Sugar Digest 2015-04-09

Sugar Digest

1. I just returned from India, where I had the pleasure of giving the keynote at BITs Pilani (my theme was how Sugar can provide the means for appropriate of knowledge) and then headed to Mumbai to give some Turtle Art workshops. At Pilani, which draws upon students from across all of India, I had a chance to spend time with students to discuss Sugar in greater detail and met with several GSoC candidates. In Mumbai, I was able to use the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education as a base (thanks to G Nagarjuna). Turtle Art Day was split across two venues: first, a workshop for educators, where we put the new Javascript version through a workout, and then at a nearby school, where we worked with a fourth grade classroom using some XO-1 laptops. Both groups seemed to take to turtle — “hard fun” had by all. While in Mumbai, I also had a chance to visit with Tata Trusts, to discuss possible venues for collaboration, including a possible Sugar pilot in Assam. And I visited IIT Bombay, where I met with the IITB Tata Centre, which pursues education and development projects across the subcontinent. Many thanks to Harriet Vidyasagar, who both helped to organize the Mumbai visits and to provide insights into local culture and needs.

2. At Monday’s Sugar Labs oversight board (SLOB) meeting, we voted to add two new members to the Sugar Labs Membership committee: Sebastian Silva and Caryl Bigenho. They have tasked themselves with getting the members list refreshed. We are looking to recruit another committee member (or two) to help with outreach. Someone connected to the community of youths contributing patches to Sugar would be ideal. Also, recruiting more educators who use Sugar in their classrooms would help round out the committee.

3. 67 students have applied to work as interns for Sugar Labs as part of Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2015. I’ve read through the applications and we have some very strong candidates. It will be a difficult decision as to how assign the slots we receive from Google — the number is still to be determined. I have already begun looking for other means of support we might offer to some of the qualified students who don’t make the cut. The mentors are meeting this evening to discuss the applications.

In the community

4. I’ll be doing a Turtle Art Day in Kingston, Jamaica, on 23 April. Details to follow. I’d love to reconnect with any Sugar users while I am in the area.

Tech Talk

5. James Cameron has been running performance tests on the XO-1 hardware, comparing boot and activity launch times across a number of builds. It is great to have some data to look at. The good news is that we have been making steady progress over the past few releases in terms of reducing boot and launch times. Those of you running old versions of Sugar/Fedora on XO-1 hardware should consider looking at Sugar 104. Many bug fixes, improved stability, etc., and as James has demonstrated, seemingly minimal impact on performance.

6. Peter Robinson announced the availability of Release Candidate 1 of Sugar 104 on Fedora 22. Please help with testing. (The .iso files can be found at https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/stage/22_Beta_RC1. Look for SoaS images for your preferred architecture.)

7. We will be meeting on Saturday, 11 April, to continue discussing plans the 106 release. Please join Martin Abente Lahaye and the Developer team on irc.freenode.net (#sugar-meeting) at 22:00 UTC.

Sugar Labs

8. Please visit our planet.

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