Today I've kick-started a newbie on building Sugar to fix a small bug
and submit his first patch.

It was just painful.  jhbuild has plenty of rough corners and we could
easily make things easier with a few changes:

1) Stop checking out random unstable versions of external projects.
They break very often, and we cannot fix them.  Let's instead upgrade
manually every once in a while after some testing.

2) Do not build C modules that is already available (and recent enough)
in popular distros.  Specifically: abiword, matchbox, hippocanvas...

3) Let's move etoys away from the base set of components: the repository
is often offline, building it breaks very often, and it takes a lot of
time.  You don't need it in order to test Sugar, the same way you don't
need TamTam and TurtleArt.

4) We could check for prerequisites before starting the build.  Some
configure scripts are stupid enough to fail tests silently and proceed
anyway using "no" as a command name in make :-)

If there's consensus on implementing one or more of these points, I can
provide patches (or just go on and commit them).

   // Bernie Innocenti -
 \X/  Sugar Labs       -
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