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.

September 23, 2016

One Laptop per Child

Mokshith Voodarla, a high school student with a cause @OLPC

Mokshith Voodarla is a high school student who made a generous donation to OLPC.

Read his thoughts about the impact of technology in his own life and in the world:

 

From a young age, I’ve been amazed by the way technology helps us in our daily lives. It was mind-boggling to me when I saw subtle things like turning on a TV with a remote happen. This led me to the realization that I wanted to build technology that made people’s lives easier. I’ve always liked to see something happen after writing a program. This started off with LEGO Mindstorms but has come all the way to building Android Apps that automatically take notes for you when taking a picture of a textbook. 

I wanted to benefit as many people as I could with the knowledge I had so I decided to teach kids how to build Android apps. While doing this, I wanted to maximize the benefit of this work, and that’s when I remembered One Laptop Per Child. I’ve always taken for granted the resources I had to do things and I wanted as many people as possible to receive the resources and opportunities to do the same. I realized that by donating to OLPC, my work would help benefit a lot of people. I chose to do just that. 


Working with the kids was great. We started off from them not knowing anything at all to them being able to build a whole calculator all by themselves. We did this over the course of nine weeks. I was happy that I was able to spread that feeling of amazement on many people’s faces when they saw that what they programmed. That kind of feeling is what I live for and I really felt it when I saw those kids experience just that. The feeling itself is indescribable but it’s just amazing. 

Teaching these students and then being able to donate to OLPC was a very worthwhile experience for me and I would recommend if anyone else can, they should make a donation as well. OLPC does great things in developing countries and is a real reason why the world is accelerating faster and faster all the time. All reasons support helping the OLPC cause.

by mariana at September 23, 2016 01:20 PM

September 22, 2016

One Laptop per Child

How Ometepe Became Latin America’s First Digital Island

Originaly posted BY ON

By Leah Shadle on behalf of One Laptop Per Child

In the heart of Nicaragua lies the largest lake in Central America, Lake Nicaragua. Millions of years ago, a volcanic eruption formed a curious island in this freshwater lake composed of two volcanoes — Concepcion and Maderas — the former of which is still active. Concepcion has an altitude of 1,610 meters, which makes Ometepe the world’s highest island on a lake. Volcanic ash has created an extremely fertile island and the volcanoes are visible everywhere on the island. Ometepe is truly a paradise, with its tropical, lush and magical air and soil.

In addition to the natural brilliance of the island and its volcanoes, Ometepe recently became the first digital island in the Americas. To put that in numbers, 100% of its 5,000 elementary school children and all teachers received a laptop connected to high-speed Internet, as part of the One Laptop Per Child educational initiative. Participating students and teachers receive OLPC laptops and the training and support needed to truly realize the potential of these machines

Continue reading HERE.

by mariana at September 22, 2016 05:02 PM

September 04, 2016

sam.today

The End of Mako

mako /ˈmɑːkəʊ,ˈmeɪkəʊ/

noun: a large fast-moving oceanic shark with a deep blue back and white underparts.

A Mako Shark Swims in The Sea

I got a Mako at the start of 2013. It was pretty exciting. As I got my Mako, I launched by first (and most naive) app - Zen Beat. Zen Beat was a good joke that I made before words such as "marketing", "product market fit" or "code quality" had entered my vocabulary. The code features gems of inexperience such as, levelCalcX (which I am still curious as to the purpose of), or this line:

protected int sound1, sound2, sound3, sound4, sound5, sound6, sound7, sound8;

But it was good times. I launched Zen Beat on the Google Play store after paying $25 to join the developer program. Initially, I it was a paid application, and I sadly did not make back that initial investment.


Mako was fast moving with the operating systems. I ran Firefox OS and Android under multirom at some point, which wasn't the best idea with 8GB of storage. Firefox OS was a good idea though - it was very slick and performant. Some of the apps just weren't there yet.

Ubuntu Touch found it's way onto my Mako in 2016. I enojyed running Ubuntu touch - apt-getting apps straight on to the system. At some point, I managed to the get GEdit running under XMir, although it was lacking keyboard support. I never did spend the required time to get the keyboard working on Gtk+ apps, because I was actually looking forward to running my reddit client on my mobile phone.


