Sugar Labs Progress from Walter Bender


In a long interview on Xconomy, Walter Bender gives us a great update on Sugar Labs and its efforts to separate Sugar from the XO laptop. Here's the highlights in bold, with quotes from Walter to explain:

Looking at Sugar Labs successes

"Sugar on a Stick" is the future: So having Sugar on a stick means we can hand this to a teacher or a student and they don't have to have any impact on the existing infrastructure at all... Everything is stored on the USB, so essentially, your schoolwork walks around with you, in the form of your journal. We think it's going to really make Sugar a lot more accessible.

Why "Sugar on a Stick"?: You get all the advantages of the XO software environment, but you don't need to be tied to any particular hardware. You don't even need a laptop--you could do it with a desktop.

Live Sugar works without the mesh: When you stick in the Live USB, you've got Sugar and you've got collaboration. You might not be doing the collaboration through peer-to-peer networking; you might be doing it through Jabber [an open-source instant messaging platform].

Sugar will work on any hardware: We've also ported Sugar to all the major netbook configurations, so it now runs on the [ASUS] Eee PC, the [Intel] Classmate, on any of those devices

View Source everywhere: We've expanded it in the new release so that every activity has a View Source functionality.

Separating Sugar form OLPC was good: Since the OLPC announcement, there has actually been more Sugar activity than before. The Fedora community, for example, has really risen to the occasion, saying they are still interested in this and that they're going to support it and bring a lot more resources to the table. The Debian and Ubuntu communities have said the same.

Sugar Labs is all volunteer: But as a whole, Sugar Labs itself is going to remain essentially a volunteer organization. Right now we are operating on a budget of zero, and we have for almost a year.

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I have some questions about the LiveUSB:

- Is it build on top of the original Fedora used in the XO?

- Does it implement the Journal?

- What parts of Bitfrost are implemented? If any.


View source everywhere? Do you mean the Activity object ITSELF implements the feature, such that the implementation comes free with using the Activity class or do you mean "everywhere the developer wrote the code in his program to do it".

If the latter, are you going to document how to implement the feature so programmers OUTSIDE of SugarLabs can do so?

With OLPC dragging their feet when somebody says they want to buy XOs, Sugar on a stick sounds like a cool alternative. And maybe it would work well in those schools whose administration simply can't be convinced of value in 1:1 computing, OR maybe they like the 1:1 idea but have no money, only a room full of older PCs.

But children are likely to lose those sticks now and then, aren't they?

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