Planet Sugar

Planet Sugar is a collection of personal blogs by Sugar Labs contributors. Sugar Labs is a world-wide organization of passionate people working together to solve the same problem: giving everyone an opportunity to learn to learn. Our community members write about what excites them about learning, Sugar, and the Sugar community. In the spirit of free software, we share and criticize—that is how we learn and improve and encourage participation by newcomers. Enjoy and join the conversation.

October 21, 2015

OLPC San Francisco blogs

OLPC-SF Community Summit 2015

 One Laptop Per Child San Francisco is hosting the annual Community Summit this weekend, October 23-25th 2015[1] at San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, Business Building room 202 in San Francisco, CA. You can register online through eventbrite.

OLPC San Francisco Community Summit 2015 is a community event that brings together educators, technologists, anthropologists, enthusiasts, champions and volunteers. We share stories, exchange ideas, solve problems, foster community and build collaboration around the One Laptop per Child project and its mission worldwide.
On Friday evening, we will be screening WEB at 5pm. The documentary follows Peruvian families living in remote villages in the Amazon Jungle and Andes Mountains as their children experience the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program, gaining access to the Internet for the first time. WEB considers both the benefits and complications that arise from digital connections. Alongside the poignant and sometimes humorous local stories, the film includes interviews with leading thinkers on the Internet including Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales and OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte for an insightful look at our times.

by adborden at October 21, 2015 03:55 PM

September 29, 2015

OLE Nepal

Volunteer Spotlight: Srikaran Masabathula

Srikaran Masabathula is our Earthquake relief volunteer from Knox College, Illinois. During his second year at Knox, he was looking to make a positive difference and decided to head to Nepal to support OLE Nepal with their earthquake relief efforts…

by Sofila Vaidya at September 29, 2015 09:38 AM

September 15, 2015

Somos Azucar

Celebrando el Día de la Libertad del Software en Puerto Maldonado

En participación del Día Internacional del Software Libre, el equipo de investigación y desarrollo SomosAZUCAR convoca a la ciudadanía a enterarse de la tecnología que tiene a su libre disposición, la cual puede utilizar hoy mismo para llevar vidas más elevadas, soberanas y significativas.

Compartiremos todo tipo de Software Libre que consideramos útil, desde recursos educativos, herramientas científicas, de diseño gráfico, arquitectura, estadística, programación, incluso videojuegos.

Lugar: UNAMAD Puerto Maldonado - Auditorio Principal

Fecha: Sábado 19 de Septiembre de 2015 - 9:00 AM

Software Freedom Day 2015 Puerto Maldonado

  • 9:00-10:00 Presentación "Software Libre: Una opción Familiar"
  • 10:00-10:30 Preguntas y Respuestas
  • 10:30-12:00 Exhibición / Taller de Instalación

by equipo I+D somosazucar at September 15, 2015 07:05 AM

September 11, 2015

Kartik Perisetla's Sugar Hacks

WikipediaHI: Offline Wikipedia in Hindi !!

Last week I spent some time working on WikipediaHI activity for Sugar Desktop Environment. I must say it is one of the awesome activities I have come across. The best part is that it can serve you with data in offline mode. That is even if don't have internet connection which is otherwise required to access Wikipedia online, then also your WikipediaHI activity will serve your purpose.

There are lot many developers and contributors who are working in collaborative form on such awesome stuff who continuously inspire you to take up new things and create something that can be used by others in the world. Sugar developers and contributors are epitome of such group.

I came across few of such developers, Anish Mangal and Gonzalo Odiard, two of them whose contributions are significant for Sugar. I took up the task of creating WikipediaHI using Wikipedia dump for Hindi available for free. I followed the steps specified on this page[ hosted by Gonzalo] for creating Wikipedia activity in your own language.

I will quickly explain the steps I took to create WikipediaHI:

1) Downloaded the Wikipedia dump file for Hindi:
NOTE: [ Make sure you pick the valid latest file from here :   this location will show you listing as per dates. Pick the latest dump and proceed further.]

and downloaded WikipediaBase from this link

2) Created "hi" directory for HINDI under WikipediaBase directory and moved the downloaded dump to this folder.