Mako was becoming wild. On screen buttons would stop working when I rotated my phone to landscape. Dragging down the notification shade wouldn't work in portrait mode. "Bloody Ubuntu," I thought, "what do you expect when you rewrite the display server and ignore Wayland? Terrible program."

So I installed Cyanogen Mod on my phone. But the issues didn't go away - in fact they got worse. None of the buttons in the Action Bars worked when I was in portrait mode. Maybe it wasn't Ubuntu's fault?

And the paint app showed the truth. The top of the touchscreen, roughly the notification and action bars in portrait mode, had stopped responding to touches. 3 years and the touchscreen had started to break. Pretty short timeframe.


But it kept on going. Podcasts are a great form of touch free media, and Cyanogen's browser app had a great pie menu feature. It was working fine; it was a shark.

But earlier this week I installed an update that got Cyanogen into a reboot loop. Not a big deal, I just went into fastboot and flashed the phone. The phone rebooted into the android setup window, but quickly ran out of battery. So I charged it overnight.

The next morning the power button was no anvil. Pressing it and pressing it, nothing would turn on the phone. But hey, it was probably just a power button failure. The power button had been becoming more flakey; requiring 2 presses before it turned on the phone. A quick web search told me it was a common problem.

So I disassembled the phone. Unscrewing the obscure and tiny screws at the bottom of the case and snapping the plastic cover off (I only broke the thin line of plastic above the USB port). The cosmetic cover over the power button came off, and I pressed the exposed switch.

Nexus 4 (Mako) with the case taken off

And that was it. The phone would not turn on. I tried plugging in the power again, and this time I realised that the light had not been turning on. It was not charging. It was a paperweight.


I'm kind of bitter that 4 years was too much to ask of my mako. A real mako lives for ~30 years in the wild. I expected that my mako would last me many more years into the future, but I suppose that both Makos are a threatened species.

Any comments on long lasting phones, or those with upstream kernel support ( let me dream!) should be directed to sam@sam.today

September 04, 2016 12:00 AM

August 13, 2016

sam.today

A Grow.io Introduction

Right now, we are in the world of the static site. Static sites have always been super easy to deploy, but modern tooling makes creating static sites a charm.

For my blog, I use grow.io to create my site. Grow.io has a really nice arcitecture that should feel familiar if you've ever made a MVC based web site. You define "views", which are just Jinja2 templates. Then you add content, which is fed into the views.

I recently made a video tutorial for creating a static site with Grow. If you are looking for a quick introduction to Grow, this may interest you:

August 13, 2016 12:00 AM

July 30, 2016

Edit Fonts Activity

Welcome Page UX Concept

This is just an idea I had last night for improving the welcome screen UX, if it’s too much work or Dave and Yash don’t like it I understand. However, I may try to code it myself for fun if Yash doesn’t have time. :-)

My fear is that when users start the Edit Fonts activity for the first time they will be be lost and not understand what to do. Some users might not even have a basic understand of what vector drawing is or how a font is made. This welcome screen will at least give the users a basic idea about how to use the activity. Most importantly, this makes the first screen visualy interesting, interactive and fun. Many users may not continue with the activity if the first page is dull and boring.

I’m proposing that the welcome screen have 4 options, represented by icons and text, plus an editable .glyph that reads “Edit Fonts” in the Geo typeface. The Edit-Fonts logotype will be one .glyph file that is only loaded and never saved. see below:

UX concept 01

UX concept 02

I have added a Geo-Regular.ufo file to the gh-pages repo with a special “editfonts.glyph” logotype:

https://github.com/sugarlabs/edit-fonts-activity/tree/gh-pages/files/fonts/Geo-Regular.ufo

editfonts.glyph

There are two neat things about this approach. First, it uses components we already have, the only work will be laying out the page, which Dave or I can attempt if Yash is too busy. Second, if the user never realizes that the edit fonts logotype is editable, it still functions as a logotype. A similar UX design pattern was used for the start screen of the game Super Mario 64, see below:

Mario 64 easter-egg

by Eli Heuer at July 30, 2016 06:30 PM

July 12, 2016

Edit Fonts Activity

Continuous Integration With Travis and flake8

Last Saturday (July 9th) Eli and I met up to review the codebase, and the main issue I identified was that Travis was not set up with flake8 to test the codebase was conforming to the pep8 guidelines.

