Sugar on Beagle Board training at ESC Boston

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Jason Kridner

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Aug 15, 2008, 11:01:39 PM8/15/08
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Call for presentation from Sugar developers,

I think it would be great if the Sugar community would put forth a
training at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston in October[1].
They will be holding several classes[2] on the Beagle Board and I
believe the board is well-suited for higher-level educational
environments (low-cost, low-power, small, DSP capabilities, 3D
graphics, etc.). It is certainly no OLPC replacement, but I'd like to
get the people who are playing with that board thinking a bit
differently about how we train programmers to think about computers--
and I believe Sugar is a good tool for that.

The Beagle Board is an ARM-based platform that is intentionally
incomplete[3] (no case, no built-in LCD, no built-in Ethernet, etc.).
It *is* intended to promote TI's OMAP3530 device which comes from an
architecture originally intended for mobile phones and I'd understand
if the tie-in with a particular company's promotional goals puts some
people off, so I want to be up-front about that. Still, there are a
lot of developers who are interested in the platform and, being a fan
of the OLPC software architecture, I don't want them to miss out on
Sugar.

Let me know if you are interested. I'd be happy to help with the
port. Python, GTK+, and GECKO are already running.

Regards,
Jason Kridner

[1] http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS8405005860.html
[2] http://www.cmp-egevents.com/web/escb/beagleboard
[3] http://beagleboard.org

Jason Kridner

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Aug 18, 2008, 5:00:04 PM8/18/08
to su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org

Regards,
Jason Kridner

P.S. Sorry to Beagle subscribers for double-post. Original e-mail was
sent from wrong address and was bounced by the Sugar mailing list.

David Farning

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Aug 18, 2008, 10:23:29 PM8/18/08
to Jason Kridner, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
On Mon, 2008-08-18 at 16:00 -0500, Jason Kridner wrote:
> Call for presentation from Sugar developers,
>
> I think it would be great if the Sugar community would put forth a
> training at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston in October[1].

What sort of class do you have in mind? I will see what we can put
together.

> They will be holding several classes[2] on the Beagle Board and I
> believe the board is well-suited for higher-level educational
> environments (low-cost, low-power, small, DSP capabilities, 3D
> graphics, etc.). It is certainly no OLPC replacement, but I'd like to
> get the people who are playing with that board thinking a bit
> differently about how we train programmers to think about computers--
> and I believe Sugar is a good tool for that.

Further collaboration between the embedded world and Sugar has the
potential for significant payoffs down the road. We share a common
interest in doing more with less. Less power, less cpu, less memory,
more usefulness.

> The Beagle Board is an ARM-based platform that is intentionally
> incomplete[3] (no case, no built-in LCD, no built-in Ethernet, etc.).
> It *is* intended to promote TI's OMAP3530 device which comes from an
> architecture originally intended for mobile phones and I'd understand
> if the tie-in with a particular company's promotional goals puts some
> people off, so I want to be up-front about that. Still, there are a
> lot of developers who are interested in the platform and, being a fan
> of the OLPC software architecture, I don't want them to miss out on
> Sugar.

I see no conflict of interest engaging with potential partners who have
a commercial interest in seeing Sugar improve.

> Let me know if you are interested. I'd be happy to help with the
> port. Python, GTK+, and GECKO are already running.

I have subscribed to the beagleboard group at google. Please let me
know if they are other communication channels to which I should
subscribe.

In terms of getting a project like this going.

1. Gather together a small group of people who are interested in the
port.

2. Create a minimal infrastructure. Wiki page, mailing list.... to
coordinate your work.

3. Start working on the port.

4. As soon as you have made some reasonable progress on the port, go to
the nearest mountaintop and start yelling, 'look at the cool project we
are working on.'

5. Repeat step 1 though 4.

I will assist you however I can in steps 1,2, and 4. My short term goal
will be be replacing myself with someone who can help you with steps
1-4;)

thanks
dfarning

Jason Kridner

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Aug 19, 2008, 8:54:17 AM8/19/08
to Tomeu Vizoso, dfar...@sugarlabs.org, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 3:01 AM, Tomeu Vizoso <to...@tomeuvizoso.net> wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 4:23 AM, David Farning <dfar...@sugarlabs.org> wrote:
>> On Mon, 2008-08-18 at 16:00 -0500, Jason Kridner wrote:
>>> Call for presentation from Sugar developers,
>>>
>>> I think it would be great if the Sugar community would put forth a
>>> training at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston in October[1].
>>
>> What sort of class do you have in mind? I will see what we can put
>> together.

