Re: [Sugar-devel] Journal feature request--more data in main display

2009-07-03 Thread James Zaki
Perhaps this is a late reply, (I am yet to read the last 6 or so digests of
to 20+ that were in my inbox)
But I am always sensitive of little incremental additions that seem like it
would be useful.

I always try to think about the first time I used sugar. In particular, what
helped by being very simple. We see sugar evolving, and perhaps forget what
it was like that first time. Perhaps we should harass some friends and
families' kids who've not seen it, and get their feedback.

If a child new to the sugar interface (XO or otherwise) feels bombarded with
options, it could make things harder.
Just my two cents I always voice on this.

In particular to the pictures, apart from the two identical cloud icons,
there are lots of activities in that dropdown. Has that always been so big?
To me that would be intimidating for the first user experience.


 Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 04:25:54 +
 From: Aleksey Lim
 Subject: Re: [Sugar-devel] Journal feature request--more data in main
 To: Gary C Martin
 Cc: Sugar Devel
 Message-ID: 20090703042553.ga15...@antilopa-gnu
 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

 On Fri, Jul 03, 2009 at 04:29:47AM +0100, Gary C Martin wrote:
  On 2 Jul 2009, at 02:40, Gary C Martin wrote:
  On 1 Jul 2009, at 10:54, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
  On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 18:14, Gary C
  - Better Anything toolbar filter palette (use a grid layout to
  Yeah, that will be great. I think Walter already submitted a patch to
  move the file types up.
  Yea, saw the patch from Walter, that alone should help even if we
  stall on doing more.
  I have a mock-up I was experimenting with grid layouts, still
  tinkering, and I can't think of a good 'filter' icon for the
  replacement button (a common one seems to be a funnel shape) :-)
  The Journal filters for 'Anything', 'Anytime', the proposed 'Anyone',
  and my below 'Tag' filters can all become toolbar icons (not text).
  This saves a heap of toolbar space, and allows room for a couple more
  buttons on the far right for 'Grid' and current 'List' view.
  Aleksey was keen to see any Journal mock-up work in progress I had,
  early as possible, so here's where I'm at :-) There's plenty to do
  still, images are intended to help bounce ideas about, poke at the grey
  matter between our ears, and get a feel for how things could (or not) be

 Some thoughts:

 * what about adding ultra compact list view for objects(not actions)
  like list view in Library[1]
  the purpose is, if user has lots of objects it could be useful idea to
  show as much as possible objects on one screen

  * having several column/grid layouts
for example its very useful for books to have columns for author,
genre, date; so, user can see the whole valuable info at once and sort
objects by these columns; and so separate layouts for video audio
etc. files

 * additional types of filters
  for example Library has[2] several types to filter objects

  * user tags
  * object traits(additional columns from previous section) like author,
genre, date for books
  * activity creators(grouping by activity_id field)
  * types of objects(like top section in filter palette)[3]
  * filter by participants
  * filter by sources(if we are in shared mode)

  I'm not sure that all of these modes are useful, but something could
  be(or another types)

 * several levels of chosen filters
  dunno about others but for me its very useful
  (see bottom panel on [4])
  for example I can filter all text/plane files and separate from them
  only objects that were made by Terminal activity



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Re: [Sugar-devel] [IAEP] Fwd: [Marketing] Press release flurry planning (LinuxTag - FOSSED - NECC - GUADEC)

2009-06-18 Thread James Zaki
+1 Bert and others

Outside of the opensource world I've seen many non-mainstream groups become
too thinly spread due the many dedicated individuals involved together. I've
seen in first hand in a few different sports, and know of it in a couple of
other examples, such as French left wing political parties.

I dont want to repeat everyone, but I fully agree with SoaS being Fedora,
and other distros a seperate thing for those want to do that.
If distro support was a task for the sweet sugar people there would be less
resources on actual sugar development.

Forgive me, as I tend to have a habit of stating the obvious.

Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 20:53:48 +0200
From: Bert Freudenberg
Subject: Re: [Sugar-devel] [IAEP] Fwd: [Marketing] Press release
   flurry  planning (LinuxTag - FOSSED - NECC - GUADEC)
To: Sugar-dev Devel
Cc: Marketing,  IAEP List
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes

On 18.06.2009, at 20:28, David Van Assche wrote:

 Soas = sugar on a stick whether that be on Fedora, Suse, debian,
 or mandriva... they are all the same thing, and I would argue SoaS is
 NOT a distro... just a dsitribution mechanism... for example, I call
 my opensuse based sugar on stick SoaS too, as that is technically what
 it is...

