talk about OLPC's software strategy for the future.  We've got a few
> announcements to make:
> XO-1:
> =====
> OLPC wasn't planning to make a Fedora 11 release of the XO-1 OS, but
> a group of volunteers including Steven Parrish, Bernie Innocenti,
> Paraguay Educa and Daniel Drake stepped up and produced Fedora 11 XO-1
> builds that follow the OLPC 10.1.1 work.  I'm happy to announce that
> we're planning on releasing an OLPC-signed version of that work, and
> that this release will happen alongside the next XO-1.5 point release
> in the coming weeks.  So, OLPC release 10.1.2 will be available for
> both XO-1 and XO-1.5 at the same time, and will contain Sugar 0.84,
> GNOME 2.26 and Fedora 11.  We think that offering this fully
> interoperable software stack between XO-1 and XO-1.5 laptops will
> greatly aid deployments, and we're very thankful to everyone who has
> enabled us to be able to turn this XO-1 work into a supported release!
> To prepare for this XO-1 release, we've started working on fixing
> some of the remaining bugs in the community F11/XO-1 builds.  Paul Fox
> recently solved a problem with suspend/resume and wifi in the F11/XO-1
> kernel, which was the largest blocker for a supported release.  We'll
> continue to work on the remaining bugs, particularly the ones that
> OLPC is uniquely positioned to help with.
> The first development builds for this release will be published later
> this week.
> XO-1.5:
> =======
> We'll be continuing to work on XO-1.5 improvements, incorporating
> fixes to the "Known Problems" section of the 10.1.1 release notes¹
> into the 10.1.2 release.
> XO-1.75 and beyond:
> ===================
> XO-1.75 software development is underway.  Today we're announcing
> that we're planning on using Fedora as the base distribution for the
> XO-1.75.  This wasn't an obvious decision -- ARM is not a release
> architecture in Fedora, and so we're committing to help out with that
> port.  Our reasons for choosing Fedora even though ARM work is needed
> were that we don't want to force our deployments to learn a new
> distribution and re-write any customizations they've written, we want
> to reuse the packaging work that's already been done in Fedora for
> OLPC and Sugar packages, and we want to continue our collaboration
> with the Fedora community who we're getting to know and work with
> well.
> We've started to help with Fedora ARM by adding five new build
> machines (lent to OLPC by Marvell; thanks!) to the Fedora ARM koji
> build farm, and we have Fedora 12 and Sugar 0.86 running on early 1.75
> development boards.  We'd prefer to use Fedora 13 for the XO-1.75, but
> it hasn't been built for ARM yet -- if anyone's interested in helping
> out with this or other Fedora ARM work, please check out the Fedora
> ARM page on the Fedora Wiki².  We're also interested in hiring ARM and
> Fedora developers to help with this; if you're interested in learning
> more, please send an e-mail to jobs-engineering at laptop.org.
> We'll also be continuing to use Open Firmware on the XO-1.75, and
> Mitch Bradley has an ARM port of OFW running on our development boards
> already.
> EC-1.75 open source EC code:
> ============================
> OLPC is proud to announce that the XO-1.75 embedded controller will
> have an open codebase (with a small exception, see below).  After much
> behind-the-scenes effort, EnE has agreed to provide us with a public
> version of the KB3930 datasheet and is allowing our new code to be
> made public.
> The code is not available yet due to a few chunks of proprietary code
> that need to be purged and some other reformatting.  A much more
> detailed announcement will be provided once the new code is pushed to
> a public repository.  The code will be licensed under the GPL with a
> special exception for OLPC use.
> The exception is because EnE has not released the low-level details on
> the PS/2 interface in the KB3930, so there will be some code that is
> not available -- relative to the codebase this is a very small amount
> of code.  The GPL licensing exception will allow for linking against
> this closed code.  We're going to investigate ways to move away from
> this code in the future.  (As far as we're aware, this will make the
> XO-1.75 the first laptop with open embedded controller code!)
> Multi-touch Sugar:
> ==================
> We've begun working on modifications to Sugar to enable touchscreen
> and multitouch use (the XO-1.75 will have a touchscreen, as will
> future OLPC tablets based on its design), and we'll continue to do so.
> The first outcome from this work is Sayamindu Dasgupta's port of the
> Meego Virtual Keyboard³ to Sugar -- you can see a screencast of it in
> action here⁴.
> It's an exciting time for software development at OLPC.  Many thanks
> for all of your support and efforts!
> - Chris, on behalf of the OLPC Engineering team.
> Footnotes:
>  ¹:  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Release_notes/10.1.1
>  ²:  http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Architectures/ARM
>  ³:  http://gitorious.org/fvkbd
>  ⁴:  http://dev.laptop.org/~sayamindu/sugar_vkbd_multi.ogv
> --
> Chris Ball   <cjb at laptop.org>
> One Laptop Per Child
> _______________________________________________
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep

Awesome update! Makes my day :-) Thanks for the detailed information
and a sincere "thank you" for continuing to plug away. You all are my


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