It is a 90 minute session. I think some small portion covering the
experience of the port would be useful, but I would be particularly
interested in 2 aspects:
* Can and how can Sugar be used to provide a rapid prototyping
front-end to embedded devices targeted towards some end-equipment
space?
* Is graphical programming something useful outside of education and why?

Those certainly don't have to be the topics, but those are interesting
to me and I think could help close the gap between the educational
programming and embedded programming divide.

Electronic collaboration is becoming a very important aspect of our
daily lives and it is becoming quite possible for many more people to
create devices that solve different aspects of this collaboration. It
can be shown that building a UI in Sugar is relatively simple and that
collaboration capabilities can "come for almost free". Just one idea,
could something like this be put into the UI for a caller-ID telephone
to share notes and address book entries with the other phones in the
house? It doesn't have to be the most practical idea you ever heard,
since the idea is to get the audience thinking about the problems for
themselves and to walk out with a new tool in their belt.

Simply understanding the value for building educational devices would
be useful, though most of the audience won't be building educational
devices. It is better to show that Sugar and graphical programming
can be used to enable devices that could previously only be programmed
by experts can now have programmable capabilities controllable by
many, many more people. That seems like something useful to me in our
everyday lives, rather than just in the classroom.

The class will be hands-on, so the "show me, don't tell me" principle
should apply.

>>
>>> They will be holding several classes[2] on the Beagle Board and I
>>> believe the board is well-suited for higher-level educational
>>> environments (low-cost, low-power, small, DSP capabilities, 3D
>>> graphics, etc.). It is certainly no OLPC replacement, but I'd like to
>>> get the people who are playing with that board thinking a bit
>>> differently about how we train programmers to think about computers--
>>> and I believe Sugar is a good tool for that.
>>
>> Further collaboration between the embedded world and Sugar has the
>> potential for significant payoffs down the road. We share a common
>> interest in doing more with less. Less power, less cpu, less memory,
>> more usefulness.
>

> One more point where can be synergy between the two projects is that
> Sugar has shown how viable is to do an alternate desktop with
> technologies like python, the GNOME stack, etc. Even if people decide
> to build their own thing instead of just porting it, Sugar will
> benefit from other platforms using these technologies in similar ways,
> and we can share our experience in exchange.

Great!

>>> Let me know if you are interested. I'd be happy to help with the
>>> port. Python, GTK+, and GECKO are already running.
>

> That's already a very big part of what's needed. Would love to have
> some spare cycles to directly help in the port, but I guess I will
> only be able to answer questions for the foreseeable future.

I think getting Sugar running will be the easy part. I need someone
willing to teach a class about this port.

>> I have subscribed to the beagleboard group at google. Please let me
>> know if they are other communication channels to which I should
>> subscribe.
>>
>> In terms of getting a project like this going.
>>
>> 1. Gather together a small group of people who are interested in the
>> port.
>

> Yes, I trust some current contributors to Sugar will be interested in
> helping with the port.


>
>> 2. Create a minimal infrastructure. Wiki page, mailing list.... to
>> coordinate your work.
>

> Specially at the beginning, keep the Sugar mailing list informed of
> your progresses.

I'm familiar with eLinux wiki, so I created a page there[4]. I think
we can follow-up on this e-mail thread for now, with both mailing
lists copied, depending on how many people get involved. I'm
'jkridner' on IRC and will frequent the #beagle and #sugar channels.
We can all update status on the wiki page. A related page on the
Sugar wiki might make sense at some point.

>> 3. Start working on the port.

Will do. 'git' is next on my list to build for the Beagle Board going
down the native build path. I'm going to try native on-top of
Angstrom first, then revert to cross-compilation where I get stuck.

>>
>> 4. As soon as you have made some reasonable progress on the port, go to
>> the nearest mountaintop and start yelling, 'look at the cool project we
>> are working on.'
>>
>> 5. Repeat step 1 though 4.
>>
>> I will assist you however I can in steps 1,2, and 4. My short term goal
>> will be be replacing myself with someone who can help you with steps
>> 1-4;)
>

> Good luck!
>
> Tomeu

Thanks, but again, doing the port is one thing. I'd need a Sugar
community person to track the port progress and give the talk. They'd
need to get familiar with the Beagle Board soon.

