[Server-devel] Does XSCE need a new Home?

David Farning dfarning at activitycentral.com
Fri Nov 29 16:06:52 EST 2013

On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 7:13 AM, George Hunt <georgejhunt at gmail.com> wrote:
> This is a more related to Samuel Greenfeld's comments than the XSCE
> documentation/install thread from which I branch.
> I think it makes sense to grab off of laptop.org all the essential stuff and
> put it some new place. We don't know the future, but in the present the
> prospect of ongoing support and maintenance of wiki.laptop.org seems more
> shaky to me.
> When I was first exploring the process of building something on top of
> schoolserver 0.7, I found ancestry of different components (documented at
> http://schoolserver.wordpress.com/xs-installation/rpm-heritage/). I think we
> should contact the most recent contributors to these ancestral repos, and
> with their cooperation/approval, move them to github.com.
> How to pay for a server somewhere? Three candidates come to me. Sugarlabs,
> activitycentral, and unleash kids.  Of these, activitycentral is the only
> for profit organization, I'd vote for the synergy that needs to exist
> between a for profit open source shop, and the ecosystem which it needs to
> remain legitimately part off a larger  open source community.

The question in my mind is what would be best for XSCE. While I am
personally investing in XSCE. I am also financially invested as XSCE
is the community upstream to Dextrose Server. The better and more
popular XSCE becomes, the more opportunities there are for AC to sell

There seem to be three general options of XSCE. Stick with OLPC, go it
alone, or partner with someone else in the ecosystem.

So far we have chose to stick with OLPC. The benefits of building on
the OLPC brand have been greater than the costs. The benefit is that
the laptop.org site is still a 'hub' of the ecosystem. The cost is
XSCE appears to be an unapproved and undesirable server clone piggy
backing on the Association's message and brand. The question becomes,
will the Association endorse XSCE as a successor or upstream to
OLPC-XS or will it continue to live in the bowels of the wiki.

Going it alone. This would be pretty straight forward. Getting a cheap
VM somewhere or piggybacking on a larger project is possiable.
Although it can be a lot of work and mean jumping though hops.  The
questions becomes, do XSCE have the ability to thrive on it's own.
There are about a dozen similar projects floating around in various
states of completaion.

Finally, there is partnering with someone with aligned goals such as
Sugar Labs, unleash kids, or Activity Central.

Whenever I think of the relationship between XSCE and AC, I think of a
conversation I had years ago with Greg DeKoenigsberg (
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Gdk/Experience ) about the relationship
between Fedora and Redhat. He considered Fedora's relationship to
Redhat it's greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The financial
support and developer resources were valuable... but there were
strings attached.

We would be happy to host XSCE site on the AC infrastructure. We could
handle it the same way we do the XSCE build VM.
http://xsce.activitycentral.com/ is an independent VM with root access
granted to community Sysadmins. DavidR, our web and communications guy
could assist in setting up and migrating the site.

> George
> On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 5:10 AM, Samuel Greenfeld <samuel at greenfeld.org>
> wrote:
>> I think you need to be careful how you phrase that -- you just half
>> implied that all laptop.org hosting is going away.  There has been a fair
>> amount of fear that resources may suddenly disappear, and I have been
>> concerned about fragmentation where hosting of resources ends up all over
>> the place.
>> If there is a perceived need to migrate resources then that should be made
>> clear, as others have already offered potential alternative hosting.  But
>> there needs to be coordination.
>> Focusing on the Deployment side, I would tend to agree with John's
>> comments as well.
>> Both Sugar and the Schoolserver have been historically focused on being
>> their own ecosystem.  This has never changed, yet Sugar and the XS are often
>> offered for use where existing DHCP, DNS, and other services already exist.
>> Due to local policies, you may not be allowed to name your schoolserver
>> "schoolserver".  You may have to support 802.11x network authentication,
>> etc.  It is possible to kludge these but the solutions are not elegant.
>> If the Sugar and XSCE communities feel that the "enterprise"/first-world
>> use case is a desired scenario where Sugar, IIAB, and/or Moodle may only be
>> a part of a school's network instead of the primary role, then this
>> specifically needs to be targeted.
>> ---
>> SJG
>> On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 3:33 AM, James Cameron <quozl at laptop.org> wrote:
>>> I agree with John.  Every point in his documentation section should be
>>> handled.  Especially the point about wiki.laptop.org, which has so
>>> many distracting links on the navigation bar that we are all used to,
>>> but which new people become lost in.
>>> With regard to forums, the type that Google Groups has where they can
>>> also be received in mail may suffice.
>>> On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 11:44:33AM +0530, Anish Mangal wrote:
>>> > Hi,
>>> >
>>> > I would like to share this blog post from John Ellis with the XSCE
>>> > community:
>>> > John is a high school student who is trying to setup XSCE in his
>>> > class/school
>>> > under the supervision of his teacher Jeff Elkner.
>>> >
>>> > http://johnmichaelffs.blogspot.in/2013/11/problems-with-xsce.html
>>> >
>>> > Some of the stuff he points out certainly makes a lot of sense to me, I
>>> > think
>>> > the core underling message is to make XSCE more approachable to the end
>>> > user
>>> > and the advanced end-user/deployer. He has gone to some lengths to
>>> > point out
>>> > specific aspects which could be improved.
>>> >
>>> > As we think about the possibilities for XSCE-0.6, I would like to
>>> > further the
>>> > discussion along these topics here and/or on IRC. I think the project
>>> > could do
>>> > well listening to end users' needs for the 0.6 cycle, especially that
>>> > we now
>>> > seem to have our house in order codewise thanks to the terrific work by
>>> > all the
>>> > software hackers here :-)
>>> >
>>> > Thoughts?
>>> >
>>> > Cheers,
>>> > Anish
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > _______________________________________________
>>> > Server-devel mailing list
>>> > Server-devel at lists.laptop.org
>>> > http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/server-devel
>>> --
>>> James Cameron
>>> http://quozl.linux.org.au/
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Server-devel mailing list
>>> Server-devel at lists.laptop.org
>>> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/server-devel
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David Farning
Activity Central: http://www.activitycentral.com

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