[Sur] [IAEP] FW: [OLPC Bolivia] No logro aprender Sugar / I cannot learn Sugar why would YOU want to?

mokurai en earthtreasury.org mokurai en earthtreasury.org
Mie Jun 15 23:32:26 EDT 2011

On Wed, June 15, 2011 7:45 pm, Steve Thomas wrote:
>    1. I believe Carlos raises valid points


>    2. We need specifics so we can prioritize and address them,

I asked Carlos to check over our existing documentation and tell us, and
in particular me, what is lacking. I await his answer, and invite anybody
else to do the same.

* http://booki.flossmanuals.net/ XO and Sugar manuals

* http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/The_Undiscoverable Known problems, with

* http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activities#Native_Sugar_Activities
Specifics on core Sugar activities

> So:
>       1. Let's stop talking in generalities and about volunteer vs
>       corporate, we are what we are, so let's make the best of it
>       2. We should work with Carlos (who I find generally very helpful and
>       supportive and I firmly believe has a heart to help and that is
> why he made
>       the criticisms) to get a list of specific issues, so we can identify
> and
>       prioritize solutions.


> Stephen
> On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 6:02 PM, Chris Leonard
> <cjlhomeaddress en gmail.com>wrote:
>> On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 4:29 PM, Kenneth Wyrick <kmw en caltek.net> wrote:
>> > Chris,
>> >
>> > Since this seems to be something you have sincere passion about, would
>> you
>> > be willing to simply list/summarize specific points that you see that
>> > Carlos made so we can talk about them point by point to hopefully
>> arrive
>> > at a more succinct overall intention of his communication?
>> Kenneth,
>> I do have a passion for Sugar / OLPC and perhaps that is why I
>> identify with the passion that I see in Carlos' message.  I would
>> reprise my comment that the discussion is best carried out *with*
>> Carlos and in Spanish on the lists he posted his message, but I will
>> give it a shot.  However, I will say that I cannot really speak to
>> Carlos concerns, that conversation should happen with Carlos.  I
>> intersperse my comments with his paragraphs below (prepending mine
>> with "cjl").
>> Quoting from the English translation at
>> https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1yBr2G7FF5Jr46ixt_THm1xQh08cyNJXx8KUy-WDZ1Xs
>> First let's  acknowledge this as a potentially misleading starting
>> point as tone can easily be mangled by Google Translate.
>> "I work since 1983,  using computers as an important tool to earn a
>> living.  While working, I had to learn DOS, Windows and Macintosh.  I
>> also learned Open Office, Google Docs and Etoys after retiring from
>> work."
>>     cjl - It is clear to me from this that Carlos has a lifetime of
>> expectations formed by the systems that he grew up using.  It is a
>> psychological phenomena that "violation of expectations" leads to
>> strong reactions.  I've worked as programmer on and off since the late
>> '70's.  Yes, I've booted computers from cassette tape, been paid to
>> program on IBM  punch cards, have used Wang 8 inch floppies and know
>> what a read-write ring looks like and does.  I know where he is coming
>> from.
>> "I just cannot learn Sugar.  I ask for help when I find problems I
>> cannot resolve but I don´t seem to get answers that make any sense."
>>     cjl - In this I read frustration at the comnunications channels,
>> I can sympathize with this sentiment and imagine it must be amplified
>> for a native Spanish speaker.  In my opinion this is the crux of the
>> message that deserves further exploration of the exact issues and
>> engagement with a positive tone to seek improvements and where
>> possible remedies for the problems that plague Carlos and other users.
>>  This is the feedback we've been asking for, it is up to us to take
>> him seriously (as he should be) and draw him out on the details.
>> Sorry, it isn't filed in a bug-tracker with a patch, it will require a
>> conversation.
>> "From what I hear at meetings, both in Uruguay and overseas, and from
>> what I read in lists,  I can assure I am not the only one having this
>> problem."
>>     cjl - No question he is right about this.  In fact the lack of
>> feedback from deployments is often bemoaned on the IAEP list.  It is
>> just a little amusing and slightly sad that when such feedback comes
>> (however poorly framed), the first response is to reject it,
>> "I beg you excuse my ignorance.  If some ignorant like me doesn´t
>> speak clearly,  we will continue to waste our time for ever as well as
>> waste the precious time of children and adolescents and trying to
>> convince teachers they don´t know how to teach."
>> "If you are ashamed of confessing you don´t know,  continuing in
>> ignorance is more of a shame."
>>     cjl - Here Carlos admits his own shortcomings (we all have them)
>> and asks for enlightnement.  This to me is a sign of intelligence,
>> admitting one's own limitations.
>> "I said I learned to work with quite diverse computers and operating
>> systems and I just cannot get to learn Sugar.  Let´s try to find then,
>>  what does Sugar have different from DOS, Windows, Macintosh, Open
>> Office, Google Docs and Etoys."
>>     cjl - see earlier comment about "violation of expectations".
>> "A characteristic common to all the systems I was able to learn and
>> use with positive results is they work well.  They work well for
>> common people like myself and for most people who need to know the
>> basicas to be able to work,  adapting those programs to the specific
>> problems of our jobs or further study.  That basic training,  enables
>> us to face the challenges the real world presents to all who work
>> and/or study."
>>     cjl - Here, I suspect that Carlos is confusing the Sugar Learning
>> environment with the workplace tools he is familiar with.  This is
>> understandable, this confusion with the goals of Sugar exists widely
>> and can be hard to overcome.  Apparently OLPC has lost deployment
>> opportunities because an XO cannot be used to provide vocational
>> training in Microsoft Office.  Int4erestingly, even the smallest steps
>> to allow Windows to run on an XO by tweaking the open firmware