I’d filed Issue #17 for this, back at the start of the project on May 19. Yash had started to develop the [.travis.yml](https://github.com/sugarlabs/edit-fonts-activity/blob/gh-pages/.travis.yml) file to build a .xo bundle but hadn’t complete this just yet, so I commended out most of the code and what remained is very simple:

# this makes travis run a fast Docker container system
sudo: false
# we use python 2.7
language: python
python:
  - "2.7"
# we need to install flake8 to use it
before_install:
  - "pip install flake8"
# we check the codebase
script: 
  - "flake8 --statistics --ignore=E402 --exclude=defcon,extractor,fontTools,fontmake,robofab,ufo2ft,ufoLib,snippets ."

You can see there’s a few arguments passed that are pretty simple.

Stastics prints the number of occurences of each error, so you can fix the most common issues across the codebase first.

E402 is about the order of imports, but since we need to import gi to version later imports, we can’t adhere to that rule, so we ignore it.

We also exclude all the third party libraries, and our snippets.

Eli and I worked together on this and I finished it up on Sunday in Pull Request #65

Yash had already set up Travis configuration, at https://travis-ci.org/sugarlabs/edit-fonts-activity, so once this was merged, our button went green:

travis button is green

Finally I added a CONTRIBUTING.md file that explains how to use it.

I’ll get a similar travis set up for the gh-pages branch too.

Perhaps we could also set up a git hook that runs the flake8 command on each commit…

by Dave Crossland at July 12, 2016 06:30 PM

July 01, 2016

‘Til All Are One

A Complete Literacy Experience For Young Children

From the “I should have posted this months ago” vault…

When I led technology development at One Laptop per Child Australia, I maintained two golden rules:

  1. everything that we release must ‘just work’ from the perspective of the user (usually a child or teacher), and
  2. no special technical expertise should ever be required to set-up, use or maintain the technology.

In large part, I believe that we were successful.

Once the more obvious challenges have been identified and cleared, some more fundamental problems become evident. Our goal was to improve educational opportunities for children as young as possible, but proficiently using computers to input information can require a degree of literacy.

Sugar Labs have done stellar work in questioning the relevance of the desktop metaphor for education, and in coming up with a more suitable alternative. This proved to be a remarkable platform for developing a touch-screen laptop, in the form of the XO-4 Touch: the icons-based user interface meant that we could add touch capabilities with relatively few user-visible tweaks. The screen can be swivelled and closed over the keyboard as with previous models, meaning that this new version can be easily converted into a pure tablet at will.

Revisiting Our Assumptions

Still, a fundamental assumption has long gone unchallenged on all computers: the default typeface and keyboard. It doesn’t at all represent how young children learn the English alphabet or literacy. Moreover, at OLPC Australia we were often dealing with children who were behind on learning outcomes, and who were attending school with almost no exposure to English (since they speak other languages at home). How are they supposed to learn the curriculum when they can barely communicate in the classroom?

Looking at a standard PC keyboard, you’ll see that the keys are printed with upper-case letters. And yet, that is not how letters are taught in Australian schools. Imagine that you’re a child who still hasn’t grasped his/her ABCs. You see a keyboard full of unfamiliar symbols. You press one, and on the screen pops up a completely different looking letter! The keyboard may be in upper-case, but by default you’ll get the lower-case variants on the screen.

A standard PC keyboard
A standard PC keyboard

Unfortunately, the most prevalent touch-screen keyboard on the marke isn’t any better. Given the large education market for its parent company, I’m astounded that this has not been a priority.

The Apple iOS keyboard
The Apple iOS keyboard

Better alternatives exist on other platforms, but I still was not satisfied.

A Re-Think

The solution required an examination of how children learn, and the challenges that they often face when doing so. The end result is simple, yet effective.