3) Extracted contents of this file using:
bzip2 -d hiwiki-20121225-pages-articles.xml.bz2

4) Processed the dump using page parser:

The result of this operation will generate these files:

5) Then you can include selective articles or all articles from this dump to your activity by using this command:
* Make sure you have favorites.txt and blacklist.txt filled with appropriate keywords.

Now if you want to include all articles use this command:
../tools2/ --all

6) Then proceed to create the index for these articles:

7) In order to test the index created in previous step you can use this command:

8) Next step is to expand the templates of articles :
cd ..
./tools2/ hi

9) Go back to hi directory and re-create the index :
cd hi
mv hiwiki-20121225-pages-articles.xml.processed_expanded hiwiki-20121225-pages-articles.xml.processed
../tools2/ --delete_all

10) Download the images for the articles you selected:
cd hi

if you want to download the images for pages you selected in previous step:
../tools2/ --all

11) Create files specific to language:
(a)activity/ : activity info file for you language activity
(b)activity/activity-wikipedia-lang.svg : activity icon for your language
(c) : activity file for your language
(d)static/about_lang.html : about page for wikipedia in your language.
(e)static/index_lang.html : index page for wikipedia in your language. This is the page displayed when activity is launched. So its important for you to know the articles included in the search.db ( generated when index is created) for you to create the index page.

12) Create the XO file for wikipedia in your language:
./ hi/hiwiki-20121225-pages-articles.xml

I went through the search.db file to identify the articles present in it and create the index page accordingly.
This gave me an idea to write some script that can generate index page(part or whole) to be used as home page for activity using search.db[ Stay tuned for next blog on this idea]

Here you go.. you can see WikipediaHI

On launching this, you can see the index page listing the articles you can view offline using WikipediaHI

If you want to play with WikipediaHI, you can download it : WikipediaHI-35.xo

I must thank Gonzalo for his amazing help and guidance in getting this done. I have to mention here that Wikipedia
changed its XML format in their dumps which resulted in error when I was creating the index. I took Gonzalo's help to get it resolved.
Thanks to Anish, who motivated me to pick this up and guided me to complete it.

Thanks guys !! :D

by Kartik Kumar Perisetla ( at September 11, 2015 05:39 AM

September 03, 2015

OLE Nepal

Hit the ball for Nepal

Dougie Foster is an Evolutionary Anthropology student working as a research assistant for the project run by the University of Oxford investigating the transmission of caste status. He has traveled to Nepal couple times in order to conduct the research…

by Sofila Vaidya at September 03, 2015 07:42 AM

August 25, 2015

Walter Bender

Sugar Digest 2015-08-25

Sugar Digest

1. Google Summer of Code 2015 is wrapping up. The students have been writing their final blog reports, submitting last-minute patches, and uploading their code to Google. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our students and their mentors for all their hard work this summer. (Also, thanks once more to Google for supporting this program.) Great strides along many fronts were made. Specifically,

  • Michaël Ohayon worked on Web versions of some core activities for the Sugarizer project: Calculate, Paint (with collaboration, Record, and Memorize. He also submitted patches to Turtle Blocks to make it compatible with Sugarizer. Michaël’s blog and git repo are worth visiting. (Mentor: Lionel Laske)
  • Yash Khandelwal worked on Music Blocks AKA Mouse Music. This is a powerful, playful model for music in a block language. Yash’s blog and git repo are also worth visiting. (Mentors: Devin Ulibarri and Marnen Laibow-Koser)
  • Ishan Sharma revisited the Turtle 3D concept, rewriting it in Javascript. His results (blog, demo and git repo) are robust, scalable, and extensible. (Mentor: Walter)
  • Amit Kumar Jha worked on extensions to Turtle programming this summer. He added argument passing and return values to procedures, passing arguments to and returning values from Turtle programs so that Turtle Blocks can be used for in-line programming by all Javascript activities, and he developed a unit-test framework for Turtle Blocks JS that can be extended to all of our Javascript activities. See his blog and the master Turtle Blocks JS repo for more details. (Mentor: Walter)
  • Richa Sehgal worked on a framework to support off-line Web programming, an interactive Javascript shell. She’s submitted patches to the upstream Browse activity. Meanwhile, checkout her git repository. (Mentor: Tony Anderson)
  • Vibhor Sehgal and Utkarsh Dhawan, although not officially GSoC students, worked with Tony and Richa on a parallel project, Web Confusion, a series of programming challenges in the spirit of Turtle Confusion to encourage students. (Mentor: Tony Anderson)
  • Abhinav Anurag made some progress on a Web collaboration framework for our Javascript activities. See his blog and code. (Mentors: Martin Abente and Lionel Laske)

