Talk:Activities

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Contents

Tabular by type

Key

R - Features requested 
C - Create or port
O - Improve as opportunity arises
G - General games w/out specific requests
Activity Relevance Status Maintainer
Requested
Brow se  ! many features Erikos, new
Write  ! integration Abi-t
Record  ! watch, remix MediaM, new
Etoys  ! more demos Viewpts, BF, Y
TurtleArt  ! active, sensors ...
Pippy  ! active Chris Ball
Read  ! Y/dh
TamTamEdit  ! Piche-t
TuxPaint Albert Cahalan
Distance Ben Schwartz
Good opportunities
Watch & Listen + codec ease osuosl
Sonata music player fun old  ?
xo-get  ! no gui Chris Hager
Class presenter fun - U. Washington
Colingo + draft Ben Lowenstein
Mesh board + testy  ?
Clock -  ?  ?
Words + draft Chris Ball, new
Map + old MMods, new
Video chat  ! old, propr Collabora
Games
Jigsaw Puzzle - current WorldWideWorkshop
Connect - demo Daf
Maze - demo
SimCity + py threading Don Hopkins
Memorize - current Muriel Godoi
Jump, Mimic - draft ...
Large community-sets
Gcompris (Sudoku, &c.)  ! ~40 Bruno C.
Schoolplay - pdev
To port
Typing Tutor ++ summ Kathryn, Prakhar, Wade Brainerd
Logo ++ pdev Roger / BH/S ?
Photo Booth + undev  ?
SocialCalc - current Dan Bricklin, Preeti, Manu Gupta
Toon talk - und Ken, much material via Playground.

Is this the place to post bugs with downloaded Activities?

I have been downloading many games from the Activities wiki page. Several do not work at all, and some work but are not fully functional. I have seen that many created as part of the MaMaMedia Suite say "please test". So if I test them, who do I tell? Thanks affiliatelinks(at)goct.net

You could report problems here. Thanks. --Walter 21:42, 25 December 2007 (EST)
Problem with Jigsaw Puzzle download - I'm trying to download and install the jigsaw puzzle from the Activites Page but keep getting more instances of the Maze activity. i've done it twice or three times now, I'm pretty sure I'm hitting the right buttons. User error is not out of the question, though.
FYI, the file name that appears in Journal is correct, as far as I can tell ("jigsawPuzzle-1_20071030.xo.Activity) but the icon that appears with it is the maze icon (whereas on the activity page the icon is a jigsaw puzzle icon) and resuming this activity out of the journal just launches another version of the Maze activity (which I have also installed and my 4 year old had a blast with today.) User:KayTi
I just downloaded and ran Jigsaw Puzzle with no problems, on my Build 650 machine. I was even able to create a puzzle from a camera shot from my Journal. I'm thinking of removing the "Please Test!" line in the short description on the Activity page -- if more testing is needed, perhaps a section to that effect (describing what testing is desired) could be added to the Jigsaw Puzzle wiki page? I am a little confused on why the Activities page says it's v3 but the Jigsaw Puzzle wiki page talks about Beta (1.?)4, though. User:Sarah Elkins 2008 April 1
 The "Asteroids" activity [V.1] is downloadable but, not runnable. I've tried downloading it all the time, but it won,t run!

localization

Should this table incorporate a column (or the notion) of localization? This would probably raise the awareness and put the developing community in a more 'global' mindset? --Xavi 18:46, 29 May 2007 (EDT)

Good point. --Jim 20:13, 29 May 2007 (EDT)

Core now denoted by c, and localization merged with status comments. we need simple templates for l10n status, from simplest to most complex. Sj talk
"core"???
There is now a 'temporal' category for core, bundled & extra activities (through the use of the {{OBX activity}}, so maybe just remove the 'C' and link to those categories? (BTW, the category names are not 'official' - thus the red link - I'm not sure what the name should actually be just 'core' or (probably better) 'core activities' (being a sub-cat of 'activities'). Xavi 11:51, 24 September 2007 (EDT)

Duplication in programming activities

develop and python (and GvR)

2x logo

and several "easy scripting for creating animations and simple games".