Regards,
Jason

[4] http://elinux.org/BeagleBoardSugar

Tomeu Vizoso

unread,
Aug 19, 2008, 4:01:17 AM8/19/08
to dfar...@sugarlabs.org, Jason Kridner, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 4:23 AM, David Farning <dfar...@sugarlabs.org> wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-08-18 at 16:00 -0500, Jason Kridner wrote:
>> Call for presentation from Sugar developers,
>>
>> I think it would be great if the Sugar community would put forth a
>> training at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston in October[1].
>
> What sort of class do you have in mind? I will see what we can put
> together.
>
>> They will be holding several classes[2] on the Beagle Board and I
>> believe the board is well-suited for higher-level educational
>> environments (low-cost, low-power, small, DSP capabilities, 3D
>> graphics, etc.). It is certainly no OLPC replacement, but I'd like to
>> get the people who are playing with that board thinking a bit
>> differently about how we train programmers to think about computers--
>> and I believe Sugar is a good tool for that.
>
> Further collaboration between the embedded world and Sugar has the
> potential for significant payoffs down the road. We share a common
> interest in doing more with less. Less power, less cpu, less memory,
> more usefulness.

One more point where can be synergy between the two projects is that


Sugar has shown how viable is to do an alternate desktop with
technologies like python, the GNOME stack, etc. Even if people decide
to build their own thing instead of just porting it, Sugar will
benefit from other platforms using these technologies in similar ways,
and we can share our experience in exchange.

>> Let me know if you are interested. I'd be happy to help with the


>> port. Python, GTK+, and GECKO are already running.

That's already a very big part of what's needed. Would love to have


some spare cycles to directly help in the port, but I guess I will
only be able to answer questions for the foreseeable future.

> I have subscribed to the beagleboard group at google. Please let me


> know if they are other communication channels to which I should
> subscribe.
>
> In terms of getting a project like this going.
>
> 1. Gather together a small group of people who are interested in the
> port.

Yes, I trust some current contributors to Sugar will be interested in
helping with the port.

> 2. Create a minimal infrastructure. Wiki page, mailing list.... to
> coordinate your work.

Specially at the beginning, keep the Sugar mailing list informed of
your progresses.

> 3. Start working on the port.


>
> 4. As soon as you have made some reasonable progress on the port, go to
> the nearest mountaintop and start yelling, 'look at the cool project we
> are working on.'
>
> 5. Repeat step 1 though 4.
>
> I will assist you however I can in steps 1,2, and 4. My short term goal
> will be be replacing myself with someone who can help you with steps
> 1-4;)

Good luck!

Tomeu

David Farning

unread,
Aug 19, 2008, 8:44:50 PM8/19/08
to iaep, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
It has been a bit of a plug but it looks like we have reach critical
mass for a self sustaining embedded Sugar community.

The first board will be the beagleboard[1]. We have assembled a core
group of developers who are in doing the port. We will be using the
Open Embedded[2] toolkit.

OE is an interesting toolkit because it is both a cross compiler and an
embedded package management system.

thanks
dfarning

1. http://beagleboard.org/
2. http://www.openembedded.org/


Bill Gatliff

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Aug 19, 2008, 10:29:53 PM8/19/08
to beagl...@googlegroups.com, iaep, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
David Farning wrote:
> It has been a bit of a plug but it looks like we have reach critical
> mass for a self sustaining embedded Sugar community.

I love the idea of getting a critical mass around something, but I don't yet
"get it" regarding Sugar for embedded work. The problem is most likely that I'm
not thinking out-of-the-box, but if you present Sugar at ESC then you're going
to have to really know--- and show--- the embedded itches that Sugar can scratch
to a room full of people like me. A demo of a pretty UI on non-PC hardware
isn't enough.

I'm not discarding Sugar's contribution to the computing community as a whole,
and I'm certainly not suggesting that Sugar lacks anything to offer for embedded
applications. I just want to make sure that while your new team is busy getting
Sugar to work on beagleboard, they're also thinking about how to package its
"sell" to the larger embedded audience. Do that right, and you'll never have to
struggle for critical mass again. Do that poorly, however, and all the effort
goes nowhere.