You can call that whatever you want, but please not in public. SoaS
means a very specific distro, not just any Linux+Sugar slapped onto a
USB flash drive.

 On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 8:25 PM, Sean wrote:
 I beg everyone's pardon, I was under the impression that SoaS is
 Fedora-specific... are there plans to do versions based on other

No, there are no such plans currently.

IMHO we should not water down the meaning of SoaS.

- Bert -
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Re: [Sugar-devel] I'm looking for a tree...

2009-06-08 Thread James Zaki
Not sure if you have found an answer to this yet, but with more information
about what you're trying to do could help with communicating the right
solution. Again I think a hash table can answer your questions about
fast-lookup, but it just depends your chosen key, and other requirements you
might have about sorting.

If its not too sugar specific, feel free to contact me directly.


2009/6/7 Benjamin M. Schwartz

 Lucian Branescu wrote:
  Would an ordered dictionary otherwise be all right, or am I
  misunderstanding your requirements? There are other implementations,

 No, an ordered dictionary is not enough.  All these ordered dictionaries
 are ordered either by time or by sorting the keys.  Neither will work for
 me.  The problem is simple: if I insert something at position 5, I need
 the object currently at position 5 to move to position 6, and the object
 currently at position 6 to move to position 7, etc.

 To accomplish this in an time-ordered odict, I would have to remove all
 keys subsequent to the insertion point, make the insertion, and then
 re-insert those keys.  That's O(n).

 To accomplish this in a sorted-order odict, I would have to generate a new
 key that causes my insertion to occur at the right location.  If there are
 repeated insertions at the same location, generating such keys becomes an
 O(n) operation.  To see this, suppose I am repeatedly inserting at the
 second position.  Initially, the keys are (0,1).  The first insertion has
 to pick a key between 0 and 1, e.g. 0.5.  The second insertion has to pick
 a key between 0 and 0.5: e.g. 0.25.  The number of bits required to store
 these keys to sufficient precision increases by one bit on each insertion.
  This means that the length of the keys is O(n), so every comparison is


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Re: [Sugar-devel] [IAEP] Getting data about the upgrading older machines and SoaS responsiveness.

2009-06-08 Thread James Zaki
With regards to the speed issue.

I tried SoaS on a USB2.0 (but not high-speed) memory-stick, performance was
hideous on a macbook.
Using a USB2.0 high-speed memory-stick, performance is great on an eeepc,
which has 1G Ram. I know its not small, but its all I have to compare with
for now.

So from what I have experienced the USB port would be the first target. I'll
hopefully get a chance to test on low-RAM school computers tomorrow.


2009/6/8 Jonas Smedegaard

 Hash: RIPEMD160

 On Sun, Jun 07, 2009 at 07:00:28PM -0400, Luke Faraone wrote:
 On Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 18:43, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
  It sound like another great, low impact (I am trying to think of a
  term like 'carbon foot print' to properly reflect the impact) way of
  bringing LTSP into the class room.
  polite or gentle perhaps?
  or non-invasive?  Emphasizing what is avoided: invading -
  potentially taking over, accidentally or on purpose, the computers
 Granted, you would *need* to check with your local systems
 administrator before implementing LTSP. (as opposed to a lower-risk
 USB-local-booting solution) At my school, for example, netbooting a
 workstation starts the recloning process of loading a new Windows XP
 image; setting up LTSP without asking would cause major problems with
 their work.

 non-invasive to the _computers_ but invasive to the network

 So yes, a better term would be good, to not risk sysadmins feeling
 cheated when learning the hard way that this so-called non-invasive
 system includes a DHCP daemon, breaking their WiFi hotspots, printers
 and what not.

  - Jonas

 - --
 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist og Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website:

  [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
 Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)

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Re: [Sugar-devel] I'm looking for a tree...

2009-06-07 Thread James Zaki
Hey Benjamin,

Taking a guess with the information you've given perhaps a hash
table help?

Fast lookup/retrieval, but just have to consider what you would enumerate as
the key, and loading.

Let me know if you want some help applying this, memories of a uni
assignment have just come flooding back.