Things would be simpler if we focused our efforts. Homunq 20:44, 7 August 2007 (EDT)

Simpler, but not necessarily better. It's possible that we may see better results with several competing projects stealing ideas from each other than from trying to coordinate a large number of developers to create the ultimate "easy scripting environment". Activities to create animations and games may benefit most from multiple approaches, since there are many different types of animations and games. —Joe 11:09, 10 August 2007 (EDT)
It would seem that there are some activities that are inconsistently named Draw? Xavi 11:51, 24 September 2007 (EDT)

Latest build

Shouldn't that column be replaced by a 'First build' in which the activity appeared? It would be logical to assume that once it's in the build it will stay in it... (unless otherwise noted). Xavi 11:51, 24 September 2007 (EDT)

GCompris in Activities

All the .xo bundles I found have been registered in the GCompris activity page (reachable through the (still temporal) Category:Activity bundle for activities with bundles). Repeating their links in the Activities page may be a bit redundant; especially if they are not fully sugarized and being so many of them... maybe the description could be expanded a bit to mention some highlights (thus giving a better idea on the real 'size' of the the GCompris set of activities) instead of listing? Comments? --Xavi 14:40, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

I was unaware of the GCompris page. I changed the Activities page to just include a link. If you would like to add a good summary of the activities, that would be great. Mainly, we wanted to have the activities listed there because they have been set up correctly so that XO's can download and install them. - AlexL
Hmmm... wonder how many are unaware of the actual activity pages. (IOW, maybe we have a structural miscommunication)... Any ideas on how we may correct that? I mean, for me it was obvious that if you want further info or stuff about an activity (ie: source code or bundles)) you would head for the actual activity page)... Maybe we could add a link similar to the l10n resources but saying xo bundles?
BTW, I had been adding the POT/l10n stuff before the advent of the OBXes, and now I've removed it, but still noting the presence or absence. --Xavi 20:47, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

POT ?

I've no idea what this means, please explain or link it. -- Skierpage 20:31, 6 October 2007 (EDT)

Is it a Portable Object Template:
Files ending with .pot are kind of base translation files found in distributions, in PO file format.
?? -- Skierpage 20:53, 6 October 2007 (EDT)
Yes, it's part of the internationalization/localization system for each application. (see also Python internationalization tutorial)Joe 20:56, 6 October 2007 (EDT)
Perhaps this would be a good place to use Leejc Translate icons, instead of the current POT text icon. I especially like the last one, and I think its meaning would be clear if used in the Boxes on the activity pages. HoboPrimate 01:21, 7 October 2007 (EDT)
Thy wish is my command! Done! :)
If anybody has more suggestions about the OBX (non) icons, please do suggest or change them (I'm not personally gifted) as a matter of fact, I've been having ideas for many other OBXes but smacking a text icon most of the time just defeats the impact or worthiness... Volunteers?
Skierpage sorry about the confussion. I've edited the text so it just doesn't say 'POT NEEDED' (which out of context is not a perfect message ;)) --Xavi 09:51, 7 October 2007 (EDT)
That was quick! I've changed the icon, decreasing the canvas to 55px and uploaded it, so that it looks bigger, with less white space around. It may work better. HoboPrimate 11:12, 7 October 2007 (EDT)
Talk about quick! :) Thanks! Done! --Xavi 11:42, 7 October 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, I made the icons to the Sugar HIG standard (approximately the middle 9 squares of a 5x5 grid), which is probably too much padding for other uses, like on the website. —Joe 16:20, 7 October 2007 (EDT)

Install

Something should be said here about how to install.

I'm using joyride #64 on B4 hardware.

From the Browse activity, I click on the link. After the download completes, I get two options. Neither is clear, and neither seems to do anything. Nothing identifiable shows up in the journal, though I'm getting lots of random crud there from numerous activities. (I hope that is a bug, because it sure is awful.)