Case in point. I happen to think Forth is cool for embedded work, but it hasn't
caught on. The problem isn't that Forth lacks advocacy, it's that Forth lacks
advocacy by those who can credibly "sell" it as a solution that embedded
developers need. So we remain stuck with uBoot. :)


So, sell Sugar to me!


b.g.
--
Bill Gatliff
bg...@billgatliff.com

Bill Gatliff

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Aug 19, 2008, 10:29:53 PM8/19/08
to beagl...@googlegroups.com, iaep, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
David Farning wrote:
> It has been a bit of a plug but it looks like we have reach critical
> mass for a self sustaining embedded Sugar community.

I love the idea of getting a critical mass around something, but I don't yet

David Farning

unread,
Aug 20, 2008, 4:27:50 PM8/20/08
to beagl...@googlegroups.com, iaep, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
On Tue, 2008-08-19 at 21:29 -0500, Bill Gatliff wrote:
> David Farning wrote:
> > It has been a bit of a plug but it looks like we have reach critical
> > mass for a self sustaining embedded Sugar community.
>
> I love the idea of getting a critical mass around something, but I don't yet
> "get it" regarding Sugar for embedded work.

<snipped>

> So, sell Sugar to me!

I am sorry if I have in any way misrepresented myself. I am not
interested in selling sugar.

On the other hand, I am interested in locating and fostering communities
which share common goals with Sugar and Sugar Labs.

Why Sugar? I do not believe that Sugar is the one true desktop. I
won't even go so far as to say that Sugar is the one true educational
environment. What I do believe is that the open source development
model can be used to create an educational stack which is socially
beneficial and commercially viable. Sugar can be an important part of
that stack.

Why Sugar Labs? Currently, Sugar Lab's primary mission is to support
the One Laptop Per Child project. Nearly all of our developers are
working to support OLPC either by directly supporting the current Sugar
release or planning future releases.

>From an economic perspective, the strength of the open source
development model comes from the ability for potential competitors to
collaborate on common frameworks while competing by differentiating
other parts of the stack.

OLPC is shouldering the majority of the cost of Sugar development. My
goal for the last several weeks has been to help form communities that
share an interest in distributing the Sugar desktop to a wider audience.
The first step in that goal has been to encourage Linux distributions to
package the Sugar core and activities.

Once the packages have stabilized, I will recontact the educational
'spins' about making liveCDs and spins that directly support Sugar as a
desktop. The third step in this process will be to directly approach
the distributions about integrating Sugar into their business models of
'give away the software and sell the support.'

The end goal of this effort is to make Sugar a commodity component of
the educational stack.

Why embedded sugar? The recent successes of the ASUS Eee PC, OLPC XO,
and Intel Classmate have blurred the definition of 'portable' computer
from shrunk down, ruggedized personal computer to embedded device with
extended IO capabilities.

>From an Engineering perspective, the goals of the primary target device
for Sugar align closely with those of embedded devices. More with Less.
We constantly asd, 'How can we increase usability while reducing power
consumption, size, and cost?'

Traditionally, laptop manufactures have been competing by leveraging
Moore's law into more speed, memory, and features. Consumers have grown
accustomed to the upgrade cycle.

One Laptop Per Child turned that model on its head. They specified
minimum features that would meet their goals. They then designed a
device that would meet those goals while keeping cost and size at a
minimum.

It is reasonable to credit OLPC with establishing the $100 laptop
market. Neither ASUS, Intel nor any of the other players would have
been willing to undercut their existing markets without the threat of
the XO. While we are not there yet, the $100 dollar laptop is feasible
in the near future.

As with the Sugar desktop, I do not believe that the XO is the one true
laptop or learning device. It is and can continue to be a valuable
hardware platform for running the educational stack.

Why embedded? Current embedded CPUs are powerful enough to run the
Sugar desktop.

The embedded industry has years of experience designing and implementing
shock resistant, dust resistant, vibration resistant, and extreme
temperature resistant devices.

The embedded industry has years of experience competing on cost.

The embedded industry has recently made significant progress at reducing
power usage and extending battery life in cell phone and other mobile
devices.

The embedded industry is making progress developing toolkits where
porting software between platforms is becoming more and more
transparent.

