Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One more call for help: please upload your activity bundles

Activity maintainers, please upload the latest versions of your activity bundles to

Also, note that you can now upload screenshots of your activity, see the "Edit previews" link in the editing options.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Call for help: pyabiword in Ubuntu Jaunty

Seems like, unless we make a strong final push, Write and other cool activities that make use of abiword won't run out of the box on the next Ubuntu release. This would mean a significantly less useful Sugar on what may be the widest available Linux distribution.

It would be a real pity because, in addition to the great work that Debian and Ubuntu packagers have already put during the last weeks, we'll have to tell people to use any of the other distributions that will package the whole of Sugar 0.84: Alt Linux, Fedora, Gentoo, Mandriva, openSUSE and Caixa Magica Magalhaes (as per

We still may have time to change this fate if we manage to convince the Ubuntu developers to accept a patch that will build abiword with the libabiword support we need, and package pyabiword.

So this is a call for people that can help with:
  • modify the abiword package in Ubuntu to produce and the accompanying -devel stuff,

  • package the pyabiword bindings,

  • push this through the Ubuntu processes so it gets into their next release,

  • forward this call for help to other forums.

Who in this community can help with this or knows someone who may be able to help?

Please update the wiki page linked above with the status of your efforts.

Monday, February 2, 2009

desktop specialization

Two recent posts in the GNOME Planet broadened my belief in that Sugar can give something back to the GNOME community.

Stormy's GNOME Mobile: bringing the desktop and the internet together:

While most people outside of GNOME Mobile probably think of cell phones when they think of mobile, GNOME Mobile is really about making the desktop fit the new form factors (phones, netbooks, devices, ...) and making it work well with a non traditional user interface.

J5's 10 thoughts on what is needed for the Linux Desktop to win:

#5 Forget about the general purpose desktop - ok don’t forget about it upstream but when making a product you are going to run into the “this doesn’t work like Windows” syndrome. [...] The general purpose desktop is just too big a target and will always get compared to the current leader.

I think that they pointed out the two most relevant aspects that define how Sugar relates to GNOME Mobile:

- adaptation to new form factors, and

- search for an user experience better suited to a well-defined population group.

And not only because of the very good marketing reasons that J5 mentioned, but mainly because what works for an office worker may not work best for a young learner. So doing things differently is critical to our mission.

I hope that other people will also realize that computers are not only useful in an office context and that we need to adapt to the new times. And hope as well that many will choose GNOME Mobile as a base for their products.

I'm happy to say that the GNOME bits we have been using to date have worked pretty well for us, and more importantly, each release brings more and more goodies that are specially useful in our niche.

I'm going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

At the talk I'm going to give this week at FOSDEM, I will point out how GNOME Mobile was useful for us and which are our biggest issues and how we could move forward.