2009/6/7 Benjamin M. Schwartz

 I am looking for a fast data structure with the following properties:

 Maintains an indexed list of arbitrary, non-ordered objects (like a python
 List or C array)
 Allows fast:
 Insertion at any location
 Deletion at any location
 Lookup of an object by its index
 Reverse lookup, to determine the index of an object

 Python's List has O(1) lookup, but O(N) insert, delete, and
 reverse-lookup.  To make reverse lookup O(1) I could maintain a separate
 Dict mapping objects to indices, but this would cost an additional O(N) on
 every insertion and deletion.

 A linked list has O(1) insertion and deletion, but O(N) lookup and O(N)
 reverse lookup.  I could maintain a separate Dict for the forward and
 reverse mappings, but this would cost O(N) on every insertion and deletion.

 A standard self-balancing tree cannot be used because the objects are not
 ordered, and self-balancing trees require ordered keys.  I could use the
 index of an object as the sort key, but then insertion and deletion are
 O(N) because all subsequent keys must be altered.  I could fabricate new
 sort keys to ensure that insertions occur at the desired location, but
 then the length of the keys will grow like O(N), making all operations at
 least O(N).

 I feel like there should be some kind of standard tree-like data structure
 that meets my requirements, but I can't find one.  Do you know of one?  Am
 I on a unicorn hunt?


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Re: [Sugar-devel] Success at the Gardner!

2009-06-05 Thread James Zaki
On the macbook front, I've started to chase the trackpad glitch upstream
with fedora. Am now running F11 on macbook5,1, but with external mouse. Will
update trac when I make progress.

Wifi and sound are not so bad to get going, but even then sound is not

Wifi had issues due to broadcom's proprietariness/legelness I think, hence
it not being included in Fedora. Is this an issue for deployments?

2009/6/5 Caroline Meeks

 The computer lab computers are now working with the 5/28 snapshot and the
 broadcom drivers.  The broadcom drivers are needed for internet access.
 Thank you Sebastian! Is the process documented anywhere?  I think other
 people with driver issues may want to try it.

 I've updated the wiki:

 We will be writing more on various lists next week but I wanted to share
 the good technical news immediately.

 Also they will not be using Macs very much this summer so we have a bit of
 breathing space on that till the fall. Macbook support is still important
 for the Lila Fredrick school, but for the Gardner having the computer lab
 working is a huge step forward.

 Thanks everyone!

 Caroline Meeks
 Solution Grove

 617-500-3488 - Office
 505-213-3268 - Fax

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Re: [Sugar-devel] Random numbers and the Journal

2009-06-05 Thread James Zaki
 I'm using python's random.getrandbits() to generate unique identifiers in
my program. However, I've discovered that when I start it from the
Journal, I get errors,

Perhaps its not the best practice to rely on a random number generator to
give unique identifiers. Would you not store a number with your program, to
guarantee uniqueness?
Unless I have mistaken the issue.

2009/6/5 Benjamin M. Schwartz

 I'm using python's random.getrandbits() to generate unique identifiers in
 my program.  However, I've discovered that when I start it from the
 Journal, I get errors, which I can trace to the random number generator
 producing the same sequence of random numbers that was generated when I
 started it the first time.  It is as if the random seed is being reset
 every time I launch from the Journal.

 Does anyone know what's going on here?


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Re: [Sugar-devel] Success at the Gardner!

2009-06-05 Thread James Zaki
Some people report the trackpad not working just for their Fedora installer.

Not sure what you mean by When the boothelper matched. Perhaps catch me on
#sugar to discuss (jzGreen).


2009/6/5 Dave Bauer

 On Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 10:30 AM, James Zaki wrote:

 On the macbook front, I've started to chase the trackpad glitch upstream
 with fedora. Am now running F11 on macbook5,1, but with external mouse. Will
 update trac when I make progress.

 James, i used the boothelper CD and if I used a boothelper on an older
 soas, the trackpad did not work. When the boothelper matched it worked ok.


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Re: [Sugar-devel] Fwd: journal criticism (was Re: Re: Re: [IAEP] [RELEASE] TurtleArt-51)

2009-05-28 Thread James Zaki
I did not know there was much debate about this, because for me the journal
in its current state made sense for the target audience of sugar.

Understanding hierarchical file structures use the concepts of containers
and recursion with no limits (except for total capacity). It is not
naturally intuitive, like a tree where branches get smaller from the trunk
with fruit/leaves only at the end nodes.

Empirically I've seen many new people approach computers (non-tech
elder-relatives included), and hierarchical structures are not initially
utilised. It was a secondary focus that had to be learnt out of necessity.
At the time I would say this was due to a lack filters at their disposal.