I Haven't been working with Sugar on embedded devices long enough to
form concrete, long term goals. But for the short term, and as a
possible presentation topic for the up coming conference, controlling a
LEGO mindstorms robot via Sugar activity running on a BeagleBoard would
be pretty cool:)

I hope this explains my goals for Sugar Labs and the reasons for those
goals. If your goal coincide with any of our goals, I hope we can work
together for our mutually benefit.

thanks
dfarning

Greg Dekoenigsberg

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Aug 20, 2008, 4:40:11 PM8/20/08
to David Farning, beagl...@googlegroups.com, iaep, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org

On Wed, 20 Aug 2008, David Farning wrote:

> On Tue, 2008-08-19 at 21:29 -0500, Bill Gatliff wrote:
>> David Farning wrote:
>>> It has been a bit of a plug but it looks like we have reach critical
>>> mass for a self sustaining embedded Sugar community.
>>
>> I love the idea of getting a critical mass around something, but I don't yet
>> "get it" regarding Sugar for embedded work.
>
> <snipped>
>
>> So, sell Sugar to me!
>
> I am sorry if I have in any way misrepresented myself. I am not

> interested in selling Sugar.

Then let me give it a try. :)

The most interesting initial design goal of Sugar, to me, could be
encapsulated in three words:

Sharing By Default.

A desktop that allows you to see all of your friends? Interact with them
in real-time in any activity you wanted, be it music, drawing,
storytelling, games, programming? That, to me, was a compelling idea.

Sugar is still a-ways away from achieving that vision. But from where I
sit, Sugar is the only project that is actively pursuing it.

When the metaphor for interacting with your environment changes, the
thinking changes right along with it. Sugar, done right, puts sharing
with other people right dead in the middle of the computing experience.
That's what makes it compelling to me.

Some people agree with that vision. Some people don't. My goal is to
energize and empower that first group. :)

--g

Greg Dekoenigsberg

unread,
Aug 20, 2008, 4:40:11 PM8/20/08
to David Farning, beagl...@googlegroups.com, iaep, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org

On Wed, 20 Aug 2008, David Farning wrote:

> On Tue, 2008-08-19 at 21:29 -0500, Bill Gatliff wrote:
>> David Farning wrote:
>>> It has been a bit of a plug but it looks like we have reach critical
>>> mass for a self sustaining embedded Sugar community.
>>
>> I love the idea of getting a critical mass around something, but I don't yet
>> "get it" regarding Sugar for embedded work.
>
> <snipped>
>
>> So, sell Sugar to me!
>
> I am sorry if I have in any way misrepresented myself. I am not

Edward Cherlin

unread,
Aug 20, 2008, 5:41:57 PM8/20/08
to Bill Gatliff, beagl...@googlegroups.com, iaep, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 7:29 PM, Bill Gatliff <bg...@billgatliff.com> wrote:
> David Farning wrote:
>> It has been a bit of a plug but it looks like we have reach critical
>> mass for a self sustaining embedded Sugar community.
>
> I love the idea of getting a critical mass around something, but I don't yet
> "get it" regarding Sugar for embedded work. The problem is most likely that I'm
> not thinking out-of-the-box, but if you present Sugar at ESC then you're going
> to have to really know--- and show--- the embedded itches that Sugar can scratch
> to a room full of people like me. A demo of a pretty UI on non-PC hardware
> isn't enough.
>
> I'm not discarding Sugar's contribution to the computing community as a whole,
> and I'm certainly not suggesting that Sugar lacks anything to offer for embedded
> applications. I just want to make sure that while your new team is busy getting
> Sugar to work on beagleboard, they're also thinking about how to package its
> "sell" to the larger embedded audience. Do that right, and you'll never have to
> struggle for critical mass again. Do that poorly, however, and all the effort
> goes nowhere.
>
> Case in point. I happen to think Forth is cool for embedded work, but it hasn't
> caught on.

Except at Sun, Apple, and OLPC in the form of Open Firmware, and in a
few other such places where the casual observer wouldn't know about
it.

> The problem isn't that Forth lacks advocacy, it's that Forth lacks
> advocacy by those who can credibly "sell" it as a solution that embedded
> developers need.

If I didn't have more urgent things to do, I would love the
opportunity to sell GPLed FORTH/Open Firmware plus consulting to all
of the PC board makers in place of the next billion proprietary BIOS
chips. I expect that to be one of the lucrative spinoffs from the OLPC
project, just like Pixel Qi's daylight-readable screens and the A123
LiFeP batteries.

> So we remain stuck with uBoot. :)

Makes no sense to me. I would expect OFW to be smaller, faster, and
easier to work with. But what do I know? Ask Mitch Bradley for an
informed opinion.

> So, sell Sugar to me!

I wonder whether you are thinking only of embedded Sugar competing
with the XO in schools. Let me suggest a different scenario.