In the Community

2. We will be holding an election for the Sugar Labs oversight board (SLOB) at the end of the calendar year. If you are interested (or know someone who is interested) in running for a board seat (all seven seats will be open), please add an entry in the wiki. Also, whereas ballots are only available to “members”, please officially join Sugar Labs.

3. Mariah Noelle Villarreal has submitted a panel proposal, “Building Free and Open Education Communities”, to the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW). The panelpicker voting period is now open until September 4th. If you have time, please vote and share with any appropriate channels as well as a video that was created for the proposal [16].

4. Sweet: Sugar contributors Mariah Noelle Villarreal and Ruben Rodriguez got married this summer!!!

5. There were three RED (Revista de Educación a Distancia) submissions from Sugar community members:

  • Going from Bits to Atoms: Programming in Turtle Blocks JS and Personal Fabrication in Youth Maker Projects, Josh Burker
  • Visualizing Learning in Open-Ended Problem Solving in the Arts, Walter Bender and Claudia Urrea
  • Sensores Tortuga 2.0: Cómo el hardware y software abiertos pueden empoderar a las comunidades de aprendizaje (Turtle Sensors 2.0: How open hardware and software empower learning communities) by Guzmán Trinidad, Andrés Aguirre, Alan Aguiar, Tony Forster, Walter Bender, Facundo Benavides, and Federico Andrade

6. The Sugar/OLPC program in Caacupe is expanding!!!

Tech Talk

7. Peter Robinson announce quite some time ago that the Sugar on a Stick 21 Beta is now out as part of Fedora 21 Beta (Details), but I think I neglected to ever pass on the information to the Sugar community.

8. Also worth mentioning again: Ruben Rodriguez released Trisquel 7.0 released. TOAST (Trisquel with Sugar) is an official edition.

Sugar Labs

9. Please visit our planet.


by Walter Bender at August 25, 2015 03:46 PM

July 30, 2015

Fargo XO / Sugar Labs NDSU

PODS Game Design | Inspiring children in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area to enhance their creativity by designing video games.

PODS Game Design | Inspiring children in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area to enhance their creativity by designing video games..

PODS picking up where Sugar Labs @ NDSU left off, except:
a. they seem to be charging for classes
b. they want to reach as many kids as possible but probably aren’t focusing on under-represented populations
c. they want to “enhance creativity;” we were trying to focus on computational thinking. Ironic.

by kab13 at July 30, 2015 04:09 AM

July 24, 2015

Sugarizing Paris 2015

Collaborative Painting

Hi everyone !

Since last blog post, I've been working on the Paint activity.
The Paint activity is quite simple to understand : it's a drawing area with many options.

At first we were only able to draw simple things

There are many tools :

- Color picker
Some predefined colors are available.
You can get any color by using the sliders

- Undo / Redo
To be able to recover after a mistake :)

- Eraser
A simple eraser to remove things

- Stamps
You can add stamps. They will use the colors you've defined and can be scaled !

- Text
You can add text with specific color and font !

- Drawings
Some drawings are bundled inside the application

- Bucket
This tool will fill an area with the color you've picked

- Effects
You can apply effects to your painting

- Copy / paste
This tool will simply copy / paste an area

- Collaboration 
The application can be launched from two platforms and communicate.
The two windows are sharing the same painting area.

This will soon be available inside sugarizer. Stay tuned !

by Michaël Ohayon ( at July 24, 2015 06:57 PM

July 07, 2015

Walter Bender

Sugar Digest 2015-07-07

Sugar Digest

1. Sugar 106 has been released. Some great new features, including the integration of social help and the ability to launch Activities from other Activities, and lots of work on bug fixing and stabilization. Many thanks to the developers, testers, and our release master, Martin Abente. For those of you who are so inclined, Sam Parkinson make a fun video about the new release.

