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.

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

August 17, 2015

OLE Nepal

Volunteer training program for Bajhang

Volunteering strengthens our ties to the community while exposing us to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities. They are tremendously resourceful for any non profit organization. Volunteer program is one of OLE Nepal’s key aspects…

by Sofila Vaidya at August 17, 2015 09:13 AM

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 29, 2015

OLE Nepal

Thanking our friend Anil

Our friend Anil has recently completed the grueling NYC Triathlon for OLE Nepal. The Panasonic NYC Triathlon which was held in New York City on July 19th, 2015 saw the presence of many enthusiastic participants who ran, swam and cycled.…

by Sofila Vaidya at July 29, 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

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 irc.freenode.net #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 purecss.io 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 : http://mikklfr.github.io/

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

See you ! 


by Michaël Ohayon (noreply@blogger.com) at June 20, 2015 12:01 AM

June 19, 2015

Somos Azucar

Resumen de actividades Laboratorios Azúcar June 19th

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 28 eventos esta semana.

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by operador del sitio at June 19, 2015 04:13 AM

May 28, 2015

OLPC Tuva

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.


Performance


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 (noreply@blogger.com) 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 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

RACHEL

At the May 15th, 2014 meeting of olpcSF.org (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 WorldPossible.org.  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 git@github.com:alexKleider/Convert.git

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 (noreply@blogger.com) at March 28, 2015 07:55 PM

March 21, 2015

Sugar Cordova

IMPORTANT INFO FOR GSOC APPPLICANTS APPLYING FOR SUGAR CORDOVA PROJECT

Hi,

I would request all the GSOC 2015 applicants to kindly go through http://plugins.cordova.io/#/ 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 : https://github.com/apache?query=cordova-plugin and think of a similar structure for sugar ! For any kind of help, dont hesitate to ping me.

by Puneet Kaur (noreply@blogger.com) at March 21, 2015 03:21 AM

March 15, 2015

OLPC San Francisco blogs

Harmonic Effect

One of my old-time hobbies has been the open reel tape recorder. I'm a big fan!

Magnetic tape adds a certain "warmth" to the music. It seems this effect comes from the harmonic effect generated as the tape slides past the tape head. People like this effect so much, that modern-day digital music editors come with "tape effect plugins" for popular tape and decks.

So, I ran an experiment. I took the OLPC XO laptop and used Pippy Activity to generate a sine wave (6 beeps) and recorded it on tape. I should see one peak at 1000Hz.

Then, I played it back from tape, and looked at the signal on Measure Activity. We see a major peak at 1000Hz, but smaller peaks at 3000Hz and 5000Hz.

 

Very exciting! Definitely some harmonic effect going on here. Will have to investigate more to see what else happens on tape, and how it differs across brands and machines.

by sverma at March 15, 2015 06:03 AM