XS Conf 08 MAR 25 Notes


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Tuesday, 11 AM EST March 25th 2008

12 attendees

Martin Langhoff - OLPC School Server Architect
John Watlington - OLPC hardware, software he gets it working
Carlos RĂ­os - crosvera, interested in GSoC project to work on XS Admin interface
Carol Lerche - working on small pilot in NYC (?)
Aaron Huslage - general volunteer, special interest in hardware and networking
Sameer Verma - general volunteer, will be working on a deployment later this year
Marten Vijn - Netherlands
Holger Levsen - OLPC Deutschland
Stefan Reitz - Birmingham, Alabama
Dan Poltawski, uses Moodle in UK, K-12
Amit Gogna, OLPC India
Arjun Sarwal - OLPC India volunteer
Bryan Berry - [http://www.olenepal.org OLE Nepal] Note taker

Martin's Introduces the XS Roadmap

  • Wili follow Ubuntu-style release cycles
  • Incremental bug fixes and feature additions up to 1.0
  • 1.0 release the long-term support release
  • Need to be disciplined and not focus on fancy things
  • 2009 - adding more interesting features and polish

The expectation is that XS will be only visited periodically by a trained technician

Packaging and automation will be his mantra for the next several months.

Reactions to the Roadmap

Bryan Berry: pointed out that an appliance like server is key for Nepal, where it is not possible to keep somebody with technical skills nearby.

Solid consensus that the XS should be an appliance-like system.

Aaron: Need to consider hardware platform

Wad: not looking at custom hardware but recommending certain specs. Don't want to point countries to a particular vendor

Marten Vijn: Would still be nice to have a reference hardware set

Wad: will work on wiki to improve

Wad: have trouble supporting customization for small pilots. Recommends traditional access points for now for more than 100 kids rather than active antennas

Martin Langhoff: Update mechanism to update content and systems on XS w/ signed scripts and content on USB key NOC - central technical team that manages technical process

Sameer Verma brought up the issue of taxonomy. How do we determine needs of different countries?

Martin: hard to subdivide taxonomies, lots of variance w/in countries

Carol: many places in US also have connectivity problems

Arjun (India) need to transfer content w/out Internet Connectivity

Wad: bandwidth limitations an issue in a lot of countries. Need to be able to throttle bandwidth issues. Need to be able to better share bandwidth across XO's

MartinL: Eventually countries will need regional XS - file servers

Bryan: feature request, make students' data portable across grades.

MartinL: Agreed that this is important.

Technology Choices

MartinL is seriously considering moving to Debian, but not ready yet.

There is some discussion on IRC of whether Ubuntu would be a better choice.

MartinL does not prefer Ubuntu for the XS, because it changes every 6 months. Debian has longer long-term support releases. Don't need newest versions of dependencies. We would use Debian stable version.

XS 1.0 has to be supported for at least 1-2 years

XS will not be sexy, the XO is sexy enough. The XS will be very unsexy.

Carol: may be problematic having different distro on XS from XO

Wad: most of config in current XS is in the networking

Administration Interface

MartinL: Administration Interface: web-based interface that covers basic usage scenarios, not too sophisticated because we don't assume we will have admins so sophisticated at the local level. Won't be as sophisticated as webmin. Will likely reuse back-end from things like VHCS or E-Box. Will be done before 1.0, near end.

Web Services and Content Management

MartinL: trying to contact folks involved w/ Moodle for k-6. Will send us resources to look at.

Carol: Drupal should be considered. Easier to build simple interfaces

Bryan: Regardless of drupal vs. Moodle, need very simple interfaces

MartinL: Moodle can do most of the things drupal can, and better group management. Either way, won't have time to work on moodle and MediaWiki for at least one month.

Need Mediawiki to display Mediawiki content

wiki pages that start w/ XS are more current. Pages that don't start w/ XS are often out of date

Documentation and Group Working Modality

MartinL will start drafting new blueprints for features and planning in Trac

Working Modality: May have monthly conference on phone or IRC, depending on size of team. Conferences should be attached to release cycle. Discuss bug fixing, stability, and features.


IPv6 support?

Wad: Intend to use IPv6. Committed to IPv6. Having problem using IPv6 in the mesh. Requires a man-month of development

Moodle in Pootle: Moodle already has its own translation framework. But it is very easy to paralellize translation work using Pootle.

Arjun: Need XS from scratch wiki page or pointers to resources

MartinL: The time is not right for this as the code is still changing.

Martin thanks all for their participation. Next teleconference will be on or around the next release.

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