2. A few weeks ago I was at the Google Code-in meet up in San Francisco where I had the opportunity to spend time with Ignacio Rodriguez and Sam Parkinson, our two finalists. They are not only productive members of our community in terms of coding, but also exemplars of a new generation of well-rounded, articulate, observant and caring human beings. I’m honored that they have chosen our community in which to develop their skills. Bonus: as I was hoping, we got some coding time in amidst all the activities that Google scheduled. We also managed to squeeze in a visit to Raul at Twitter.

3. I ran a Turtle Blocks workshop in Bridgeport, Connecticut at a charter school that serves disadvantaged youths. The workshop was organized by Dennis Wong, an old friend from my Media Lab days and an active member of the local Rotary Club. The kids were enthusiastic despite the difficult circumstances under which we worked — the computer lab is typically used for taking tests, so it was arranged to minimize the possibilities that the learners would interact with and help each other. I’m hoping as a follow up, the Rotary can help the school make the room into more of a maker space.

In the community

4. Call for papers for the special issue of RED (Journal of Distance Education):”Skills for coding and pre-coding”:
* Deadline for submitting manuscripts: 31 July 2015
* Estimated Publishing Date: 15 September 2015.
Publishing standards and guidelines for authors can be found at [1].

Llamada a contribuciones para el número especial de RED (Revista de Educación a Distancia): “Competencias para la codificación y la precodificación”:
* Fecha límite para enviar manuscritos: 31deJuliode 2015
* Fecha estimada para la publicación: 15 de Septiembre de 2015.
Normas de publicación y pautas para los autores [1].

5. For those of you who are interested, we hold our GSoC group meetings on Fridays, 11:00 EST (Boston), 13:00 UTC on #sugar-meeting.

6. We will be holding a new Sugar Oversight Board (SLOB) election this fall. The Membership Committee — Samson Goddy, Caryl Bigenho, and Sebastian Silva — are gearing up to make a major push to enroll community members onto our members list and we implore everyone to encourage both participation in the election and to consider running for one of the open seats on the board. Details forthcoming. As part of the push, Caryl is putting together a newsletter about recent Sugar activities. If you have stories to share, please contact Caryl (caryl AT laptop DOT org).

7. Dear colleagues, Sugar Labs is organizing a survey of its youth contributors with the aim of publishing a report in the special issue of RED mentioned above. Towards this end, we invite you to answer the questions below. Please send your answers (written in your native language) to walter AT sugarlabs DOT org or francis AT sugarlabs DOT org.

How and why did you first get involved in programming?

How did you get involved with Sugar? What were your motivations for contributing to the Sugar project?

Did the fact that the project was FOSS (Software Libre) impact your decisions? your motivation? your habits?

What work or contribution that you have participated in has most motivated you? Why?

What work or contribution that you have participated in has least motivated you? Why?

When you program, how do you decide what to work on? Where to you get ideas? help? Do you help others?

How do you communicate your ideas? your questions? your doubts?
Do you have any regrets?

What are your plans regarding programming in the future?
Any other comments?


Estimados colaboradores,

Sugar Labs está organizando una encuesta a sus colaboradores jóvenes
con el objetivo de generar un artículo y publicarlo a un medio de
prensa en castellano.

Por este motivo la junta desde Sugar Labs los invitamos a responder la
siguiente serie de preguntas que hemos armado.

Este mensaje va con copia a aquellos jóvenes que recuerdo involucrados
en la comunidad y sé que han realizado aportes. Si consideran que
alguien más es apropiado para responder esta encuesta pueden agregarlo
al CC e invitarlo a responder la encuesta.

Las preguntas son:

¿Cómo, cuándo y por qué comenzaste a involucrarte en la programación?

¿Cómo te involucraste con Sugar? ¿Cuáles fueron tus motivaciones para
contribuir al proyecto de Sugar?

El hecho de que el proyecto sea FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)
¿afectó tus decisiones? ¿Afectó tu motivación? ¿Afectó tus hábitos?

¿Cuál ha sido el trabajo o contribución en que has participado que más
te ha motivado? ¿Por qué?

