XO-3 Announcement?

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Wed Jan 11 07:01:49 EST 2012

On 11.01.2012, at 00:36, Jeffrey Kesselman wrote:

> I wonder how a tablet really fits the Xo mission beyond PR?
> The G1G1, while flawed in a few ways, made an attempt at least to put a programmable machine in the hands of third world children and
> empower them to be content creators.
> A tablet is inherently a content consumer device, not a creator device.  This is the secret to Apple's success with them.  (They have been
> chasing this particular horse since the early Mac days.  Mac was never supposed to be a creator device, that was the ill fated Lisa.)
> I cant imagine anyone typing much code on a touch screen keyboard.  Is the goal of OLPC now to create more consumers?
> JK

It's definitely possible to type on a good touch screen keyboard. In particular code, the auto-completion can be much more helpful than with prose. Not nearly as good as on a full-size physical one, but on par with the XO keyboard IMHO (*). And the possibilities of dynamic keyboards are endless - you could have a key that inserts a full class definition and you just type the name, etc.

Another advantage is that it can adapt to your language. It's a hassle to code on many keyboard that does not have a US layout. I am a native speaker of German, but have been buying US keyboards for many years. It must be even more difficult for people with non-latin writing systems. The XO's keyboard layout switching key is a great help, but you can only put so many labels on a physical key.

Besides, in the end it's the software that makes a system suitable for creating or not. Even the "consumption-only" iPad has nice apps for creating. Not only "artsy" stuff, but for hacking too, e.g. http://twolivesleft.com/Codea/ And the XO-3 won't suffer from Apple's restrictions on sharing your creations.

I'm excited about the XO tablet :)

- Bert -

(*) E.g. my 12 yo daughter added a full-size keyboard to her setup even though I let her use the blue XO with the crunchy keyboard (which she greatly preferred to the smooth green one). She writes stories, and plays MUD, both requiring lots of typing:

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