AlbertCahalan 19:20, 20 October 2007 (EDT)

Something a bit more descriptive than "I'm getting lots of random crud" could help us diagnose what is going on here. In any case, there should be a record of the download in the Journal and resuming from that download will both install and launch the activity. You could take a peek at /home/olpc/Activities before the download; after the download; and after the resume from Journal to see what is happening. If you are not getting the expected behavior, please file a bug in trac. --Walter 11:40, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

New activity project

There's a new activities process being discussed on the packaging project. To add an activity summary to this page, make a subpage at Activities/ACTIVITYNAME and use one of the appropriate templates:

 {{activity-summary}} for bundles that are functional and can be tested
 {{activity-pre-summary}} for those in design or only working on other platforms

and you may want to make a similar

 {{activity-idea-summary}} for ideas with a wikipage and description but no details

Sj talk 23:43, 25 November 2007 (EST)

ePals link not working

The ePals link (http://www.epals.com/olpc/ePals-1.xo) is not working. --68.200.28.7 11:40, 22 December 2007 (EST)

Odd... I tried the link once and got a file-not-found page (as I imagine you are describing), but when I tried it again a few minutes later, it found the file. I assume that the issue is either sporadic or that they fixed it. —Joe 12:02, 22 December 2007 (EST)
I suspect the site may have been temporarily down. Seems to be working again. --Walter 12:26, 22 December 2007 (EST)
Hmm... Just checked it now and it seems to be broken again. Maybe they should consider hosting the XO file on the wiki? —Joe 13:27, 11 January 2008 (EST)

SimCity exit problem

SimCity takes up two activity "spots" and has an exit problem: you have to exit from within the exit menu. If you try to stop it from the Home view, the grayed-out circle in one of the Home app segments (I assume the game instantiation) stays resident and requires rebooting to shut down. --68.200.28.7 11:42, 22 December 2007 (EST)

This is partly due to Sugar; the Update.1 patch should address this. The newer Micropolis code is also cleaner about how it starts new python processes; you may want to try the first release when it comes out. --Sj talk to me 15:45, 22 December 2007 (EST)

Wesnoth

It's not sugarized, and perhaps not appropriate for very young children, but I was delighted to find that Battle for Wesnoth (a polished, open source, turn-based strategy game with a fantasy theme) installs on a vanilla XO and runs well at 1200x900. It would be neat to sugarize to some degree esp to utilize the mesh network for multi-player games. To install, just open a terminal activity and do:

 su
 yum install wesnoth.i386

Then to play, open a terminal window and type:

 wesnoth
I tried this, though I had it hang and die on me. If we want to sugarize it I suggest removing the music, and all the campaigns except a brothers tale (the smallest one) doing that will cut the size of the game in half. It may need to be modified to not use disk cache, as that is a recipe for destruction on flash drives. setting up the maps/campaigns to be pulled off a server would probably be better for the xo then trying to cram it all in the on-board flash.
If we set it up with a focus on the AI, and coding for the AI, which is in python. It could very legitimately be used as a tool for teaching programming. --dgandhi

User page design

This is supposed to be a user page yet it lists many activities that are either in testing or simply not working. I think that untested and in-development projects should be placed somewhere else.

Agreed. Yet you need one big list for the wiki - otherwise, things will forever be out-of-date. Solution: have one big list, and then have a "user-ready activities" page which has the same list as a wiki include. Any activities not appropriate for inclusion can be surrounded by noinclude tags. Sound like a good idea? Homunq 23:20, 5 January 2008 (EST)
Alas, there is ample evidence that people don't end up using noinclude tags properly. What if there was a separate template for actvities under development, say {{Activity-Under-Construction}} that collected the same fields but displayed only enough information as to both give people a sense of what was coming down the road and an opportunity for other developers to jump in and help. Once it was ready for testing, a new template could be used: {{Activity-Please-Test}}. Finally, we'd get to the {{Activity}} stage. --Walter 07:48, 6 January 2008 (EST)

Backup, etc.

The references to School servers, etc. are not applicable to people who are using their XOs outside of the School server context (all G1G1 participants, for example). We should come up with a way of clarifying this. --Walter 08:04, 6 January 2008 (EST)

Alphabetical order?

Should we add new ones at the bottom of each category or try to keep them in some sort of order?

