[Server-devel] Is a Community Edition of XS happening? or should it?

Sridhar Dhanapalan sridhar at laptop.org.au
Thu Aug 2 09:12:20 EDT 2012

I'm also pleased to see how much XS 0.7 has borrowed from our XS-AU
builds. It's great validation of our work thus far and encouragement
for us to take things further.

It's clear that XS development has not been able to receive enough
resources to maintain ongoing development at the pace that is needed.
I think that improvements can be made at a faster rate, and the user
adoption rate increased, if the XS is a set of packages on top of
Fedora (and, by extension, the OLPC OS).


On 2 August 2012 22:58, Sridhar Dhanapalan <sridhar at laptop.org.au> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> Building upon some of George's statements, we are are currently in
> what might be called a "product development" stage. This involves an
> analysis of the needs of our stakeholders (schools, teachers, local
> communities, etc.) and an evaluation of what we can do to solve these
> needs. We have also consulted with some key OLPC/Sugar community
> members in order to ascertain what is feasible in the technical realm.
> We feel that taking such an approach is important before we can
> develop a project plan and get stuck into writing code (we're writing
> some now, but it's not a core focus). I don't think we're far off from
> that. Also important is considering how this fits within the overall
> engineering and educational strategy of OLPC Australia (that's not to
> say that we're ignoring other deployments).
> Some things that we know already about the XS and aim to address in our project:
>   1. it is too monolithic
>   2. it can be slimmed down and made more modular
>   3. it can be installed as a set of packages (a repo) on top of Fedora
>   4. it can be installed on an XO
>   5. building on #3 and #4, it can be installed as packages on an XO's OS
>   6. we can make it easy for a novice to install server components to
> an existing instance of Fedora or OLPC OS
>   7. we can automate much of the complication and make it easy to configure
>   8. building on #6 and #7, it should be totally installable and
> manageable by a non-technical person (e.g. a teacher)
>   9. by installing on an XO, we can leverage some of the features (and
> features we'd like to add) of Sugar too
> If you'd like to participate, we're happy to have you. Our tracker and
> code repo are open.
> More to come...
> Sridhar
> Sridhar Dhanapalan
> Engineering Manager
> One Laptop per Child Australia
> On 30 July 2012 03:27, George Hunt <georgejhunt at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I just got the included message from Adam Holt, after his on the ground
>> experiences installing a school server in Madagascar, and apparently
>> struggling to get ejabberd working.  It points up a situation which I think
>> we should think about.
>> A lot of people I've talked to, think the School Server status quo is not
>> good enough. It is not meeting the needs of schools, teachers, and students.
>> Many are beginning to go their own way. The centrifugal force is building:
>> OLPC Australia is looking to simplify the XS, to include just ejabberd for
>> collaboration and have it run on the XO-1.75. Eliminate dhcp in favor of
>> avahi, eliminate Moodle, Squid, Named. Sridhar Dhanapalan wants to get to
>> the point where the individual teacher in the classroom can set it up. Jerry
>> Vonau has been hired to muscle up support for the upcoming deployment of
>> 50,000 XO's with one XS in each classroom.
>> In the Philippines, through bad advice, the local technicians started trying
>> to use the Australia version of the XS.  They didn't have the local sysadmin
>> skills to add back in named and dhcpd, which had been removed for Australian
>> deployment. They're looking for a better solution.
>> Adam Holt has been soliciting ideas from the support gang for finding a XS
>> solution that just works.
>> Jamaca is making Moodle central to its deployment strategy, but it needs
>> some predictability in terms of school server depoyment.
>> Tony Anderson and Abhishek Singh,in the Nepal deployment, have their own XS
>> image tailored to their own needs.
>> But I also think that the support that Boston has given to the XS has been
>> essential. Daniel Drake's XS-0.7 brought together many of the improvements
>> that have accumulated over the last few years.
>> Maybe we're at the point where Red Hat was, when it split the Enterprise
>> Linux from Fedora Core. EL would have a slower release cycle, and pick up
>> the features that had been well tested via the six month Fedora release
>> cycle.
>> Sridhar seems to have the energy, resources, and management skills to make
>> the stripped down XO-XS happen.  Tony Anderson, Sameer Verma, Abhishek Singh
>> have all expressed to me their willingness to contribute to some joint
>> effort.
>> From my point of view, the challenge is to keep it simple, and to start
>> working towards a structure where all of us can take a small piece, work on
>> it, and contribute it back to the common effort.
>> George
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Adam Holt <holt at laptop.org>
>> Date: Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 8:03 AM
>> Subject: fix at last? changing XS hostname dilemmas
>> To: Mitchell Seaton <meaton.2v at gmail.com>, "Craig A. Perue"
>> <craig.perue at gmail.com>, Sameer Verma <SVerma at sfsu.edu>, George Hunt
>> <georgejhunt at gmail.com>, Xavier Carcelle <xavier.carcelle at gmail.com>
>> Cc: Alex Kleider <akleider at sonic.net>, Jerry Vonau <jvonau at shaw.ca>
>> Skype excerpt :)
>> [7:39:35 AM] Jerry Vonau: Sorry I haven't gotten back to you earlier, think
>> I know what the issue is with ejabberd if you change the hostname.
>> [7:40:01 AM] Canoe Berry: Really??
>> [7:40:49 AM] Jerry Vonau: ejabberd creates a pem.cert based on the hostname
>> when first installed, change the hostname and it becomes invalid
>> [7:42:54 AM] Jerry Vonau: quick fix is to delete /etc/ejabberd/ejabberd.pem
>> and re-install ejabberd.
>> [7:43:40 AM] Jerry Vonau: or create your own cert and alter the config file
>> to use the new one instead.
>> [7:45:40 AM] Jerry Vonau: by the way I have ejabberd running on XO-1.75.
>> [7:48:54 AM] Canoe Berry: Sweet, can I forward to Craig/Sameer for Jamaica?
>> [7:49:15 AM] Jerry Vonau: as for the dns issue, think the model used is
>> flawed, you need full control over the dns, think we should be using avahi
>> on the XS and XO and use .local for the domain.
>> [7:49:37 AM] Jerry Vonau: have that working too
>> [7:50:02 AM] Canoe Berry: Are you suggesting Madagascar/Nosy Komba/OLPC
>> France's use of dsnmasq is doomed, as Mitch Seaton suspected?
>> [7:51:47 AM] Jerry Vonau: sort of, with the push to ip6 the clients use ipv6
>> first to resolve the names and that is where the delay is introduced.
>> [7:52:11 AM | Edited 7:52:56 AM] Jerry Vonau: when registering
>> If someone can clean this up and post to server-devel at l.o that's be awesome!
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