The standard OLPC XO mechanical keyboard (above) versus the OLPC Australia Literacy keyboard (below)
The standard OLPC XO mechanical keyboard (above) versus the OLPC Australia Literacy keyboard (below)

This image contrasts the standard OLPC mechanical keyboard with the OLPC Australia Literacy keyboard that we developed. Getting there required several considerations:

  1. a new typeface, optimised for literacy
  2. a cleaner design, omitting characters that are not common in English (they can still be entered with the AltGr key)
  3. an emphasis on lower-case
  4. upper-case letters printed on the same keys, with the Shift arrow angled to indicate the relationship
  5. better use of symbols to aid instruction

One interesting user story with the old keyboard that I came across was in a remote Australian school, where Aboriginal children were trying to play the Maze activity by pressing the opposite arrows that they were supposed to. Apparently they thought that the arrows represented birds’ feet! You’ll see that we changed the arrow heads on the literacy keyboard as a result.

We explicitly chose not to change the QWERTY layout. That’s a different debate for another time.

The Typeface

The abc123 typeface is largely the result of work I did with John Greatorex. It is freely downloadable (in TrueType and FontForge formats) and open source.

After much research and discussions with educators, I was unimpressed with the other literacy-oriented fonts available online. Characters like ‘a’ and ‘9’ (just to mention a couple) are not rendered in the way that children are taught to write them. Young children are also susceptible to confusion over letters that look similar, including mirror-images of letters. We worked to differentiate, for instance, the lower-case L from the upper-case i, and the lower-case p from the lower-case q.

Typography is a wonderfully complex intersection of art and science, and it would have been foolhardy for us to have started from scratch. We used as our base the high-quality DejaVu Sans typeface. This gave us a foundation that worked well on screen and in print. Importantly for us, it maintained legibility at small point sizes on the 200dpi XO display.

On the Screen

abc123 is a suitable substitute for DejaVu Sans. I have been using it as the default user interface font in Ubuntu for over a year.

It looks great in Sugar as well. The letters are crisp and easy to differentiate, even at small point sizes. We made abc123 the default font for both the user interface and in activities (applications).

The abc123 font in Sugar's Write activity, on an XO laptop screen
The abc123 font in Sugar’s Write activity, on an XO laptop screen

Likewise, the touch-screen keyboard is clear and simple to use.

The abc123 font on the XO touch-screen keyboard, on an XO laptop screen
The abc123 font on the XO touch-screen keyboard, on an XO laptop screen

The end result is a more consistent literacy experience across the whole device. What you press on the hardware or touch-screen keyboard will be reproduced exactly on the screen. What you see on the user interface is also what you see on the keyboards.

by Sridhar Dhanapalan at July 01, 2016 07:26 AM

April 21, 2016

Tomeu Vizoso

Validating changes to KMS drivers with IGT

New DRM drivers are being added to almost each new kernel release, and because the mode setting API is so rich and complex, bugs do slip in that translate to differences in behaviour between drivers.

There have been previous attempts at writing test suites for validating changes and preventing regressions, but they have typically happened downstream and focused on the specific needs of specific products and limited to one or at most a few of different hardware platforms.

Writing these tests from scratch would have been an enormous amount of work, and gathering previous efforts and joining them wouldn't be much worth it because they were written using different test frameworks and in different programming languages. Also, there would be great overlap on the basic tests, and little would remain of the trickier stuff.

Of the existing test suites, the one with most coverage is intel-gpu-tools, used by the Intel graphics team. Though a big part is specific to the i915 driver, what uses the generic APIs is pretty much driver-independent and can be made to work with the other drivers without much effort. Also, Broadcom's Eric Anholt has already started adding tests for IOCTLs specific to the VideoCore-IV driver.

Collabora's Micah Fedke and Daniel Stone had added a facility for selecting DRM device files other than i915's and I improved the abstraction for creating buffers so it works for drivers without GEM buffers. Next I removed a bunch of superfluous dependencies on i915-only stuff and got a useful subset of tests to run on a Radxa Rock2 board (with the Rockchip 3288 SoC). Around half of these patches have been merged already and the other half are awaiting review. Meanwhile, Collabora's Robert Foss is running the ported tests on a Raspberry Pi 2 and has started sending patches to account for its peculiarities.

The next two big chunks of work are abstracting CRC checksums of frames (on drivers other than i915 this could be done with Google's Chamelium or with a board similar to Numato Opsis), and the buffer management API from libdrm that is currently i915-only (bufmgr). Something that will have to be dealt with in the future is abstracting the submittal of specific loads on the GPU as that's currently very much driver-specific.

Additionally, I will be scheduling jobs in our LAVA instance to run these tests on the boards we have in there.