Removal of Doom from this page

Please do not put adult-oriented activities on this page, such as first-person shooters. Doom or Quake are not consistent w/ the educational goals of OLPC. Everyone is welcome to hack on the XO but please do not connect violent or adult-oriented material to the OLPC initiative.

--Bryan Berry

As an adult, I have little interest in such games. As a child, I loved them. Games have led many people to have a greater interest in computing. In particular, the 3-D shooters have led many people to study things like geometry and physics. Don't you think geometry and physics are consistent w/ the educational goals of OLPC? AlbertCahalan 22:58, 16 January 2008 (EST)
I love these kinds of games as an adult, and my child does as well. We play some together. However, I'm sure Bryan Berry's point is that these do not belong in the top-level list of activities linked by the OPLC organization. Such downloads will exist elsewhere, but they have the right to choose what content they want linked from their main activities download page.

User:KayTi

This is the list of all activities. Many of them are incomplete, horribly buggy, and even missing. Rather than the very negative idea of kicking some (which ones?) activites out, it's far better to concentrate efforts on promoting the most-loved activites elsewhere. I think a Bryan's top 10 activities page would do nicely. That would be a positive contribution, especially if he actually tests the activities with the kids in his area. (so i18n counts, etc.) AlbertCahalan 20:43, 17 January 2008 (EST)
I proposed here http://www.olp—Ānews.com/content/games/violent_games_olpc_wiki.html#comments that a set of age targets be established, with activities suitable for those ages grouped together. Off the top of my head I see several categories: All Ages, Under 6 (for non-readers), Under 9, Under 12, 12 & Up. I propose Doom (this version is a first-person shooter, right? I plan to download it, I love Doom and all it's videogame offspring) be moved to a "12 & Up" type of category, which should be housed on a separate page because the mission of the OLPC project is to target children ages 6-12. User:KayTi
Adding/cross-posting my comments on the OLPC news post about this: OK folks, I've played it. It's not a kids game. It's a standard first person shooter - nicely done and works fine on the little XO. Does not belong on a page with kids games.
Nope, it's a kid game. (and I am a parent, having 4 boys and 2 girls) Even if it were not a kid game, it would belong on the page because it is an activity for the OLPC XO. AlbertCahalan 23:26, 19 January 2008 (EST)
Also, whoever did the port needs to go through and remove the "Ralph has Haxoed this page" - I don't know what that is but it looks like someone is having some fun. It appears when you try to read the "read this!" file and during the initialization routine. User:KayTi

Download links for activities

Note for page maintainers: Some of the preinstalled activities have .xo download links that don't go anywhere, which—as someone noted on the formerly non-existent Image:Browse.xo page—can be confusing. I also see that some activities have a version number next to the download link that is greater than the version number in the corresponding downloadable .xo image name; is there value to advertising new activity versions on this page if they cannot be downloaded? —Joe 14:13, 25 January 2008 (EST)


Good point Joe - I was just coming here to post a suggestion that the line for each Activity include a revision date with the other information available for that activity. That would help those of us who have spent a lot of time already downloading activities quickly scan to find the newest content, and also scan to find updates to previously loaded activities. Any thoughts/issues with this? Can this be added to the base template? Thanks! KayTi 15:25, 31 January 2008 (EST)

move to activities/tmp

I'm planning to update this page to look like the page at activities/tmp -- with more precise metadata on the target pages, including cleaner download links and more maintainer info. Please create a projects/ACTIVITYNAME page for each activity you care about. --Sj talk 00:36, 5 February 2008 (EST)

Proposal for Activities reorganization

I think the Activities page should be split into Activities, Activities/Featured and Activities/Extra pages. Activities should continue to be categorized within these pages as they currently are.

Activities is the main page including a description of what an activity is, how to create them, basically the first few paragraphs of the Activities page.

Activities/Featured lists activities that work on recent builds without significant bugs, are feature-complete enough to be usable, and do not include controversial subject matter. This page is maintained by the OLPC team for correctness, readability, formatting, etc.

