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Old 01-10-2011, 03:02 PM
"Jonathan Carter (highvoltage)"
 
Default Sugar in Edubuntu 11.04

Hi!

At UDS there was discussion about Sugar and that we should look at it
again for inclusion for Edubuntu. Previously the packaging was either
not available or in a state of flux or the current state of Sugar was
just not usable.

I briefly looked at it again a few weeks ago, and in my opinion it's
still not something that we should include. The amount of activities is
still on the sparse side, and once you start the Sugar interface there's
no intuitive way to quit it.

I don't think this is something we should include in Edubuntu, and for
people that really want it, it's still an easy installation and there's
an existing Ubuntu Sugar remix disc for people who would like to run a
live system or install it as a single system.

Any thoughts?

-Jonathan

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Old 01-10-2011, 06:37 PM
David Van Assche
 
Default Sugar in Edubuntu 11.04

Out of curiosity, what's missing that would make it usable. If its activity packages, then that could be remedied by packaging, which is relatively straight forward and would require choosing which activities should be bundled for edubuntu sugar. Other distros seem to be quite subjective when choosing what's bundled, although it would be easy enough to replicate what's available from either Fedora or openSUSE.


The quitting option is also just a little code hack to get logout to exit properly.

I'd be happy to help with both of these, if there is real interest in having Sugar distributed on edubuntu.

kind regards,

David Van Assche

On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 5:02 PM, Jonathan Carter (highvoltage) <jonathan@ubuntu.com> wrote:

Hi!



At UDS there was discussion about Sugar and that we should look at it

again for inclusion for Edubuntu. Previously the packaging was either

not available or in a state of flux or the current state of Sugar was

just not usable.



I briefly looked at it again a few weeks ago, and in my opinion it's

still not something that we should include. The amount of activities is

still on the sparse side, and once you start the Sugar interface there's

no intuitive way to quit it.



I don't think this is something we should include in Edubuntu, and for

people that really want it, it's still an easy installation and there's

an existing Ubuntu Sugar remix disc for people who would like to run a

live system or install it as a single system.



Any thoughts?



-Jonathan



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Old 01-10-2011, 06:51 PM
"Jonathan Carter (highvoltage)"
 
Default Sugar in Edubuntu 11.04

Hi David

On 10/01/11 02:37 PM, David Van Assche wrote:
> Out of curiosity, what's missing that would make it usable. If its
> activity packages, then that could be remedied by packaging, which is
> relatively straight forward and would require choosing which activities
> should be bundled for edubuntu sugar. Other distros seem to be quite
> subjective when choosing what's bundled, although it would be easy
> enough to replicate what's available from either Fedora or openSUSE.

I neglected to take some proper notes while testing it, I'll install it
again, I found the problems quite early on so it shouldn't take long to
reproduce. I'll post it here.

> The quitting option is also just a little code hack to get logout to
> exit properly.

Ok, great.

> I'd be happy to help with both of these, if there is real interest in
> having Sugar distributed on edubuntu.

Indeed, if there's interest then it's worth spending time on

-Jonathan

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:05 PM
Guillaume Ardaud
 
Default Sugar in Edubuntu 11.04

Hello all,
My feeling about Sugar is that while it is has many advantages as a standalone system for the purpose it was conceived (i.e. a kid friendly netbook), I don't see the clear benefit in having it included in Edubuntu out of the box.


From the user point of view, Sugar acts like an OS within the OS, and I see it causing more confusion than good.
One might argue that software such as GCompris have a somewhat comparable approach, but at least they do not deal with system related preferences and do not include software that is redundant with software already present on the system (browser, text editor, etc.).


And as it has been mentioned, the user can easily install Sugar by himself if it is needed.
What activities from Sugar do you see benefitting directly Edubuntu? It might be wiser to find a way to directly make these into standalone Linux packages (if it hasn't been done already). They would integrate better with the other applications and the OS that way, and it wouldn't create an unnecessary gap between the standard Linux applications and the Sugar activities.


Guillaume
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:35 PM
David Van Assche
 
Default Sugar in Edubuntu 11.04

Hi Guillaume,
** For those not familiar with Sugar, a lot of your concerns are valid, though slightly confusing. Sugar is not an OS but an educational environment that runs through a python based UI, similar to many of the other educational apps already found on Edubuntu (gcompris being one example, though it has been highly adapted to work with Sugar as an integrated educational activity there [runs better inside sugar than out, IMHO]) One the biggest benefits Sugar would bring is the quite unique and original concept of multiuser based sessions whereby people can share activities in numerous ways -- Collaboration. Since Telepathy allows this to happen and it is now quite standardised in Gnome environments there wouldn't be much additional software that needs to be installed, and it allows a huge array of collaborative possibilities between people and across applications, many which don't even need to run from within sugar. Another benefit is the use of the Journal, whereby students use a modernised version of searching and finding their documents, activities, or anything they have done with the system.

* In order to fully comprehend this, one must actually use Sugar and it will quickly become apparent why users would benefit from what it has to offer. My quick explanation doesn't do it justice. Sugar has been well adapted to work with many operating systems including Fedora, OpenSUSE, Mandriva, Gentoo and even Debian. Ubuntu is lagging behind there, and it doesn't need to be.

** Though sugar can indeed run activites without the need for the whole UI, it doesn't really make much sense as one looses the unique benefits that make sugar a great educational platform (network neighbourhood, collaboration, journal.)

** Apart from that, there are hundreds of activities that run in the environment which if bundled in a nice package for edubuntu would not only attract users for Sugar, but might make edubuntu itself more attractive to end users. The work required to package the chosen activities and the possible small hacks required to make it play nice on ubuntu are really not much work, and highly interesting for schools, and especially students between the ages of 3-16.