¿Cuál ha sido el trabajo o contribución en que has participado que
menos te ha motivado? ¿Por qué?

Cuando tu programas, ¿cómo decides en qué trabajar? ¿De dónde sacas
las ideas? ¿Dónde obtienes ayuda? ¿Ayudas a los demás?

¿Cómo compartes, comunicas o debates tus ideas? ¿Y tus preguntas? ¿Y tus dudas?

¿Hay algo que lamentas o que no te haya gustado de haberte involucrado
con el proyecto Sugar?

¿Cuáles son tus planes con respecto a la programación para el futuro?

¿Quieres agregar algún otro comentario?

Esperamos sus respuestas.

Tech Talk

8. Please help Martin and the Developer Team test Sugar 106. Your feedback is important to us.

9. Progress continues on Turtle Blocks JS, which runs in a web browser (the Android version is still experimental). Some new features include the ability to pass arguments to action stacks and to return values. Thanks to GSoC intern Amit Kumar Jha for his contributions. The other GSoC projects are also progressing nicely.

Sugar Labs

10. Please visit our planet.

by Walter Bender at July 07, 2015 02:09 PM

June 20, 2015

Sugarizing Paris 2015

Let's do some calculations !

Hi !

I've been working onto the Calculate Activity for Sugarizer !

Calculate is my first app for the GSOC.
The features are :
- Modern design
- Responsive design
- History
- Trigonometric functions
- Graphics
- Degree / Radian conversion
- Output formatting

You can select trigonometric functions with a simple tap onto the associated toolbar button.

You can also use some functions like square or pow

The graph buttons allows the user to do this kind of things

There's also a base conversion feature
42 in base 10 => 101010 in base 2

I had some troubles using my app inside Chrome Web Application since I didn't knew that "eval"/"new Function" was forbidden, I had to rewrite lots of code to support this constraints.

The app will call specific mathematics library regarding the context.
In "full mode", Math.js is used. Otherwise, a smaller library (whitout eval) is loaded.

I started using and then switched to bootstrap.
Bootstrap had got a great feature regarding grids. You can push and pull grids.
That means, you can reorder your layouts with specific orders for mobile/desktop/tablets. 

One great thing to notice is that sugar web toolbar use divs with classes "container" and "row", just like bootstrap.
In order to keep sugarweb appearance, I renamed some bootstrap css classes.

This first app has allowed me to see how to develop sugarweb applications and what to keep in mind when thinking about them.

You can try it :

The next app is paint ! It will provide collaboration between users !

See you ! 

by Michaël Ohayon ( at June 20, 2015 12:01 AM

May 28, 2015


Memories of Ondar

Today, I stumbled upon a photo of me with Kongar-ol Ondar, when he visited San Francisco some time ago. We had dinner that evening. It was a memorable evening, thanks to my good friends Phoebe and Ralph. I had listened to Ondar’s music, seen the documentary about him and Tuva, watched Feynman’s videos about Tuva, […]

by sv3rma at May 28, 2015 06:24 AM

May 01, 2015

Tomeu Vizoso

Lucid sleep in the free desktop

For the past year I have been working on the kernel side to bring some ChromeOS features to upstream.

One of the areas I'm currently working on is what Google calls Lucid Sleep, which is basically the ability of performing work while the machine is in a low power state such as suspend. I'm writing this blog post because there has been interest on this in different communities and the discussion is currently a bit dispersed.

Small mobile devices have been able to do that since basically always and this feature brings it to bigger devices that traditionally have been either on or off. It's similar to what Microsoft calls InstantGo (previously Connected Standby).

