[sugar] sugar roadmap

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at tomeuvizoso.net
Fri Apr 11 05:52:52 EDT 2008

On Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 4:37 PM, Bryan Berry <bryan.berry at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have looked at all 3 docs and they look good
>  have some comments
>  1. Who is in charge of Sugar? the team lead. I remember that Blizzard
>  used to be the team lead. Is it JG now?

Well, I'm afraid I don't have a name to give to you, so I'll instead
write a bit about how things work from my point of view.

Currently three people are payed for working on Sugar: Marco
(half-time, payed by Red Hat), Simon and me. We are in the process of
hiring one more full-time developer, ideally based in Cambridge.

Marco maintains sugar-base, sugar-toolkit, sugar, artwork, hulahop,
and maybe something else. Simon maintains Browse. I maintain the
Journal and, as OLPC hasn't hired nobody for this, the datastore.

Technical decisions are taken in committee, with the participation of
members from the community and other OLPC people.

The roadmap and strategy is given by Kim, who normally asks for the
participation of several members of OLPC.

Last time I was told, Walter and Kim would work together and decide
how the tech team could better answer the needs from pilots and
deployments at every release.

>  2. Need a really easy way to play music and video files including ones
>  w/ proprietary codecs. Kid finds mp3 file on the internet using browse,
>  kid double-clicks file. It should open with the activity that supports
>  that file type.
>  Use Case:
>  The kid should be able to access the same file again later from the
>  Journal and open up in the appropriate activity/player (should one be
>  loaded)
>  OLPC won't have to pre-load the proprietary codecs for this to work.
>  Leave that to deployment people like myself. just make it easy for us to
>  load them using mechanisms like the customization key.
>  Yes proprietary is bad but allowing kids to explore on their own -- an
>  essential aspect of constructionism -- is more important. We cut off
>  many avenues of exploration when we make it hard for them to access
>  content that happens to use proprietary codecs -- which is the majority
>  of interesting content on the Internet.
>  2.1 The XO needs a rock-solid media player. To me this is as essential
>  as the Journal.

Agreed, unless someone convinces OLPC to devote resources to this,
someone from the community will have to jump and work on this. Here is
a good start using gstreamer:


>  3. Need easy way to group links to activities, such as in a lesson
>  plan.
>  Use Case:
>  Kid reads through geometry tutorial and clicks on first activity which
>  opens up Dr. Geo. After finishing w/ Dr. Geo he does some more reading
>  in the tutorial and then clicks on a second link which opens up a
>  related GCompris activity.
>  We need a way to launch different activities from within a graphical
>  context, e.g. a tutorial. HTML is the most practical way to do this. I
>  know there are issues w/ Rainbow and activities calling other activities
>  but this is very important to the learning process.

Interesting, would like to know what Eben thinks about it.

>  4. Don't see olpcfs in the roadmap, is that just a proposal?

I think so.

>  5. Get long-term funding for Sugar Development. OLPC needs to set aside
>  funding to support Sugar long term (5+ years) as an open-source project.

Thanks for your support, I hope that in a couple of years we'll see
Sugar being used outside OLPC and capable of self-sustaining. When a
few countries deploy Sugar like it is planned, it will make a lot of
sense for them to devote development resources to improve Sugar in the
way they see fit.

>  6. Graphical control-panel needs way to increase default font-size of
>  the sugar UI

Marco has been doing recently some work related to dynamically
changing the font size , I think.

>  7. Need graphical activity manager for removing and adding activities

Could you detail the requirements for this? Perhaps in the wiki?

>  Keep up the great work and make your way to Kathmandu some time.

Will love to!



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