But again, there has to be some interest to do this. The question isn't really if Sugar is worthy of being on edubuntu, but if there are enough people out there interested in seeing it on an edubuntu distro.


Installing Sugar by itself, either via a stick or from packages is not really very doable at the moment, and in my opinion this is where the work has to go, although not in making them standalone... that would defeat the purpose of sugar as well as making future sugar releases incompatible with sugar on ubuntu.


So... apart from the cosmetic enhancments to make it play nice on ubuntu (python hacking) the community would have to choose which activities to package, and then maintain those packages as future activity releases happen.


kind regards,
David Van Assche


On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 9:05 PM, Guillaume Ardaud <guillaume.ardaud@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello all,
My feeling about Sugar is that while it is has many advantages as a standalone system for the purpose it was conceived (i.e. a kid friendly netbook), I don't see the clear benefit in having it included in Edubuntu out of the box.



From the user point of view, Sugar acts like an OS within the OS, and I see it causing more confusion than good.
One might argue that software such as GCompris have a somewhat comparable approach, but at least they do not deal with system related preferences and do not include software that is redundant with software already present on the system (browser, text editor, etc.).



And as it has been mentioned, the user can easily install Sugar by himself if it is needed.
What activities from Sugar do you see benefitting directly Edubuntu? It might be wiser to find a way to directly make these into standalone Linux packages (if it hasn't been done already). They would integrate better with the other applications and the OS that way, and it wouldn't create an unnecessary gap between the standard Linux applications and the Sugar activities.



Guillaume


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Old 01-12-2011, 12:55 AM
Guillaume Ardaud
 
Default Sugar in Edubuntu 11.04

David,

Thanks for your thorough answer!
I am quite familiar with Sugar, and agree with you on the pertinence of some of its concepts and mechanisms (notably the journal, etc.) in the context of education/the classroom.


My main objection, however, is that Edubuntu does not share these mechanisms, thus creating a marked gap between what a user experiences when using Sugar compared to what he normally experiences using Edubuntu; and in the end, I believe that this creates a subpar user experience.*


What is the utility of having Gnome as the Edubuntu UI for most activities, and then having Sugar as an intermediary UI for a subset of activities? In an ideal system, we either have everything integrated with Gnome, or everything integrated with the Sugar UI, but it does not make much sense to me to have these 2 distinct layers.


It just occurred to me that perhaps you were talking about bringing the journal, telepathy sessions, etc. to Edubuntu as a whole, in which case my point is moot; and I believe such a direction would be worthy.


Ultimately however, any efforts in that direction would be useful somehow; I just think that these concerns are worth considering. In any case, it is definitely something worth exploring; as you said, there is no reason for Ubuntu to keep lagging in the domain of Sugar integration.


Guillaume
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:23 AM
Caroline Meeks
 
Default Sugar in Edubuntu 11.04

Hi,
I have worked with Sugar with students and I am currently working on a USB bootable ubuntu stick project with software fairly close to Edubuntu. *The target for my current project is families so we are using the Netbook Remix UI and software*chosen*by the Open1to1 project in Maine.


We would love to also have a working Sugar UI available on our USB Sticks. *I think we would use it as a default for young children probably 3 - 9 or so, allowing each child to move to another desktop as they*individually*became ready for the increased*cognitive*complexity. * Also The Sugar Activities Portal would be valuable for use cases, such as in schools, where we might want to only allow students to install educational software.


This spring we are working with the Haitian Coalition in a housing project in Somerville MA. *There are a number of XO-Sugar pilots in Haiti and having Sugar available would be helpful for collaboration. *There are 1 to 2*million*kids using Sugar around the world. *Here in the US most urban schools have kids who's families are from places with Sugar deployments. *This means there are also culturally specific Sugar Activities for many of these countries. *Little things, like a map that helps you memorize the rivers and provinces of Uraguay. *Having Sugar as an option to use these native language and culturally*familiar*programs could be valuable. The value of a program like*Conozco Uruguay, in a US School isn't about learning the geography of Uruguay, but it could be very valuable to make families from Uruguay feel included and seen, and to help children*empathize*and understand how they are like children from other parts of the world. *Sugar has incredible promise in terms of cross cultural education.




I know there are limited technical resources but I wanted to let you know where and why I see the value.




Thanks!Caroline Meeks




On Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 8:55 PM, Guillaume Ardaud <guillaume.ardaud@gmail.com> wrote:


David,

Thanks for your thorough answer!
I am quite familiar with Sugar, and agree with you on the pertinence of some of its concepts and mechanisms (notably the journal, etc.) in the context of education/the classroom.




My main objection, however, is that Edubuntu does not share these mechanisms, thus creating a marked gap between what a user experiences when using Sugar compared to what he normally experiences using Edubuntu; and in the end, I believe that this creates a subpar user experience.*




What is the utility of having Gnome as the Edubuntu UI for most activities, and then having Sugar as an intermediary UI for a subset of activities? In an ideal system, we either have everything integrated with Gnome, or everything integrated with the Sugar UI, but it does not make much sense to me to have these 2 distinct layers.




It just occurred to me that perhaps you were talking about bringing the journal, telepathy sessions, etc. to Edubuntu as a whole, in which case my point is moot; and I believe such a direction would be worthy.




Ultimately however, any efforts in that direction would be useful somehow; I just think that these concerns are worth considering. In any case, it is definitely something worth exploring; as you said, there is no reason for Ubuntu to keep lagging in the domain of Sugar integration.




Guillaume

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