[Server-devel] Clarifying some XSCE issues.

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Mon Aug 12 03:18:31 EDT 2013

On Sun, Aug 11, 2013 at 04:34:08PM -0500, David Farning wrote:
>  After a couple of eventful, and fruitful, weeks with XSCE, I would
> like to to clarify a few points where our message seemed to be
> unclear.
> -- Emphasis on small deployments. As a community, there is currently
> an emphasis towards small deployments. Due to their limited
> bureaucracies, we have been able to establish very quick turnaround
> times for feedback and fixes. This has enabled us to keep our rate of
> development quite high.
> The design and implementation of XSCE should scale from 1 school to
> 100,000 schools. There is currently an "Ansible rewrite"  (
> http://www.ansibleworks.com/docs/ ) in process. We believes that the
> use of ansible as a configure management tool has the potential to
> reduce the maintenance required at large deployments. A team of
> developers at AC is working on this now with the goal of landing in
> the beginning of the 0.5 release cycle
> -- Emphasis on ARM. XSCE runs on any hardware which runs Fedora 18.
> The current releases heavily favored XOs because they were a logical
> starting point from a Quality Assurance perspective. Debugging is an
> order of magnitude easier when testers and developers are running the
> same equipment. Starting with XOs enabled us to focus on school server
> developments rather than hardware quirks.
> Each quarterly release we have added additional hardware types. This
> is allowing the project to scale gradually to more and more device
> types without overwhelming developers and testers.
> -- Core OS. The decisions to base on Fedora was not taken lightly. If
> we wanted to run on XO-4s we had to run on a recent Fedora. The second
> issue is the fact that most of  the interesting low powered servers
> are ARM based.
> Moving forward, our goal is to use the flexibility of the ansible
> provisioning system to be able to configure XSCE on fedora and CentOS.
> On an interesting note, we have been contacted by a team of ARM on
> CentOS developers who offered to work with us to get CentOS a a couple
> of ARM based servers.
> -- Our goals is not to tell anyone what they should do. We have
> avoided discussions on public lists such as this to avoid the
> temptation for people to tell us what to do... or for us to tell them
> what to do. Instead, we have focused on adding value.
> We hope to add value to the ecosystem. We hope that adding value earns
> us influence. In exchange we invite people to participate in the XSCE
> project by adding value. That value will help them earn influence
> within the project.
> I hope this help clarify some of the issues that have come up over the
> past couple of days.

Not really, since those issues mainly had to do with OLPC, but I do
think your write-up could be better placed by merging it with the
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XS_Community_Edition article.

James Cameron

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