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

Bernie Innocenti bernie at codewiz.org
Mon Mar 22 06:51:09 EDT 2010

On Mon, 2010-03-15 at 16:03 -0500, Martin Langhoff wrote: 
> Agreed. You can do what you are doing (run a school on newish sw, get
> a tight feedback & bugfix loop) when someone like you is there.
> Yes -- but we gotta remember that it's productive (specially for
> Sugar) because you are there. You can turn their frustration into
> valuable info (and bugfixes). Without you, it's just frustration.

Indeed :-(

I'm trying to get everyone on IRC and mailing lists before I leave. In
Nepal it worked, but here the language barrier is higher.

I told everyone that Spanish is welcome in bug reports, blog posts and
for chatting on #sugar. Many of our core developers speak Spanish
fluently, so they could bridge information to the others.

Admittedly, it's not working: people come to IRC, they see that everyone
speaks English, and shy away. I don't believe in breaking the community
apart in many per-language ghettos, but Spanish probably has enough
critical mass to justify a #sugar-es (or #olpc-es) channel.

> That's a good idea -- try to work in a school with "latest" Sugar late
> in the previous school year, to incorporate stuff for the wider
> deployment in the over-summer-holidas upgrade.
> (And actually we have a late-starting deployment in La Rioja, which is
> on-time to take advantage of that work.)

Cool! A lot of stuff is moving forward here:

* This Monday we'll have another meeting with the "formadores" to help
   them file complete and understandable bug reports without the need
   for us to go on-site.

* We're now tracking the remaining bugs here:

* Two more developers of the Paraguay Educa technical team are learning
   to create OS builds. Next week, they'll start helping out with

* The formadores (teacher trainers) got used to the differences
   in the new software release and are no longer diffident.

> That's truly a good question. I'll say "the teams closest to the
> deployments". "Distant" upstreams (kernel, udev, Fedora) don't care
> directly about our end users. OLPC/SLers are passionate about children
> learning.
> Yep - that and combine it with working with a few schools on recent
> releases, with a developer on-site -- like you, Simon and others are
> doing.

Yes, we definitely need more errant developers! Since there's a limited
amount of core developers in OLPC and SL, in the future we may want to
encourage deployments to exchange developers. The Paraguayan team now
employs hackers with two years of experience. The same is probably true
in Uruguay.

It would be great if one of them could travel to the fledgling
Argentinian deployment and help them build capacity locally. A
decentralized model of international collaboration would solve the
scalability problem.

> In practice, it probably means we'll be answering questions about any
> release for about 1.5 to 2 years after the release date.

Interestingly, Mark Shuttleworth has recently argued for a 2 years cycle
synchronized across all the enterprise distributions:


If his proposal acquires enough momentum within the community, it would
make sense for us to synchronize with it, solving the issue of being
left behind by the rest of the development community.

> Noooo. I'm not so crazy. But we have to fit in the school's
> 1-year-cycle, have time to stabilise, etc. Small deployments have more
> flexibility, and when someone like you is literally on site you can go
> wild... (take advantage of that!) but for the thousands of other
> schools an LTS

Testing and stabilize a new version of Fedora and Sugar on the XO could
be done with as little as a few thousand students in a small town, with
just 1-2 developers on site.

After we're done with Sugar 0.84, I'll try to repeat the development
cycle for Sugar 0.88 and Fedora 12, starting with few adventurous
volunteers such as the Scratcheros.

   // Bernie Innocenti - http://codewiz.org/
 \X/  Sugar Labs       - http://sugarlabs.org/

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