[Pkg-sugar-devel] Why track activity version numbers?

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Sat Apr 22 01:21:52 UTC 2017

On Sat, Apr 22, 2017 at 07:47:29AM +0800, Tony Anderson wrote:
> Hi, Jonas
> Thanks for the information about how to install the debian
> 'sucrose'. I need to give that a try.

You should wait for the next Debian release, as Sugar is not in the
current stable release of Debian.

> Consider this example:
>   author: Sugar coders (and GNU coders, Linux coders, etc.)
>   publisher: Sugarlabs via ASLO (and kernel.org, Github, etc.)
>   maintainer: James Cameron (and Redhat maintainers, etc.)
>   distro: OLPC
>   deployer: OLE Nepal team
>   admin: Parents, friends and siblings of children at Tundikhel
>   user: Children at Tundikhel
> My guess is that in this case there is no admin. Generally OLE Nepal
> sends a team to the site to do the deployment.
> James Cameron describes Sugar on the XO as the OLPC OS. These are
> released by him on [1]www.laptop.org. The current OLPC OS is
> 13.2.8. Generally, there is no maintenance. The changes come in new
> releases.

That's a load of bollocks.

Software maintenance is paid for and ongoing, and is delivered by
updated packages which are collected by a system update in some
deployments, or Sugar's software update in others.

If you only notice new releases of OLPC OS, then you've missed
everything else that happens.

Please, don't try to speak for me.  You'll get it wrong.

Software maintenance also generates pull requests and commits to Sugar
Labs repositories, and so from a Debian perspective this appears as
useful upstream activity.

> Fortunately, the system is mature enough that there are no critical
> bugs that prevent use of the system.  Also, in most deployments such
> as those by OLE Nepal, there is no internet access so many security
> concerns are moot.

Not so, in most deployments (by country quantity and unit quantity),
there is internet access, and security concerns are critical.

> So the above should probably be:
> author: members of the Sugar and open source community
> publisher: [2]www.laptop.org (James Cameron)
> maintainer: none in the sense you describe (note activities are independent of
> the system and are released to ASLO asynchronously).
> distro: de facto [3]www.laptop.org (OLPC) but should be Sugar Labs (debian,
> Ubuntu, Raspbian, etc.)
> deployer: OLE Nepal team
> user: children and teachers
> My real concern is that the Sugar desktop as installed have an
> identifiable version number (in Sugar it is shown in 'About My
> Computer' in 'MySettings').  Version 0.110 of Sugar should be the
> same in all distros of Sugar.

I disagree.  Deployers choose different versions of Sugar based on
pedogogical research, and this research is costly to repeat.

> The name sucrose is confusing and
> appears for historical reasons no longer applicable,

No, it remains applicable; it is the name given to the base Sugar
software environment plus the set of demonstration activities known as
Fructose.  Well-defined in the Glossary and Taxonomy on the Sugar
Wiki, and the terms are still in use.

> "I understand how admins and users perceive everything upstream as
> "an integral part of Sugar"
> Actually admins and users accept the installation of Sugar on their
> client as Sugar. Because such a limited number of users have access
> to the internet, ASLO is essentially unknown.
> This problem is the Sugar developers. Some see the activities
> incorporated by James Cameron in the OLPC OS versions as integral
> (although that lists varies by Xo model). Even the list of
> 'non-erasable' activities is somewhat arbitrary.  For example, the
> Chat activity is included but TurtleBlocks is not.

The protected activities list is set by the deployer; it is a
customisation step.  For Debian, it should be restricted to Terminal
and Browse, for without these a system is unusable, and it is the
Debian way to not restrict what a user does with their computer.

> So from a Debian perspective as distro of the Sugar desktop, making
> a canonical version available for even numbered releases of Sugar
> (0.110 -> 0.112) should be the pattern.

Certainly not.  Jonas and the other Debian maintainers should be
encouraged to package any Sugar release version or upstream patches.

> The desktop should include as activities Browse, Write, Chat, Log,
> Terminal, Record, Jukebox, and Image Viewer. Record is a problem
> because it provides the interface to the host's camera and
> microphone. Other activities can be made available by Sugar Labs (as
> distro) via ASLO for installation by users and admins.
> Naturally, I am speaking only for myself.


James Cameron

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