We are working on a literacy project within Sugar, combining a
multilingual text-to-speech engine with karaoke-style text coloring,
as in the Same Language Subtitling practiced in India. SLS in
Bollywood musicals and TV singalongs has proven to be a spectactularly
successful literacy program, measured in bang/Rupee. Little old ladies
who thought they were past it and would never be able to read anything
have been going to musicals six or seven times over, memorizing all
the songs, and singing along with all the rest of the audience. With
SLS they have unconsciously started learning to read. It's a real
revelation to them. Now imagine the poor man's music player with a
graphical text display, sold as a learning device, not just as
entertainment.

Another aspect of this is that XOs can read to the illiterate and
preliterate without regard to teaching reading, providing access to
all kinds of software and information.

Now consider a handheld reading device, with or without a screen.
Consider machinery that comes with spoken instruction in addition to
printed manuals. Think what people might come up with when they are
not bound to the form factors of the conventional devices of the West.
Talking POS? Talking GPS and ATMs already exist for the blind. Talking
voting machines that can read your ballot back to you so that you know
that what you picked on the screen is what will go into the ballot
box? With a bit of speech recognition and OCR to open up these and
even more opportunities.

OK, that was one piece of Sugar software. How about Measure for
Free/Open Source digital oscilloscopes? How about mesh-networked
medical equipment, like the prototype EKG currently in GSoC? Emergency
communications systems? Engineering and scientific measuring
instruments? MIDI musical instruments? A voice-chat, mesh-networked
replacement for mobile phones? If we want to get a little more
blue-sky, how about Open Source cars with built-in driving
instruction?

> b.g.
> --
> Bill Gatliff
> bg...@billgatliff.com

> _______________________________________________
> Sugar mailing list
> Su...@lists.laptop.org
> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/sugar
>

--
Silent Thunder [ 默雷 / शब्दगर्ज ] is my name,
And Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place,
And Truth my destination.

Edward Cherlin

unread,
Aug 20, 2008, 5:41:57 PM8/20/08
to Bill Gatliff, beagl...@googlegroups.com, iaep, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 7:29 PM, Bill Gatliff <bg...@billgatliff.com> wrote:
> David Farning wrote:
>> It has been a bit of a plug but it looks like we have reach critical
>> mass for a self sustaining embedded Sugar community.
>
> I love the idea of getting a critical mass around something, but I don't yet
> "get it" regarding Sugar for embedded work. The problem is most likely that I'm
> not thinking out-of-the-box, but if you present Sugar at ESC then you're going
> to have to really know--- and show--- the embedded itches that Sugar can scratch
> to a room full of people like me. A demo of a pretty UI on non-PC hardware
> isn't enough.
>
> I'm not discarding Sugar's contribution to the computing community as a whole,
> and I'm certainly not suggesting that Sugar lacks anything to offer for embedded
> applications. I just want to make sure that while your new team is busy getting
> Sugar to work on beagleboard, they're also thinking about how to package its
> "sell" to the larger embedded audience. Do that right, and you'll never have to
> struggle for critical mass again. Do that poorly, however, and all the effort
> goes nowhere.
>
> Case in point. I happen to think Forth is cool for embedded work, but it hasn't
> caught on.

Except at Sun, Apple, and OLPC in the form of Open Firmware, and in a


few other such places where the casual observer wouldn't know about
it.

> The problem isn't that Forth lacks advocacy, it's that Forth lacks


> advocacy by those who can credibly "sell" it as a solution that embedded
> developers need.

If I didn't have more urgent things to do, I would love the


opportunity to sell GPLed FORTH/Open Firmware plus consulting to all
of the PC board makers in place of the next billion proprietary BIOS
chips. I expect that to be one of the lucrative spinoffs from the OLPC
project, just like Pixel Qi's daylight-readable screens and the A123
LiFeP batteries.

> So we remain stuck with uBoot. :)

Makes no sense to me. I would expect OFW to be smaller, faster, and


easier to work with. But what do I know? Ask Mitch Bradley for an
informed opinion.

> So, sell Sugar to me!