A few examples of tasks that the system could perform while apparently sleeping are:
  • Checking if the battery level is so low that it would be better to completely power down the machine
  • Starting a network backup if the present connectivity allows it (a known access point may have become accessible)
  • Downloading email
  • Checking for new instant messages

With regards to functionality and leaving performance considerations aside, userspace could implement this without requiring any new support in the kernel as illustrated in this scenario:
  • We assume that a video is currently playing in YouTube
  • User closes the lid
  • PM daemon notifies userspace of an impending sleep
  • Browser pauses playback
  • Compositor switches off the screen
  • Kernel freezes userspace, suspends devices and puts the CPUs to idle
  • Time passes...
  • RTC alarm fires off
  • Kernel resumes devices and unfreezes userspace
  • Userspace realizes there hasn't been any user activity since it went to sleep last, so stays in "dark resume" mode
  • Userspace does any lucid tasks it wants, then goes back to sleep again
  • Kernel freezes userspace, suspends devices and puts the CPUs to idle
  • Time passes...
  • User opens lid
  • Kernel resumes devices and unfreezes userspace
  • PM daemon notices the SW_LID event, so notifies userspace that this is a full-on resume
  • Compositor switches screen on
  • Browser resumes playback

No changes needed in the kernel is always good news, but there's two issues.

Lost input events

Sometimes the event from the input device that woke the system up gets lost before it reaches userspace, so we don't know if we can stay dark and do our lucid stuff, or if the user expects the machine to power completely on.

This is in any case a bug, but if it needs to be fixed in the firmware, we may not be able to do much about it. At most we could get the kernel to synthesize an input event, but sometimes it may not have enough information to do so.


When the system wakes up, there tends to be a lot to do in the kernel and userspace, so it could take several seconds for the screen to come up from the moment the user opened the lid in the scenario presented above.

For ChromeOS this isn't acceptable so they are carrying some patches in their kernel that make some shortcuts possible (the screen is left on at suspend time, and the kernel knows at resume time whether it has to power it on based on which was the wakeup source, thus not having to wait for userspace).

Fortunately, there have been some changes recently in the kernel PM subsystem that can speed up resumes quite a bit and we can make use of them to offset the penalty of dropping those shortcuts.

The first is idling the CPUs instead of suspending to firmware, which on modern SoCs should be quite efficient and much faster, by a few tenths of seconds.

The other is to leave idle devices that are already in a low power state alone when suspending, which means that we don't have to wait for them to resume when the system wakes up. In every system I have seen there's always a few devices that take a long time to resume, so this can shave several tenths of seconds from the total resume time.

Both need some amount of support in either the platform or in device drivers, and that's what I'm currently working on for the Tegra-based Chromebooks.

by Tomeu Vizoso ( at May 01, 2015 01:27 PM

April 28, 2015

Mel Chua

On the diversity-readiness of STEM environments: “It’s almost as if I could only enter the makerspace as a janitor.”

My thoughts from an online discussion with other female Olin engineers on this NYT article on “how to attract female enginers,”, edited for context. In particular, we brought up the (well-worn) claim that women don’t want to “just focus on the tech stuff” and want to “do sociotechnical/humanitarian work that makes a difference in the world.”

I’ve built my career as a “technical community person” who “thinks beyond the technology,” and as a teacher and researcher of learning environments — so this may come as a surprise to people who know and have worked with me. But if my teenage self had had her way, I would have VASTLY preferred to “just focus on the tech stuff.”

As a kid, I wanted to choose the privilege of being oblivious and keeping my head down and immersing myself into the beauty — the sheer beauty! — and joy of STEM for STEM’s sake. I didn’t become an ECE to work on educational computers or hearing aids or anything like that. As my friend (and former roommate) Kristen Dorsey said, “I just geek out about nerdy stuff, OK?”

But I couldn’t “just geek out about nerdy stuff.” The environments where I was trying to “learn about nerdy stuff” were sociotechnically broken in a way that made it hard for me (as a disabled minority woman, among other things) to join in. If I wanted to even start being part of the technical community, I had to start by fixing the technical community — patching the roof and fixing the plumbing, so to speak — before I could even walk inside and start to live there. And when I patched the leaking roof, I patched the roof for everyone, and other people who needed non-leaky roofs to be in the community could now… be in the community as well!

For instance, I got really, really good at facilitating meetings because it was the only way I had to make meetings accessible to me — when other people facilitated meetings, they’d often forget I need to lipread, so… I just quietly started leading them myself, and ended up making meetings work better for everyone. And I found that when I drifted towards “humanitarian” projects, the people there were much more conscious of sociotechnical things and more likely to have already-healthy environments, so I would have less leaky roofs to patch, and less resistance when I tried to patch the roofs — and people actually recognized and valued roof-patching labor instead of looking down on me for not writing code full-time.

