XOCamp 2 is coming up, January 12th to 16th. It's a meeting for the people who are doing the hard work developing Sugar and deploying the XO in countries like Uruguay, Colombia, Nigeria, and Nepal. It's an important chance for people to get to know each other, and for synergy to happen between different projects. And... we need your (or your company's) US-tax-deductible help for travel scholarships.
Why? Let's start with deployments. Exciting things are happening with the XO in Uruguay, Nigeria, Colombia, and Guatemala, and the volunteers and workers on the ground who are helping those things happen right would love to meet each other.
But our salaries in these far-off places do not stretch very well to pay the full cost of tickets to Boston. We are taking the bus and train to make our plane tickets as cheap (and low-carbon) as possible; your tax-deductible contribution would help.
Then there's development. Sugar, as you know, is the free software that makes the XO run for kids. And the dirty secret is that free software is not actually a lot easier than the other kind. People who say "with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow" mostly aren't the people attached to the eyes which hurt from staring at the screen looking for those bugs.
Experience suggests that in-kind support, like travel scholarships, are one of the best ways to encourage open source development, safer even than directly paying for work because it doesn't create a division between volunteers and staff.
And finally, there's the synergy between the two. At the last experience like this - Sugarcamp - developers and deployers met and the sparks that were struck are bearing fruit. Developers need to know what deployers need; deployers need to know what features and workarounds are available.
In person Xo hacking
Hanging out on IRC or email lists is never going to result in the kind of concentrated knowledge transfer that happens at a real-world meeting. The cool photo on the left is a hacked up XO projector that was shown off at the sugarcamp.
So please make your tax-deductible year end donation today. Here's how to send money via Google Checkout, Paypal, or check; please remember to note your donation on the wiki, or we won't know to apply it to travel scholarships. All money raised will be divided between qualifying applicants: half divided equally, half proportional to any remaining direct travel expenses.
Though there probably will not be enough to give full scholarships, if there is, then any leftover money will be used for other Sugarlabs purposes, possibly including future travel scholarships. If you can get your company to match your gift - or even to give on its own; this kind of direct donation is a highly effective use for a couple of thousand dollars - that would of course be much appreciated.
Jameson Quinn hopes you'll help make XOCamp 2 a success