Tools such as GoogleDesktop or, more evidently, OS X  Spotlight are
conceptually more approachable to a beginner/non-tech person, and further
defers the need to learn about their tool rather than just using it
effectively immediately.

Perhaps an activity/game could be made that teaches the concepts of a
hierarchical file structure. It could demonstrate inifite recursion with
inifinite capacity at each node, but reward good storage somehow. Once
they complete the game to a certain level, then they can unlock heirarchical
file structures in journal?  But I think there is enough on everyone plates
for now before this gets considered.


2009/5/27 Tomeu Vizoso

 [forgot to add IAEP and sugar-devel]

 -- Forwarded message --
 From: Tomeu Vizoso
 Date: Wed, May 27, 2009 at 12:11
 Subject: journal criticism (was Re: Re: Re: [IAEP] [RELEASE] TurtleArt-51)
 Cc: Walter Bender

 Hi all,

 see my replies inline below. To everybody who would like to join this
 conversation: please change the subject line accordingly or this
 thread will become hard to follow.

 On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 04:54, wrote:
  Hi Tomeu  Walter
  I am happy to expand this to the list. I have raised the journal once or
 twice before but mainly kept quiet not wanting to be trollish.
   more but i cant easily find
  The journal and sharing are probably the two central things that
 distinguish sugar as as a purpose built learning platform. The team have a
 huge investment of time and energy and are rightly proud of their
 achievement. That presents a problem for constructive discussion around the
 journal, the last thing I want to do is be trollish and destructive.
  For me, the workings behind the journal are hidden and there is a lack of
 tools to make it do different things when the default operation is not what
 you want. Also temporal and tagging is fine as a primary method of storage
 but hierarchical storage is not offered as an alternate method.
  in addition to today's filename issue, other problems that I can
  altering the filenames and extensions of email attachments

 Could you please expand on this use case?

  offline web pages do not navigate because the directory structure is lost

 This is scheduled to be addressed in 0.86 by downloading the page as a
 zip file and storing that in the journal.

  can't inspect or alter mime to force something to open

 This could be fixed in the journal easily, with no need to refactor or
 throw out anything. We need more people to help us with developing
 Sugar further.

  journal spam

 In 0.84 landed several modifications that should improve this somehow,
 have you seen if that helped?

  (I haven't found a way to select a block so every spam item has to be
 individually deleted

 Would be awesome to be able to operate on multiple items at once, but
 unfortunately it hasn't been implemented yet.

  resume by default will probably cause students to lose work)

 Versioning in the journal is scheduled for 0.86, which should address this

  accidental overwriting of files through autosave

 Same as in the previous one, if I understand it correctly.

  Thanks for the feedback.
  Adding Tomeu, but we should probably expand the discussion to the list.
  I cannot argue with you that the fact that the Journal hid information
  from the user is a problem--really I would characterize it as a bug.
  But the goal of the Journal wasn't to simplify (and certainly not to
  hide information from the user) as much as it was to provide a
  representation of the file system that is first and foremost temporal
  rather than hierarchical with an emphasis on annotating, tagging, and
  searching rather than browsing. Secondary goals are automatic
  recording of actions and objects and the ability to extract from the
  Journal highlights. These latter goals could as well be accomplished
  using a hierarchical representation, but still would require a
  database backend of some sort.
  On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 7:18 PM, wrote:
   Thanks, I now have V51 on my XO

Re: [Sugar-devel] [IAEP] journal criticism

2009-05-28 Thread James Zaki
Not sure where my complete email went... something to do with awaiting
approval I think.
But just for clarity to all, I said the arrowed  text.

2009/5/28 Albert Cahalan

 James Zaki writes:

  Understanding hierarchical file structures use the concepts of containers
  and recursion with no limits (except for total capacity). It is not
  naturally intuitive, like a tree where branches get smaller from the
  with fruit/leaves only at the end nodes.
  Empirically I've seen many new people approach computers (non-tech
  elder-relatives included), and hierarchical structures are not initially
  utilised. It was a secondary focus that had to be learnt out of

 Perhaps the concept is easier to learn as a child. If you've gone
 many decades without it (non-tech elder relatives) and gotten set
 in your ways, you may be at a disadvantage.

 Let's not leave the next generation at a disadvantage too.

  Perhaps an activity/game could be made that teaches the concepts
  of a hierarchical file structure.

 That won't get enough use. Learning to deal with the general features
 of modern computing is much of the reason why the XO even exists, yet
 the children are denied the opportunity to learn about directories.