Featured activities also have an optional Supported tag which indicates that the activity itself (e.g. Browse) is maintained by the OLPC team.

Not yet clear what this means... --Walter 16:03, 12 March 2008 (EDT)
I added this line later after reading the devel list- it could be reworded as "Some activities are developed and maintained by the OLPC Team, and these are marked as OLPC Supported on the Activities/Featured page and on their individual activity pages. This lets users know that they can expect support from the OLPC project, not just the activity author." wade 16:39, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

Activities/Extra lists activities are all other activities. This page can be maintained by the community. Some mention as to the status (working, broken, incomplete) should be kept up to date by the community and the OLPC team.

Further, a team of volunteers should be organized to go through *all* of the existing Activity wiki pages, update them for consistency with the correct templates, delete empty sections, download the .xo files, report their status and any significant bugs, take decent screenshots, update the icon and translation status sidebar, etc. Many of these pages are significantly out of date or contain errors.

I've updated a few of the download links to formerly Preinstalled activities as they were very out of date. So that needs to be checked too - whether the link is to the latest version of the activity as it is in joyride or the the last Update.1 build that contained the activities.--morgs 08:09, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

Wade 16:10, 4 March 2008 (EST)

Additional note: Having OLPC designate Featured activities would offer activity developers a quality bar to shoot for, one that is more attainable than becoming 'core' and being included in an OLPC deployment. It establishes a channel of feedback and recognition between independent developers and the OLPC team. wade 16:39, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

Proposal for Activity Development portal

This proposal (which probably should not be located here on the Activities talk page) is for the creation of an Activity Development portal on the OLPC wiki and a corresponding centralized development project. The idea is to treat the development of all OLPC activities as a single, large scale project rather than a series of small independent projects.

I'm not a core OLPC community member so this proposal probably should not be implemented to the letter, but hopefully it will get people started on centralizing activity development.

The reality of OLPC activities is that many have been started with great intentions but are left unfinished as their authors move on to other things, or else are being maintained part time by a core OLPC member. Rather than a series of independent large scale projects like Firefox or Pidgin, activities tend to be small and similar to each other in terms of code structure. Developers who are familiar with the internals of one activity can typically become productive quickly on other activities. Therefore, by centralizing activity development into a large community effort, rather than a series of independent developers, we can get a lot more mileage out of our development community, and can ensure a healthy ecosystem of high quality, mature, and bug free activities.

The result of this effort will hopefully be a well organized and focused community of developers, resulting in more "killer" activities for OLPC and fewer activities which "fall off the radar" into disrepair, or which never quite get finished enough to be usable.

Activity Development page lists regular news updates featuring in-progress activities, active developers, requests for activities from deployments, etc. It would be an OLPC maintained page.

Its purpose would be to marshal people around development of activities. For example, the lamentable status of the Connect activity - part of the original vision statement, just a few bugs and features from being shippable again - could be championed on the front page to encourage community developers to pitch in. The OLPC core team would choose which activities to focus the community on.

Activity Development/People would list people who are working on activities, their skills, what they are working on, and what they have committed to produce.

Activity Development/Projects would be a list of activities or activity features that are in development by the Activity Development community. This could include personal projects as well as group projects. Each project listing would contain requests, status, blocking issues, etc.

Activity Development/Reference would collect small tips (how to get started kind of stuff), as well as collecting links to the key reference pages for activity development around the OLPC wiki and the internet - Sugar and Activity development wiki pages, Python language reference, Sugar API pydoc reference, the PyGTK reference, etc.

Wade 16:10, 4 March 2008 (EST)

Activity Development/Activities/Software/vMac You need to be very concerned about even mentioning this. This program requires a copy of the Macintosh Plus ROM Files to operate, and as far as I know, Apple Legal is still very unhappy about this. "vMac requires a Macintosh Plus ROM file and Macintosh system software to work. Macintosh ROM files are owned by Apple and cannot be legally distributed."

G1G1 activity pack

Is the intention of this separate table to make a static snapshot of the activities distributed with the G1G1 machines or should the versions be updated as the activities continue to evolve? --Walter 21:44, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

'Bold text'

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