Sugar

Ok. It has been a while since my last post, and quite a few things have happened since then, some of which I will get back to in some later posts.

One of the things that have happened is that I attended the “Skolelinux developer summit” or Debian Edu developer summit here in Bergen, with the goal to do some real contribution to free software. I didn’t end up contributing any code at that event.

Cecilie had asked Knut Yrvin to do a talk about community based projects, which inspired some of the other attendees, Walter Bender, to talk about his organization, Sugarlabs. Sugarlabs organizes the development and promotion of Sugar, the user interface for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project.

from sugarlabs.org, click the image to show the whole series in context.


Sugar is an user interface aimed at kids and learning, rather than changing the learning process to use the computer and the web, it changes the user interface, so it is suited for a classroom environment. That being said, using sugar will probably revolutionize the way learning is done in the classroom, to a much more collaborative approach. Everything in sugar is made for sharing between the pupils and/or the teacher.

I had seen some screenshots of Sugar before, but I was totally blown away about the collaboration part of the system, and also how it changes the approach to computers, where we make the computer suitable for the classroom, rather than making the classroom suitable for the computer.

My contribution during the developer summit ended up beeing translating the Turtle Art activity into Norwegian, and helping Mr. Bender finding some bugs.

Since then I’ve translated the download pages on the Sugarlabs wiki into Norwegian. Sadly the current state of Sugar is that it’s quite buggy as “Sugar on a Stick”, completely broken in Ubuntu, and probably somewhat buggy in Fedora.

Also, listen to the Episode 66 of the FLOSS weekly podcast about the implementation of the OLPC in Nepal, which goes more into detail about Sugar.