I wonder whether you are thinking only of embedded Sugar competing

> b.g.
> --
> Bill Gatliff
> bg...@billgatliff.com

Tomeu Vizoso

unread,
Aug 21, 2008, 4:34:15 AM8/21/08
to Bill Gatliff, beagl...@googlegroups.com, iaep, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 4:29 AM, Bill Gatliff <bg...@billgatliff.com> wrote:
> David Farning wrote:
>> It has been a bit of a plug but it looks like we have reach critical
>> mass for a self sustaining embedded Sugar community.
>
> I love the idea of getting a critical mass around something, but I don't yet
> "get it" regarding Sugar for embedded work. The problem is most likely that I'm
> not thinking out-of-the-box, but if you present Sugar at ESC then you're going
> to have to really know--- and show--- the embedded itches that Sugar can scratch
> to a room full of people like me. A demo of a pretty UI on non-PC hardware
> isn't enough.
>
> I'm not discarding Sugar's contribution to the computing community as a whole,
> and I'm certainly not suggesting that Sugar lacks anything to offer for embedded
> applications. I just want to make sure that while your new team is busy getting
> Sugar to work on beagleboard, they're also thinking about how to package its
> "sell" to the larger embedded audience. Do that right, and you'll never have to
> struggle for critical mass again. Do that poorly, however, and all the effort
> goes nowhere.

Two reasons I can think of:

- Learning using technology will get much more common in the near
future (or at least we're trying) and learners won't accept (or be
able to) having to access a "real" computer to do so. Embedded systems
and Sugar can play together an important role in this.

- More and more embedded systems are now using screens (because of
lower prices of flat screens?) and its designers will want to provide
richer interfaces to their users than beeps and leds can provide. The
technologies that Sugar is based on provide an interesting alternative
to Flash for more elaborate UIs.

If more comes to my head, will add later.

Regards,

Tomeu

Tomeu Vizoso

unread,
Aug 21, 2008, 4:34:15 AM8/21/08
to Bill Gatliff, beagl...@googlegroups.com, iaep, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 4:29 AM, Bill Gatliff <bg...@billgatliff.com> wrote:
> David Farning wrote:
>> It has been a bit of a plug but it looks like we have reach critical
>> mass for a self sustaining embedded Sugar community.
>
> I love the idea of getting a critical mass around something, but I don't yet
> "get it" regarding Sugar for embedded work. The problem is most likely that I'm
> not thinking out-of-the-box, but if you present Sugar at ESC then you're going
> to have to really know--- and show--- the embedded itches that Sugar can scratch
> to a room full of people like me. A demo of a pretty UI on non-PC hardware
> isn't enough.
>
> I'm not discarding Sugar's contribution to the computing community as a whole,
> and I'm certainly not suggesting that Sugar lacks anything to offer for embedded
> applications. I just want to make sure that while your new team is busy getting
> Sugar to work on beagleboard, they're also thinking about how to package its
> "sell" to the larger embedded audience. Do that right, and you'll never have to
> struggle for critical mass again. Do that poorly, however, and all the effort
> goes nowhere.

Two reasons I can think of:

Holger Levsen

unread,
Aug 21, 2008, 4:49:35 PM8/21/08
to ia...@lists.sugarlabs.org, dfar...@sugarlabs.org, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
Hi,

sugar has been ported to OpenWRT as well... (as of August 2nd).

I think it's just a normal package in kamikaze, I'm not fully sure though, so
I'll ask on IRC and correct myself here, _if_ that's wrong.


regards,
Holger

Walter Bender

unread,
Aug 22, 2008, 9:51:06 AM8/22/08
to Holger Levsen, ia...@lists.sugarlabs.org, dfar...@sugarlabs.org, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org
Could you please document this on the
http://sugarlabs.org/go/Supported_systems page? Thanks.

-walter

Holger Levsen

unread,
Oct 3, 2008, 10:28:17 AM10/3/08
to Walter Bender, ia...@lists.sugarlabs.org, dfar...@sugarlabs.org, su...@lists.laptop.org, discu...@beagleboard.org, la...@metafoo.de
Hi,

On Friday 22 August 2008 15:51, Walter Bender wrote:
> > On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 4:49 PM, Holger Levsen <hol...@layer-acht.org>

> > sugar has been ported to OpenWRT as well... (as of August 2nd).

> Could you please document this on the
> http://sugarlabs.org/go/Supported_systems page? Thanks.

AFAIK the openwrt sugar still is not polished enough that they consider
publishing the details. I've cc:ed Lars, the openwrt sugar maintainer, on
this mail, so he can comment on this himself.

http://wiki.olpc-deutschland.de/wiki/OpenWRT has some info (in german) how to
build OpenWRT XO images, but there is also nothing on sugar _yet_.


regards,
Holger

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