According to OLPC & LTSP the laptop is intended to be usable without a server. The rationale is to make the device usable when a child is at home, possibly disconnected from the network and its resources. For this, and reasons of scalability, the OLPC laptop should not be considered a thin client.
- What percentage of schools can be expected to have a stationary PC as a server for thin clients?
- In most countries considering deployment, there are no computers currently in the schools. In many of them, not even power is available.
- All schools which receive OLPC laptops will also receive a school server, with a ratio of roughly one school server per one hundred laptops. The intent of this server is not to turn the laptops into thin clients, but to instead provide an economical extension to communication and storage resources provided on the laptop. No computational resources are expected to be centralized in the school server, unlike a thin client architecture. Instead, a distributed approach to problem solving is suggested, where a student might be able to run a problem on a number of laptops on the same mesh segment.
- Is there a preference for web applications or remote X Windows applications?
- This question is orthogonal to that of thin clients and should best be addressed in a user interface forum.
- There is a preference for applications where the computation is performed locally on the laptop, or distributed across a set of laptops. Applications closely integrated with the XO laptop should use the Sugar interface guidelines and directly interface with the same application running on other laptops in the local network. That said, nothing prevents applications from being implemented in ECMAscript and executing locally in a browser, perhaps accessing resources on the network for information. To enhance scalability and optimize the use of limited internet access capabilities, these web resources may be duplicated across the school servers.