[Sugar-devel] Private vs Public conversations.

David Farning dfarning at activitycentral.com
Mon Oct 28 20:14:45 EDT 2013

On Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 3:01 PM, David Farning
> <dfarning at activitycentral.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 9:17 AM, Martin Langhoff
>> <martin.langhoff at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 12:26 PM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM, David Farning
>>>> <dfarning at activitycentral.com> wrote:
>>>>> I just wanted to bump this line of questions as, it is the critical
>>>> I don't speak on behalf of the Association, but I think your positions
>>>> are overstated. As far as I know, the Association is still pursing
>>>> sales of XO laptops and is still supporting XO laptops in the field.
>>>> Granted the pace of development is slowed and there is -- to my
>>>> knowledge -- no team in place to develop an follow up to the XO 4.0. I
>>>> don't have a clue as to what you mean by a "technical philanthropy"
>>>> but it remains a non-profit associated dedicated to enhancing learning
>>>> opportunities through one-to-one computing. The fact that the
>>>> Association has private-sector partners is nothing new. It has had
>>>> such partners since its founding in 2006.
>>> +1 on Walter's words, David's position is overstated. OLPC has shrunk
>>> its Sugar investment, that is true. But on the other points, nothing
>>> has changed significantly, OLPC has always had to find sources of
>>> funding.
>> As I stated, I hope to be proven wrong.
> You also stated:
>> The degree of openness and transparency is our fundamental
>> disagreement. Best case is that the status quo works, Sugar Labs
>> thrives, and I am proven wrong. Worst case is that Sugar adopts to the
>> changing environment.
> Several of us have asked for an explanation.

Yes, and sorry about the delay. This is a nuanced discussion which
requires focusing on goals which can strengthen the project while
avoiding recriminations about the past mistakes and individual

The general observation is that open source projects are most
effective when they provide a venue for multiple individuals and
organizations with overlapping yet non-identical goals to come
together to collaborate on a common platform which they can use and
adapt for their own purpose.

The specific observation about Sugar Labs is that an emphasis on
identical goals tends to limit active participants. Outliers tend to
be nudged aside. The remaining group of active participants are small
but loyal. And yes, I see the irony of posting this observation on the
sugar-devel mailing list. Everyone who is troubled by this observation
has already left.

As two Data points:
In a private conversation with an Association employee they told me
that they conciser Activity Central a competitor because Activity
Central increased deployments expectations. Their strategy with regard
to Activity Central was to _not_ accept patches upstream with the goal
of causing Activity Central and Dextrose to collapse under its their
weight. As it was private conversation I am not sure how widely spread
the opinion was held.

Recently there was a call for help testing HTML5 and JS. Two
developers Code and Roger have been writing proof of concept
activities. They have been receiving extensive off-list help getting
started. But, interestingly, their on-list request for clarification
about how to test datastore was met with silence.

I have tried to communicate that there is competition between
organizations and deployments within the ecosystem... and that is
good. Competition drives innovation. The challenge, as I see it, is
for Sugar Labs to become the to common "collaborative" ground around
which these organizations compete.

Hope that helps.

> regards.
> -walter
>>>>> Given financial constraints, these are reasonable shifts.
>>> That's more like it ;-)
>>>>> there are ways to establish publicly disclosed and mutually beneficial
>>>>> relationships. In the meantime we are happy to provide deployments
>>>>> support while seeding and supporting projects we feel are beneficial
>>>>> to deployments such as School Server Community Edition and Sugar on
>>>>> Ubuntu.
>>> "Seeding and supporting projects" is how it's done.
>>> cheers,
>>> m
>>> --
>>>  martin.langhoff at gmail.com
>>>  -  ask interesting questions
>>>  - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
>>>  ~ http://docs.moodle.org/en/User:Martin_Langhoff
>> --
>> David Farning
>> Activity Central: http://www.activitycentral.com
> --
> Walter Bender
> Sugar Labs
> http://www.sugarlabs.org

David Farning
Activity Central: http://www.activitycentral.com

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