>> produced vehement reactions within the community.
>>     cjl - To paraphrase the Haggadah (the Jewish service for the
>> Passover meal) it is incumbent on us to ask and answer the question:
>> "Why is this OS different from all other OSes?"
>> "In a few words,  my opinion is Sugar does not work.  Those who think
>> otherwise,  should just follow the messages in the mail lists,
>> preferrably those in Spanish,  the language of Uruguay and several
>> other countries, or become a volunteer and live with the problems."
>>     cjl - A not unjustified call for listening closely to the
>> feedback that is given (mostly in Spanish) and to live with real-world
>> deployment issues.  Again  I see this as a clarion call for more
>> engagement.
>> "Why doesn´t it work?"
>> "I will offer my best ignorant´s opinion.  Anyone with an answer
>> closer to the truth,  please explain it to us so we continue living in
>> armony and progressing for everybody´s benefit."
>> "I will explain,  using an imaginary example,  my opinion on why Sugar
>> doesn´t even get close to the reliability and usefullness level of the
>> other systems we mentioned."
>>     cjl - I have to give him some points on the reliability concern,
>> I would have to ask the question of "usefulness" by asking "usefulness
>> for what purpose", back to the learning tool versus workplace tool
>> issue.
>> "Let´s think of Apple,  currently the most successful company in the
>> business,  at world level.  It acquired its good reputation offering
>> devices that work well since we open the box and programs that most of
>> us can learn how to use with good results within a short time."
>>     cjl - Regardless of your feelings about Apple, this is not an
>> inaccurate description of some elements that have contributed to their
>> success.  Let's please accept that responding to this by getting into
>> discussions about Apple would be a distraction, so let's avoid doing
>> that.
>> "Let´s imagine now that Apple directors decide to save money by firing
>> all the great programmers they employ,  dedicated to write their
>> operating systems.  Let´s imagine they decide that a group of
>> volunteers,  worldwide, with a horizontal organization without chiefs,
>>  is the latest model in modern business management.  What would
>> happen?  How much longer would Apple survive?  Days?  Hours?
>> I am neither complaining, nor criticizing the past or the present."
>>    cjl - Well, this is a bit of rehashing OLPC's decision-making
>> around supporting Sugar that lead to the spin out of Sugar Labs back
>> in May 2008.  I really, really don't want to re-litigate that, it is
>> water long under the bridge.  Those of us who were around at that time
>> remember it as a time of high passions and recriminations, some were
>> even moved to express themselves in outrageous forms
>> (http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/User:Cjl/Random_musings) just to
>> exorcise those demons and move forward with the important work at
>> hand.
>> "Thanks to Sugar and to many other organizations and persons,  Plan
>> Ceibal started,  it accomplished tremendous progress and it is where
>> it is today.  Let´s congratulate all those who helped bring it to this
>> point,  from those who made the big decisions,  to OLPC and each and
>> all teachers, students, relatives and volunteers."
>>    cjl - An acknowledgement that OLPC and Sugar have changed the
>> nature of the discourse around ICT and learning.
>> "Wouldn´t this be the time to recognize Sugar is what is currently
>> preventing us to move ahead,  and to dedicate all our tremendous
>> collective intelligence and energy to continue moving ahead?  Anyone
>> may trip on a roadblock.  We have to get up and continue on our way.
>> We cannot let a program that has problems stop everything."
>>     cjl - Sounds like a call to "throw the baby out with the
>> bathwater", I can't say I agree with this conclusion, but Carlos is
>> certainly not the first to make this point.  This is an opportunity to
>> engage Carlos in a discussion about the core principles behind Sugar
>> and to examine our own efforts to see how we may be falling short of
>> achieving those principles.
>> "I am happy to see Plan Ceibal is not sleeping and every day is
>> introducing or considering very interesting ideas.  I see Portal
>> Ceibal shows information on Khan Academy and Sugata Mitra,  among
>> other education ideas that are calling the attention of many people
>> around the world today."
>>    cjl - Here Carlos is suggesting that Sugar and an XO laptop alone
>> are not the solution to all problems, a conclusion I heartily agree
>> with.  It fails to acknowledge what Sugar and XOs make possible, but I
>> will not quibble there, I will join him in celebrating the ingenuity
>> of local deployments and even children in appropriating the tools they
>> have adopted and reworking them to meet their own needs and desires.
>> At this point I am tempted to shout "Hallelujah" or less aptly
>> "Mission Accomplished".  The appropriation of the tools and technology
>> by local communities is the end-game we all seek (I think).
>>    cjl - What this leaves out is the sincere desire of Sugar Labs to
>> gather that creative energy back from the deployments and share it
>> with other deployments around the world.  Let's be honest in admitting
>> we just don't do this well enough (yet).  I myself would like to see
>> OLE Nepal's materials translated into English and hosted on Pootle for
>> anyone to localize into their language of choice (just as an example).
>>  This returns us to the need for deeper and more meaningful engagement
>> to harvest both the good and the bad from deployments.
>>     cjl - Kenneth, that is how I read Carlos's message.  It may not
>> be what he really meant to say and he may not like how I characterize
>> some of his points, but this is just my opinion, which you *did* ask
>> for,  You just didn't realize that I would actually give it to you :-)
>> cjl
>> _______________________________________________
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> _______________________________________________
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Edward Mokurai
&#1580;) Cherlin
Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.

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