Devil is in the details

Tony Anderson tony_anderson at
Tue Nov 5 00:17:09 EST 2013

On 11/04/2013 10:49 PM, devel-request at wrote:
> Message: 7
> Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2013 19:50:52 -0800
> From: Sameer Verma<sverma at>
> To: "Devel's in the Details"<devel at>, 	Sugar-dev
> 	Devel<sugar-devel at>
> Subject: different perspectives
> Message-ID:
> 	<CAFoGK8FVVwYgkEPHx5ee5iQD5+45DrVr8GF68Agg4BZKTi35oQ at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> Dear Community,
> As I was listening to the interviews of some of the OLPC SF Summit
> attendees, I was amazed at the richness of diversity in perspectives.
> In spite of being a part of this community since July 2007, and trying
> to keep up with all that is OLPC and Sugar, these interviews threw me
> off a bit.
> The videos are uploading as I write this. They'll be available at
>  soon. Bill Stelzer, who
> usually interviews and runs the camera asks people a handful of
> questions. So, here's a little community exercise. Why not ask you all
> the same?
> 1) What brought you into the OLPC and/or Sugar project(s)?

I arrived back in the US after a visit to South Africa witnessing a 
computer lab in a
primary school where children had access to a computer for 30min per 
week. At this
time OLPC initiated G1G1. I was convinced that OLPC meant more than 
30min per week and
this initiative should be supported. As a retired computer professional, 
my question was: after the
kids get a laptop, what happens next? I am not sure I yet have a good 
answer to that question.
> 2) What keeps you going in the OLPC and/or Sugar project(s)?
Curiosity and the challenge of using my computer skills and experience 
to make something good happen.
> 3) What are the challenges you face in the OLPC and/or Sugar project(s)?
In most new applications of computers, the 'client' knows what he wants. 
Normally it is to do
what I am doing now, but better, faster and at a lower cost. In this 
case computers are provided to
deployment sites without the site having any input on the process. This 
makes it hard for a developer to
understand the requirements (sites say give me some laptops and that is 
> 4) What would you change/do differently so OLPC and/or Sugar
> project(s) could do better?
Have the community really buy-in to 'it is an educational project'. 
Distinguish between enterprise-level deployments
(Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, Rwanda, Australia) and deployments which need 
community support. Eliminate the assumption that deployments can support 
each laptop (100-400+) meaningfully surfing the internet (cf. Browse 
Activity portal page).
Recognize that it is what is on the screen for the child that matters, 
not whether it is Sugar or Android or Python or HTML5
or an XO or a tablet or a smartphone.

> Reply-all in your answers.
> cheers,
> Sameer

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