Thanks to Google for sponsoring my time, to the Intel OTC folks for their support and reviews, and to Collabora for sponsoring Robert's, Micah's and Daniel's time.

by Tomeu Vizoso (noreply@blogger.com) at April 21, 2016 01:02 PM

March 13, 2016

OLPC San Francisco blogs

Congratulations to Sameer Verma

 Our own Sameer Verma has been elected for a two-year term on the Sugar Labs Oversight Board! He joins the board of 7 members governing the future of Sugar Labs.

Elections for the Sugar Labs Oversight Board were held in January. All seven seats were up for election, the top 4 winners were elected for two-year terms and the following 3 were elected for one-year terms. In this way approximately half the board is up for election each year, going forward.

Board meetings are held on the first Friday of every month over IRC. You can find the meeting minutes on the Sugar Labs wiki.

Congratulations to Sameer and the other board members. OLPC-SF is excited and is looking forward to what 2016 brings for Sugar Labs and the OLPC Community.

by adborden at March 13, 2016 02:55 AM

February 12, 2016

OLE Nepal

Process to get approvals to construct schools damaged by the earthquake

As we are getting ready to start constructing schools damaged by the earthquake in Gorkha district, we thought it’d be helpful to share the official process that we went through to secure all the approvals and paperwork. This might come…

by Rabi Karmacharya at February 12, 2016 12:14 PM

January 08, 2016

OLPC San Francisco blogs

OLPC SF 8th anniversary

OLPC San Francisco is eight years old! We will be hosting our monthly meeting Saturday, January 9th, from 10AM - 1PM at the downtown SFSU campus, 835 Market Street, 5th floor, Room 597 (the fishbowl).

Agenda

  • Meet and greet
  • Sugar Labs Oversight Board elections
  • Projects for 2016
  • Party

Our meetings are held on the second Saturday of every month. Everyone is welcome to join us for our monthly meeting! We'll be discussing the latest in OLPC events and give updates on our local (and global) projects. There will be plenty of XO laptops with the latest builds to play around with, too.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/168331340195295/
Google+ https://plus.google.com/events/c1p91s3tbo01jvp2irm9i35s6s8

by sverma at January 08, 2016 09:01 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 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:
http://dumps.wikimedia.org/hiwiki/20121225/hiwiki-20121225-pages-articles.xml.bz2
NOTE: [ Make sure you pick the valid latest file from here : http://dumps.wikimedia.org/hiwiki/   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:
../tools2/pages_parser.py

The result of this operation will generate these files:
hiwiki-20121225-pages-articles.xml.links
hiwiki-20121225-pages-articles.xml.page_templates
hiwiki-20121225-pages-articles.redirects
hiwiki-20121225-pages-articles.templates

5) Then you can include selective articles or all articles from this dump to your activity by using this command:
../tools2/make_selection.py
* 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/make_selection.py --all

6) Then proceed to create the index for these articles:
../tools2/create_index.py

7) In order to test the index created in previous step you can use this command:
../tools2/test_index.py

8) Next step is to expand the templates of articles :
cd ..
./tools2/expandtemplates.py 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/create_index.py --delete_all

10) Download the images for the articles you selected:
cd hi
../tools2/download_images.py

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

11) Create files specific to language:
(a)activity/activity.info.lang : activity info file for you language activity
(b)activity/activity-wikipedia-lang.svg : activity icon for your language
(c)activity_lang.py : 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:
./setup_new_wiki.py 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 (noreply@blogger.com) at September 11, 2015 05:39 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 (noreply@blogger.com) at July 24, 2015 06:57 PM

July 18, 2015

Sugar On A Stick

Who Buys a Domain Like “Yeezy.Supply”? Kanye West, That’s Who

Kanye West stirred up a lot of interest in a brand new website on the day he tweeted out the link: yeezy.supply. That’s the kind of thing that happens, of course, when someone who has roughly a bajillion Twitter followers shares a link.

However, all that greeted the visitors when they arrived on the site was a countdown to February 12 and a three-minute video playing in the background.

People were quick to point out that February 12 was just in time for the New York Fashion Week, so the immediate assumption was that this would have something to do with the launch of his new shoe line for Adidas.