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Re: [Sugar-devel] classroom presenter, iTalc for sugar (possible ports for LinuxTag Berlin showoff)

2009-05-28 Thread James Zaki
I am very interested in the digital whiteboard at LinuxTag. I will be going,
and would love to be a part of it if you need some help.

Once I get my system(s) back up (tagging fedora bugs along the way). I will
try take a look into the Classroom presenter activity.

2009/5/28 David Van Assche

At LinuxTag Berlin, there are 3 areas that are of particular interest to
 me, and might be considered novelties in the way sugar can/will be presented
 there. From one side, I will be representing sugar packaging on the openSUSE
 platform, and being part of the opensuse-edu team, we will show off not only
 the live suse sugar cd/usb stick, but also the tight integration (including
 desktop launch icon) of sugar within the openSUSE 11.1 educational spin.
 Since kiwi-ltsp (A mature variant of LTSP 5) is quite integrated in the
 educational desktop, as is ejabberd, we will show off LTSP sugarised, with
 the approximately 50 sugar activities that have been packaged for openSUSE.
 Within the LTSP framework, we often use an application called iTalc, which
 allows for the remote administration (vnc on steroids) of desktop sessions,
 locking of sessions, passing around of sessions (for the classroom
 environment) as well as, intra station messaging (in case a particular
 station needs administrative help/training/support.) Right now, it runs
 great on the administrator machine, which doesn't need to and won't run
 Sugar. Basically from this view one can see screenshots of each desktop and
 by clicking on the desktop in question, one takes over or shares that
 session with that particular sugar user. There is more explanation and
 screenshots here:
 On the client side, it would be nice for someone to study how hard it would
 be to port to sugar. Its not massively important since it runs from gnome,
 but for scenarios where sugar is the only Desktop Environment, it would be
 nice to have this kind of controlling mechanism for the teacher/admin. For
 example, the teacher could collaboratively work on one session connected to
 a projector, and pass that session on friom student to student, with each of
 them carrying out some task. I have seen it used this way under Gnome with
 great success, and as Sugar is collaborative by nature, it seems like a
 perfect fit. So any sugar porting takers?

 On another note, I have successfully tested the home made whiteboard option
 using a wiimote and infra red pens. This approach allows for the building of
 an interactive whiteboard for under 50 euros. Unfortunately, the best
 software to use for something like this is classroom presenter, originally
 windows software allowing one to open a powerpoint/impress presenation and
 then draw upon that using the infra red pen. Classroom presenter was ported
 to sugar at one point. , but
 I'm not sure about its current status, only that it doesn't currently work.
 Again, it would be nice to fix this activity so we can show it off at
 LinuxTag and show people how to create a cheap sugarised interactive
 whiteboard for under 50 euros. If someone is interested in getting this
 activity working again for Sugar, that would be great.

 kind Regards,
 David (nubae) Van Assche

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Re: [Sugar-devel] #650 UNSP: Screenshots to use name of current activity as part of its default title

2009-05-26 Thread James Zaki
I added an updated patch as a file with this bug (650)

Whomever is in control, please updated any remaining trivial bugs and I will
I am new to python and opensource development, but seek to improve rapidly.

Thanks for you patience.

 Ticket URL:
 Sugar Labs
 Sugar Labs bug tracking system

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Re: [Sugar-devel] [IAEP] soas live cd on MacBook? How?

2009-05-23 Thread James Zaki
I have a new macbook, but have seen issue 1 and not 2.
Is there some sequence of usb/cd creation I should try that might produce
the problem?

Its intel mac only, right? My partner has a desktop mac running leopard, but
its intel also. I can later try on this setup if it would be of value.


2009/5/23 Caroline Meeks

 Hi Caryl,

 How is it going?

 I know of two potentail issues.

 1. Getting the right materials. At sugar camp we found that the USB created
 on the macbook was not working, only a PC created USB seemed to work. Plus
 you need both the USB and the boot helper.

 2. some macbooks have a bug, when you boot everything goes fine through
 most of the boot and just when you are about to get to Sugar you get a
 mostly black screen with a sqiggle in the middle.

 Where are you at? I especially need people with problem #2 because I don't
 have a test machine that shows it and its a show stopper for me for all work
 in Boston Public Schools because their macbooks have this issue.


 2009/5/20 Caryl Bigenho


 I downloaded soas-beta.iso to my MacBook and burned it to a disk.  I would
 like to get it to boot and be usable on the MacBook.  Does anyone know how
 to do this?



 IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)

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