[Server-devel] Drupal on OLPC? (Martin Langhoff)

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Mon Mar 17 10:36:02 EDT 2008

Greg Smith (gregmsmi) wrote:
> Hi Martin et al,
> Its great you will be on this full time, congratulations! Wad is a tough
> act to follow but you have a super education background and technical
> savvy in general.
> I could use some direction on overall methodology of development and
> support for the XS.
> I can think of three models but you may have others in mind too:
> A - An appliance type offering where the school systems buy an XS from
> OLPC, boots it, does some basic configuration then they're done.
> B - Schools buy a PC, install OS, XS image and maybe some other approved
> modules (e.g. LAMP) then run a set of well defined and supported
> applications.
> C - Take the base XS image, add any applications they need and run a
> more general purpose server.

Hi Greg,

I've been thinking along the same lines, but at a slightly more abstract 
level. If you were to take two constraints (there are many more, but its 
easier to start with two): power and backhaul, then you can look at 
cases that combine these to some degree.

For example:

no grid + no backhaul = use case A
unreliable grid + no backhaul = use case B
reliable grid + limited backhaul = use case C
reliable grid + good backhaul = use case D

and so on.

Then, there is another constraint, which is school size, so smaller 
schools may work with a single mesh, but larger ones may need APs. I 
haven't thought this through completely as yet, but I'm throwing it out 
there. If use cases can be defined first, based on these constraint 
combinations, then perhaps we can look at different server-side models 
such as small-footprint server on site (proxy) + larger server at colo 
(moodle+mediwiki, etc.), or all-in-one boxes on site 
(proxy+moodle+mediawiki+...), etc. that service one or more use cases.


Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Information Systems
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132 USA

> In all cases, what kind of support should deployments expect from OLPC
> and the list in general? Which model should we design to?
> The current question may help clarify why I'm asking:
> - Uruguay wants to the kids and teachers to have tools for building web
> sites. The current thinking on what they need is posted here:
> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Talk:Learning_activities/Journalism 
> Should they look to the XS for the full solution (Moodle/MediaWiki may
> solve their challenge...) or plan to install XS image then add some code
> to it or plan to use XS and then add completely different servers
> somewhere else in the network?
> Another option is to not rely on the XS and do web site building on the
> XO (e.g. browse directly out of the file system with no web server
> needed) then post/copy the final version to Internet hosted sites.
> Any tips on short term or long term strategy re: XS are appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Greg S
> ------------------------------
> Message: 3
> Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2008 08:52:25 +1300
> From: "Martin Langhoff" <martin.langhoff at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Server-devel] Drupal on OLPC?
> To: "Sameer Verma" <sverma at sfsu.edu>
> Cc: server-devel <server-devel at lists.laptop.org>
> Message-ID:
> 	<46a038f90803131252i12ac6b8cs3956ae6578db5025 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> On Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 5:57 AM, Sameer Verma <sverma at sfsu.edu> wrote:
>>  Moodle has blog functionality in the core install. It used to be
> called
>>  Journal way back, but its now replaced by blogs. I've used the
> "Journal"
>>  feature in my classes before, and it serves the blogging purpose
> well.
>>  Why have yet another CMS even if the stack is the same (LAMP)?
> that will be the main question. We have limited resources
> (development-wise, and on the XS) and Moodle and Mediawiki will be on
> the XS, and heavily customised to fit well in the workflow. Both have
> strong content-management aspects. I am open to having a CMS there as
> well, but it is hard to provide a clear added value with it.
> Once the Moodle/Mediawiki combo is a bit more ship-shape, I would
> invite Drupal/Mambo developers to have a look at what is in place, and
> figure out if it is worth their effort to have a CMS install in there.
> It won't be just a simple packaging issue -- UI changes,
> preconfigured/pre-seeded databases, auth integration, etc.
> cheers,
> martin
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