The website continued to go through a number of changes, with each new video sparking new discussion and speculation about what might be coming when the countdown hit zero. (This website tracked the changes if you’re interested in seeing the specifics. If nothing else, it’s an interesting case study in building and keeping interest without actually showing a product or anything of relevance.)

In the end, this was, indeed, to reveal his Yeezy Boost shoes, which were shown off at the New York fashion show.

Most people expected the site to become some kind of merchandise store for Mr. West as soon as the products were announced. The assumptions were wrong, though, and, as of the time of publication, yeezy.supply now was a timer that is counting up, instead of down. For a time it played a video of the fashion show, and now it has switched to a video of a live performance.

Who knows what it’s counting to… or why the fashion show’s soundtrack was just that creepy trumpet wailing?

And yet, people continue to visit the site in huge numbers (we have to assume), which goes to show that there’s a lot in a simple name. In this case, though, it’s probably safe to assume that the name that carried the wait was Kanye West, and not yeezy.supply.

What Hype Does for a Domain

When someone with so many followers tweets something, there are a lot of people who are going to automatically visit the site. Mr. West has the ability to build hype all on his own. He doesn’t need to go through the steps that most companies do to get visitors clicking on their links and going to their website.

So when Kanye puts up a link to yeezy.supply, it will send thousands and thousands of visitors to the website. It will even get hundreds of media websites to start linking to it and sending more traffic.

But when the hype dies down, you have to wonder: what good is this kind of domain really going to do him?

.supply? Does That Even Exist?

The vast majority of the internet users have probably never seen a domain extension like .supply. They know and expect .com first and foremost, and if not that, maybe a .net or .org. So without all that hype, what would people do? What are they most likely to type into the address bar in a browser?

Yeezy.com? That’s probably what most people would try because that is what we associate with web addresses.

Of course, they may just do a quick search for “yeezy” (and that assumes they know how to spell it right and don’t think that it’s meant to be “easy” with a “y” in front of it). If you search for” yeezy” today, what comes up is some news about the shoes, but not the actual domain. If you search for “yeezy.supply” you’ll see the tickets.yeezy.supply (as of the time of the publishing), and if you just type in “yeezy.com,” you’ll go to a page that says the domain is parked and not being used.  But, let’s face it, the .com version just comes naturally to most people.

If they want any lasting search engine traction, they’re going to have to start working on it right now.

Why Would He Buy It?

Of course, we can’t speak to the exact reasons for buying such a domain, but we can always speculate. (And who doesn’t love speculating about the behavior of celebrities?)

Maybe someone told him that it was the Beyoncé of domain names, and that if he didn’t rush the stage and defend what he judged the better choice, then no one would understand how important it is.

Maybe he just felt that, like Beyoncé, the .supply domains weren’t getting the attention or the awards they deserved.

Maybe he just wanted to be different.

What Else Might have Worked?

If you’re going to go for a .supply domain name, why stop there? There’s a wide range of names he could have bought into that might have made just as much sense. Maybe something like:

  • my – Sure, the .my domain can only be registered by companies or people in Malaysia, but surely that’s not much of a problem.
  • shoes – There is, in fact, a .shoes domain extension. Really, it’s a wonder no one thought of this already.
  • red, kanyeshoes.blue, etc,. – If yeezy.supply is too vague for some people, you might as well hit the nail right on the head.
  • supplies, yeezy.equipment – A lot of companies will buy the .org, .net, and .biz domain extensions of their name just to make sure no one jumps in on their branding efforts. Maybe Mr. West should take this into account.

Does It Count as a Premium Domain Name?

Our definition of a premium domain is not very complicated. The best domains are simple, short, and memorable. That’s pretty much all you need.

So does Kanye West’s new domain fit that definition? Well, the first half kind of does, but that .supply extension really blows it. While you could argue that it is unique enough to catch a person’s attention, it is not something that sticks in the mind. It doesn’t even roll off the tongue. Try it. What is smoother to say? “Yeezy dot supply” or “yeezy dot com”?

The moral of this story, then, is that if you have roughly a bajillion social media followers, you can make anything out of a strange domain. For the rest of us, you’re better off looking for something a little more effective. At DomainMarket.com we’ve spent years curating an extensive list of relevant and effective names so you can quickly and easily find the best one for your business.

by admin at July 18, 2015 06:55 AM

July 17, 2015

Somos Azucar

Resumen de actividades Laboratorios Azúcar July 17th

Hola,
A partir de Abril de 2015 este boletín se publicará una vez por mes.

