Sugar Activities Portal from Sugar Labs


When Black and Decker trains new sales person they ask, "Why do people buy a Black and Decker Drill?"After all of the discussion about power, size, and battery live, the answer is simply, "Because they want a hole." Sugar is in the same situation.

"Why would someone want Sugar?" After the discussions about tool kits, screen size, and battery life. The answer is simply, "To help their kids learn." The desktop, and even the computer become invisible as the number and quality of learning activities increases. The learning activities, remain visible and occupy a child's full attention while the rest of the system stays out of sight

Members of the Sugar Labs community have spent the last year working on the stuff that is should be invisible to the user: the desktop, the community, and the infrastructure. Now, it is time to focus on the fun fun and most important stuff, the very place where kids learn - Activities takes us in that direction. is a portal for uploading and download learning activities. is inspired by and shares code with Children's computers are tools on which they learn, work, and play. They should be able to customize them to their personal styles of learning, working, and playing. The activities portal makes it easy for them to personalize their Sugar experience.

The Activities portal removes the central decision maker. How to best teach children is still an open question. None of us at Sugar Labs can confidently say, yet, what tools or activities will work most effectively for an individual child.

Instead of blessing a particular set of activities, the Activities portal is a place for anyone to upload their favorite activity. If others find the activity fun and useful, they are free to download and install it on their own computer. Children, parents, and teachers can browse activities, seeing the popularity of an activity and reading reviews before downloading.

The Activities portal helps focus the efforts of the community: Sugar developers can see what features are most popular and integrate them into the Sugar core.

One of the motivation for free and open-source software development is "scratching your own itch." Developers write code to meet their own needs and passions. For many people, their child's education is a source of passion.

Michael and Michelle Hall demonstrate how effectively parents can improve their child's learning with Qimo:

"Having a child with needs that reach above and beyond those of a typical child is something that shapes a parent's heart, mind, and spirit. We read everything we could get our hands on, we carried him to therapy every day, and we did everything in our power to insure that he was given every opportunity he needed to thrive.

As he grew, we began to see that computer programs did not seem to cater to the needs of kids like Quinn. Either they were far too young for him, and non-engaging, or they were far too old and frustrating for him. So, we decided to see what we could do to remedy the situation."

We, as a community, can use the Activities portal to bring together the efforts of groups and individuals such as the Hall's and make their work available to learners everywhere.

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It appears Qimo is a for profit so what they are creating might be free, it seems it might be under their copyright (I didn't download and install and run it).

Here is part of their faq:

"Why not use Sugar from the OLPC project?

A: Sugar is a very good interface for the OLPC computers it was made for, but many of the design decisions and interfaces don't work nearly as well on standard PCs. Qimo uses a customized XFCE interface to provide a fast, lightweight, and most importantly an easy to navigate interface that works well with standard computers, monitors and keyboards."

dickey45 could you be more specific on the for profit part?

This is from their press release:

Lakeland, FL. - February 18, 2009 - QuinnCo, a not for profit dedicated to
getting computers into the homes of low income and special needs children, has
released the first official version of "Qimo" (pronounced "kim-oh"), the
customized Linux operating system that powers child-friendly computers.
Qimo can be downloaded directly from QuinnCo's website at

Qimo is a new distribution of Linux, derived from the popular Ubuntu
distribution, customized for use by children ages 3 and up. Qimo
comes pre-installed with free and open source games that are both educational
and entertaining, with many more educational titles available for download from
Ubuntu. The interface to Qimo has been specifically designed to be easy to
navigate by the youngest of users, with over-sized shortcuts to games lining the
bottom of the screen.

Development of Qimo was primarily sponsored by QuinnCo for use in the computer
systems rebuilt and donated to children. Qimo is based on Ubuntu Linux,
developed by Canonical Ltd., with contributions from thousands of open source
developers. Qimo includes many open source games developed and distributed by
community developers along with custom configurations and artwork.

QuinnCo's computers come almost entirely from donated hardware, which are
repaired, wiped clean of their existing files, and installed with Qimo.
They will arrange pick up of any donations of hardware in the Central Florida
area, including computers, monitors, printers, internal and external components.
QuinnCo also accepts monetary donations to help buy replacement components or
ship donations that they can't arrange pickup for. Additionally, QuinnCo is
seeking software developers, specifically those with C or Python experience, to
help improve and add to the suite of games included in Qimo.

QuinnCo, Incorporated was founded by Michael and Michelle Hall. QuinnCo is a
not-for-profit charitable organization, designed to help special needs children
and low-income children by giving them fully-functional computer systems.
QuinnCo is a Florida Registered Nonprofit Organization, and is in the process of
receiving 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service.

I couldn't find anyplace on the website that said it was gaining non-profit status. That is why I said that.

As an autism advocate, I also found it weird that an organization would create yet another desktop. It's like re-inventing the wheel. And it is taking resources from other nonprofits that will do something with bigger backing.

Just sayin.

Relax it's not a competition. Success for Qimo is not failure for Sugar. Look I think projects Qimo demonstrate that the wheel is not being reinvented, look at the activities all common, minor tweaking with a UI is not reinventing the wheel.

And nice art work!

Relax it's not a competition. Success for Qimo is not failure for Sugar. Look I think projects Qimo demonstrate that the wheel is not being reinvented, look at the activities all common, minor tweaking with a UI is not reinventing the wheel.

And nice art work!
i agree you

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