[IAEP] Sugar on Android via HTML5

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Tue Sep 10 17:04:49 EDT 2013

On Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 7:51 PM, Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hi...
> I have also been waiting patiently (well, not really very patiently) for
> some news about Sugar coming to Android. So far, I have heard nothing new.
> So I guess it isn't too late to throw my educator's opinion into the mix...
> One of the things that makes Sugar the ideal learning platform for
> children (and youth) is the wonderful compatibility of so many of the
> Activities ... both from Activity to Activity and from student to student.
> This facilitates the sort of learning we are all hoping to see more of...
> creative problem solving, project based learning and cooperative learning.
> Without this ability to integrate parts of projects, it would just be
> another collection of apps.
> Thanks for "listening"
> Caryl
Hi Caryl,

Thanks for writing back. I am a bit surprised that I got more off-list
responses than on-list ones. I did not want to muddy the picture by
injecting my own viewpoint, but now that I've heard from others (on and off
list) it is clear that the split is driven by the role they play in the

Most technologists have come up with reasons why they don't think a
complete Sugar experience would work on Android. Therefore, activities must
run like any other app on Android. On the other hand, as Caryl said,
"Without this ability to integrate...it would just be a collection of

Somewhat knowing the limitations of what can be done with Sugar stuff on
Android, but disregarding that for a minute, I would say that Sugar as a
*platform* is an experience. It has a UI. It has a UX. Everything from the
Zoom interface to the activities to the Journal is Sugar. We have taken the
original "Sugar on the OLPC XO" experience and replicated that to the
classmate PC, SoaS, and other spins and distros, but in none of these cases
did we break the holistic Sugar experience. Now, along comes a popular OS,
and because the tech parts don't fit, we are advocating breaking up the
pieces and taking whatever flies. Memorize will become one of the few
hundred thousand apps on Android.

I disagree.

It's like saying we'll do the cat sprite from Scratch, but nothing else.
It's like saying we'll do the birds and pigs from Angry Birds, but not the
slingshot. Sugar, without all its pieces isn't worth the trouble. How it
will get done (if it will get done) is another story, and I wish we would
hear more about it onlist.


> From: sverma at sfsu.edu
> Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2013 13:14:59 -0700
> To: iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org; devel at lists.laptop.org
> Subject: [IAEP] Sugar on Android via HTML5
> So, I've been mulling this for some time now. At work we are looking into
> using FireFoxOS as a platform for HTML5 apps in some of our courses. It's
> exciting that there is some momentum on the HTML5 activities in Sugar.
> What I'm unsure about is the implementation. Outside of the classic Sugar
> shell and activities (say, on a XO), are we envisioning the whole Sugar
> experience on Android, UI and all, or are we looking to have Sugar
> activities running on Android (with appropriate mods) but as yet another
> app?
> Has there been any conversation on this that I missed?
> cheers,
> Sameer
> --
> Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
> Professor, Information Systems
> San Francisco State University
> http://verma.sfsu.edu/
> http://commons.sfsu.edu/
> http://olpcsf.org/
> http://olpcjamaica.org.jm/
> _______________________________________________ IAEP -- It's An Education
> Project (not a laptop project!) IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
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