Este es el resumen de actividad para la comunidad Laboratorios Azúcar.

Éste se compone de una agregación de fuentes como nuestro gestor de tareas, Wiki, y blogs.

Puedes publicar un comentario o participar de diferentes formas.

Si tienes una noticia o una fuente que deberíamos incluir (como un blog, etc), avísanos a todos(arroba)somosazucar.org

Hubo 45 eventos esta semana.

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Published Visit to Gorkha.
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Published Hello world!.
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by operador del sitio at July 17, 2015 04:36 AM

July 10, 2015

Sugar On A Stick

Think You Can Wait to Buy Your Domain? Think Again!

If you were in charge of product development and launches, would you wait to register the trademark until the day before you announced it to the world? Would you risk losing that trademark to someone who had a similar product and happened to hear rumors of your impending release?

Obviously, the answer to these questions should be no.

Why, then, would you wait to register the domain name for that same product?

Maybe you are afraid of someone spotting the registration and using it to spread rumors. Maybe you think this will hide your project from the gathering masses so you can launch to an unsuspecting world and surprise everyone with a major new development. Maybe you simply thought you could wait to buy your domain because surely no one would try to register a branded name before you got to it.

In the modern online marketplace, none of those are valid reasons not to register a domain as soon as you know what your product or company is called.

But surely I can wait to register a name that involves one of my trademarks, you might be saying. Surely, there’s nothing to fear on that front. No one would have any reason to try that in this day and age for surely they would know that we have plenty of legal recourse to make them regret it.

And then you might realize that if you use the word “surely” so many times in a single paragraph, that the only person you’re trying to convince here is yourself.

The Lego Dimensions Incident

On April 9 of this year, Lego and Warner Bros. announced that they would be jumping on the Skylanders/Disney Infinity train with their own version of a video game with a collectable toy component. Since those other two games have made nothing short of an unbelievable fortune for their publishers, this, perhaps, shouldn’t be that big of a surprise.

Naturally, when something like this is announced, reporters are going to try to find out as much as they possibly can. So why wouldn’t they immediately head directly to LegoDimensions.com to see what else the company had to offer.

After all, who would announce a major game based on a massive brand without first purchasing the domain and having an informative web page in place?

As it turns out, the answer to that question is: Lego and Warner Bros.

On that day, if any reporter tried to go directly to LegoDimensions.com, they would get redirected to Polygon.com, a gaming news site.

How can something like this possibly happen in an established internet marketplace?

It turns out that when rumors of this game first started to make their rounds, the deputy news editor at Polygon, Michael McWhertor, started looking to see if any domain registrations or social media accounts would prove that the game was actually in the works and whether Lego Dimensions would be its real name.

When he saw that legodimensions.com wasn’t registered, he basically registered it himself on a whim… because… why not? Surely if that was the real name, he reasoned, Lego and WB would have locked it down months ago.

He seemed to be just as surprised as everyone else that the domain he now had was, in fact, the name of this major new gaming brand/franchise. So, unable to pass up the opportunity, he linked the domain to Polygon’s coverage of the announcement.

Of course, it wasn’t long before Lego Group’s IP representatives contacted him, informing him that they did want the domain. McWhertor said that within 20 minutes of receiving the email he contacted his registrar and transferred ownership to them.

Lego Got Lucky

In the end, this experience could have been a lot worse for everyone. McWherton had no intention of cybersquatting or making an issue of it, so it was done and over with fairly quickly. But it could have be a costly experience if someone with different motives had secured the name.

In an article on the subject on Ars Technica, gaming PR professional Ed Zitron said: “From a branding/PR perspective, I cannot believe Lego let such a critical, obvious thing slide. The moment you know what a product is called, you buy the domain. You buy the domain the moment someone has the idea.”

It is true that there are some legal protections that would have ensured that Lego could take possession of that name. Lego could have sued under the Anticybersquatting Protection Act (ACPA) or arbitrated a settlement with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDNDRP). Of course, that takes time and money – and it usually takes a lot of it.

All for a name they could have registered in less than 10 minutes.

by admin at July 10, 2015 01:04 PM