After a while of patching roofs and unclogging toilets and plastering the rotten drywall, I got a reputation in industry for being really, really good at open-source software/hardware (technical) community facilitation. It’s almost as if I could only enter the makerspace as a janitor. And part of me resented that, but never said so. But, I told myself, at least I was in the building. And I saw that my “janitorial” work made it possible for other people to enter the building and do the things they wanted to do — which were often the things I wanted to do, too! — and so I thought: okay. That’s okay. At least somebody gets to do it. I can see my gift to the community doing so much good, that I will give up my desire to learn and do the technical things — so I let my own STEM learning slide. I am good at “community work,” and I did come to genuinely love it, over time.

But if I had the choice, I would have never gone into “community work.” I would have chosen — if I had the choice — to focus on “shiny tech stuff” that… didn’t save the world at all. If my teenage self had had her way, I would not do community-facilitation-anything, I would not be thoughtful about women or minorities or disabilities or any underprivileged group in engineering… I would be oblivious to all my privilege. I’d be a kernel hacker, or an embedded geek, or something “hardcore technical,” Because I could be.

But I didn’t have the wherewithal (or the desire) to shovel all the stuff out of the way that I would have to do in order to do that. If you think of “caring/environmental labor” as a sort of tax some people have to pay in order to get to “learning/doing technical things,” my tax rate has always just been too frickin’ high.

So I have been “the full-time community person who is ridiculously good at tech stuff that she no longer gets to do,” instead of “the technical person who understands and listens to and cares about inclusion and community.” Because I cannot not patch a leaky roof. But I have always wondered what I might have grown up into, if I had learned STEM in an environment that was ready for me — without me having to fix it first.

by Mel at April 28, 2015 08:07 PM

April 23, 2015

Somos Azucar

Colección "Taller del Artesano"

El año pasado estuvimos en Colombia realizando la primera versión del "Taller de Artesanía en Programación de Videojuegos".

Este taller tuvo como objetivo la publicación de 5 juegos realizados en conjunto con los niños.

Para la realización del taller se elaboró un entorno de desarrollo visual llamado "Taller del Artesano" el cual permite inspeccionar y modificar el código en ejecución de la actividad/videojuego, alentando a los aprendices a realizar cambios e implementar mejoras rapidamente.

Los juegos originales publicados con esta característica han sido reunidos en una colección en la biblioteca de actividades de Sugar, vale la pena mirarla.

Estos juegos utilizan una biblioteca especial llamada Spyral, como una forma sencilla de aproximarse desde la programación orientada a objetos, a Pygame.

Para el inicio del taller nos valimos de las guías publicadas por Flavio Danesse (Python Joven Uruguay), adaptadas a nuestro objetivo, y también elaboramos guías especiales para las temáticas específicas de videojuegos. Todas estas guías se encuentran publicadas en nuestra wiki.

La que más popular de todas hasta ahora es Colgadito, con mas de 38.000 descargas.

La creación de videojuegos es una expresión artística y cultural, una excelente oportunidad para apropiarse de la tecnología de forma divertida, al tiempo que se transmite un mensaje. En el caso de estos juegos, están diseñados para tratar sobre temas valiosos, por ejemplo, los derechos humanos, el autoestima, el manejo de conflictos, etc.

Mi favorita es Neko, el gato sabio.

Esto va alineado con un ideal que siempre compartimos donde vayamos: la tecnología, con un propósito.

by equipo I+D somosazucar at April 23, 2015 09:33 AM

April 14, 2015

Daniel Drake

Endless – a computer for emerging markets

My current project is Endless:

Read more on our website, and if you’d like to support us, head over to Endless Computers on Kickstarter.

by Daniel Drake at April 14, 2015 10:48 PM

March 30, 2015

OLPC San Francisco blogs


At the May 15th, 2014 meeting of (I believe this was the meeting hosted by Bruce Baikie at Inveneo, 972 Mission St., San Franciso,) Bruce introduced us to the Rachel Pi project: a content server developed by  It provides a Server/Service combination using the Rasberry Pi along with system software and content compiled by the WorldPossible team. (The "Three-Minute World Possible Intro", accessible from their home page, is well worth viewing.)

