[Sugar-devel] [IAEP] Children want Sugar 0.84, for the wrong reason

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Mon Mar 15 11:46:15 EDT 2010

On Sun, Mar 14, 2010 at 1:17 AM, Bernie Innocenti <bernie at codewiz.org> wrote:
> Me too, but it's not as bad as it seems: the techies use a simple shell
> script to backup and restore the journal (and scratch data) across

So no XS in place?

>> It feels uncomfortable that Sugar 0.84 is already a year old effort
>> as of this week, from its official release, too far ahead of
>> deployments?
> It seems we should try to shorten our "time to market". Both Fedora and
> SoaS have been trailing Sugar releases quite well. Instead, OLPC appears
> to have frozen on Fedora 11 much too early.

Downstreams that go to deployment (OLPC!) want to wait until a release
is reasonably well tested and stabilised.

> Stability is a classic justification for longer release cycles

The thing is: stabilisation takes time. These users are not
programmers, nor geeks. They are not the Fedora hard-core "gimme the
latest even if broken". They are teachers and children in a school.

I don't mess with my editor or my version control system often. emacs
updates have messed up my life, so I don't do them in the middle of a
project. Similarly, teachers won't want frequent updates, or updates
that are broken (in Sugar core, or in activity compatibility!).

> with a selection of well seasoned packages. The problem with this
> approach is that, by the time it reaches the first user, all software is
> already abandonware.

That is only true if the dev team only cares about the hardcore geeks
that want the latest and greatest.

If the dev team cares about end users, then it's not abandonware.

> However, the most efficient use of our scarce resources would be to
> reduce version diversity across downstream distributors in order to
> share the burden of maintaining all them.

Agreed. One path is to release less often. Or to mark certain releases "LTS".

> The educational nature of Sugar puts one additional constraint on us:
> software updates are best done at the beginning of every school year,
> which varies wildly from one nation to the other. Given our 6-months
> cycles, at any time we'd have todeal with a minimum of 2 Sugar releases
> in parallel.

Yep. You could make it a "major / minor" pair. So you only have one
LTS per year.

"Developer" releases can happen more often.


 martin.langhoff at gmail.com
 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
 - ask interesting questions
 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
 - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff

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