[OLPC-SF] Microsoft Is Joining Low-Cost Laptop Project - New York Times
sverma at sfsu.edu
Tue May 20 12:07:52 EDT 2008
Mike Travers wrote:
> On Sun, May 18, 2008 at 11:11 AM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
>> as to the bulk of your point, very nicely said.
>> On Sun, 2008-05-18 at 00:15 -0700, Mike Travers wrote:
>>> the choice of operating system seems like a relatively minor element
>>> of the medium/message/massage, compared to the fact of connectedness
>>> and interactivity.
>> As to the above, i think the OS technology is
>> not a minor consideration....
>> Does anyone think that a closed platform
>> would be better in the above educational regards?
>> If so, how?
>> It seems to me that the underlying technologies
>> of the OS are an important consideration (again,
>> a la "the medium is the massage").
> Just for the record:
> - I agree that an open source model is superior for all the reasons
> you gave. I'm not an open source fundamentalist, but it seems like a
> natural match for the OLPC goals.
> - That being said, openness can happen at various levels, and just
> because one level is not FOSS doesn't mean that we've closed off all
> openness and creativity.
> For example, let's say children around the
> world are collaborating on creating a wiki about their farm animals
> (ie). The content will be open, and probably the wiki server software
> will be open. If the children are using Firefox on Linux or IE on
> Windows to access the wiki, well, that doesn't really matter so much.
True, but the rub is with the reason behind going the Windows route.
OLPC isn't going with Windows because of some technical merit.
Supposedly, Egypt asked for it. Supposedly, it helps with local
educational programs if your computer runs Windows. None of these
warrant any technical merit on part of the OS. I remember Linus'
interview from "Revolution OS" (http://www.revolution-os.com/) where he
says that the OS is something you should never have to see. It works
behind the scene. Microsoft has made sure that the backstage and onstage
are all jumbled. Amorphous, to borrow a term from Nicholas' post ;-) So,
you can't get the OS without the window manager! We are in a sense
arguing about "apples + pie shell" vs. "apple pie" itself.
So, to satisfy Egypt, OLPC will put XP on there. XP will most probably
push Sugar out as something that's not needed. After all, in the
Microsoft video, the MS product manager stated that XP can record sound,
video, etc. and playback really well. Why do we need anything else? All
that talk about constructivism, constructionism, will go down the drain.
I hope it doesn't turn out to be so bleak, but if it does, then thank
you Microsoft for renewing my dislike for your ways.
> FOSS and openness is a powerful force that has triumphed in many
> software niches. It will probably triumph here. The Windows fracas
> seems like a minor speedbump on the road to victory, I would hope it
> doesn't distract people from the important things.
Thank you for the optimism. We surely need it!
More information about the OLPC-SF