A system was soon up and running but unfortunately the video material comes in a format (mp4) that can not be rendered by the XO OLPC laptop. The most straight forward solution seemed to be to convert the mp4 files to ogv and make the corresponding edits in the html files.  Scripts were developed to do this and we had a version usable by the XOs within a short time.

At the February 2015 meeting, a consensus was reached that webm would be a better choice and so now the scripts were re-written to support conversion of mp4 files to either format (ogv or webm.) These Python scripts are available on github:

$ git clone

In the mean time the Banana Pi has become available and WorldPossible has released a version of Rachel for it.  The Banana Pi is based on a dual core ARM processor and should therefore support more clients than the single core ARM of the Raspberry Pi B model.  A version 2 of the Raspberry Pi with a quad core ARM processor has also appeared on the market.  Both of these platforms are under study and it is hoped that we can have a version of Rachel running on all three.

There is a project planned for Tanzania, spear headed by Camille Harris with help from Hilary Naylor, and that's where our modified Rachel running on one (or more) of the Pi platforms will go; The primary school is in Nyamagongo.

by akleider at March 30, 2015 02:55 AM

March 28, 2015

Luke Faraone

Key transition

I'm migrating PGP keys from 0xF9FDD506 to 0x0C14A470. If you signed my old key, I would appreciate you signing my new key as well. Feel free to ping me with questions.

Accordingly, I've published a transition statement signed by both keys.

by Luke Faraone ( at March 28, 2015 07:55 PM

March 21, 2015

Sugar Cordova



I would request all the GSOC 2015 applicants to kindly go through page and find out the plugins relevant to sugar. Also provide a brief description of how you'll go about making your suggested plugins.

Think of something apart from those implemented already !

Go though the repos you get on this link : and think of a similar structure for sugar ! For any kind of help, dont hesitate to ping me.

by Puneet Kaur ( at March 21, 2015 03:21 AM

March 10, 2015

Sugar Cordova

To the students applying for GSOC - Part 2

To the students applying this year to the sugar cordova project - I would like to let you all know a few pre-requisites for the project. We expect that students should complete the following before they apply and also include their work in their application, the better you accomplish, more your chances of getting in ! So pull up you sleeves for some real work ;) Here are a list of tasks that you must all look into :

1. Go through all the post on this blog
2. Go through my sugar cordova related repos on github :, setup the cordova for sugar with the help of my repos :,, and Clone these repos, follow the README on each repo and install cordova for sugar on your system.You should be able to make a simple web app for sugar with the help of this installation by using simple commands : cordova create, cordova platform add sugar, cordova build - you'll get an xo which you must try installing on sugar development environment using sugar-install-bundle command.
3. Setup your sugar development environment : and explore around try making changes in code , see where the code rests and try making a few changes to the code, play around with the GUI and get a feel of the sugar environment if you arent familiar before.
4. Know all about cordova - from in and out , visit the cordova repos :,, , and some pltforms repo too :, etc. Read the docs :
5. Know about sugar -web architecture : , ,
6. Carefully read through the last post of how the cordova plugins are made and make a demo plugin for sugar  - note - we want a working prototype of the demo for you to be eligible for the gsoc project - it can be a very simple prototype - just to judge whether you got the workflow or not - if you need help you can mail me.
7. Suggest a list of plugins you aim to code this summer along with the relevantworkflow as to how you think you'll approach each of them - Note : Its shouldn't be the one in air ! We want a concrete set of list which you think you would accomplish, a result of thorough visualization and observation of yourself of how much time you would take to complete each plugin and what all you can do, a complete list of plugins which you think are feasible and good for the sugar community - If you wish to discuss your ideas feel free to discuss them on mail - note : better the list and more feasible it looks on your profile - higher your chances of getting selected.
8.Lastly, keep a blog about your progress on these points, a record of all what you have done and whats remaining, a place where you jot down your daily progress on the above points and present to us in a systematic manner and dont forget - we are always there to help you when you need help - email at for help if needed.

All the best guys !!

by Puneet Kaur ( at March 10, 2015 05:11 PM