Getting involved in OLPC
There are many ways to get involved in OLPC. At the moment, the project is still getting off of the ground so the ways to get involved are more limited. With time, the ways to get involved will be more numerous and better documented.
Places to Help
There a number of different places where users can contribute to OLPC. This list currently only reflects the software related contributions although, with time, will also include many ideas for people to contribute in non-software ways as well.
Upstream Free Software Projects
Countries that adopt the OLPC hardware platform will be using a variety of different pieces of existing Free and Open Source software. While the final list has not yet been determined, we feel reasonably comfortable that most countries will include the following pieces of software which will be included in the proof-of-concept base system:
- GNU/Linux system with Linux Kernel with JFFS
- Mozilla Firefox
- Abiword and Gnumeric
- Many GNOME libraries (although not the entire gnome project) including:
- Local keyboard layouts, Unicode fonts, dictionaries, if available.
there are a few good open source applications:
- Thunderbird E-mail client
- Open Office.org
- Songbird mediaplayer at www.songbirdnest.com (based on Mozilla, lookes like iTunes)
- and: mediaplayer classic http://sourceforge.net/projects/guliverkli
- xvid-codec: http://www.koepi.org/XviD-1.1.2-01112006.exe
- ghostscript-pdf (open source at http://sourceforge.net/projects/ghostscript/)
- a free, open source, instant messenger, which is serverless: http://cspace.in
- a mesh network protocol to have all wireless laptops meshed together, then you do not need servers. CALLED: B.A.T.M.A.N. (search google in combination with OLSR or freifunk ) it is the followup of OLSR.org
- Maybe you can forward this to the chief of software for the laptop, and maybe he can contact the BATMAN developer to add auto-ip-signement, then all laptops work like peers in gnutella style and can connect without a central server in a meshed network of wirkeless laptops and hoppping to the next wireless ISP.
- Ask the freifunk.net people in Berlin/Germany to develop this for you till beginning of 2007.
- there is a new p2p search engine, which will index all the web in a decentral way:
http://www.yacy.net/yacy/ (it need java, but you cannot preinstall java, if you have not the agreement of sun.com, so speak with them).
- For VOIP see the open source client: http://www.openwengo.org/
- Open Source games for linux are here:
Through Other Education GNU/Linux Projects
We aim to build off the work of other projects aiming to bring the best of GNU/Linux to the free software world. Work in these projects is a great way to get involved in making a real difference in free software for education that will be easily importable to the work on the OLPC project. If you are planning to develop an application or courseware for the OLPC, then you should use the OLPC Python Environment to build it.
Through OLPC Software Itself
At the moment, most of *our* work is being done in the upstream system. However, with time, more and more work will be pushed into our community. You can monitor this work by:
- Watching the One Laptop per Child page in the Pedia.Media Wiki,.
- Joining to the #olpc channel on irc.freenode.net
- Watching the website at http://www.laptop.org for details.
Through Fedora Core's OLPC projects
Skilled developers who have experience programming C or C++ and who are not afraid of getting involved with low-level details, should visit the OLPC Project Development Streams at the Fedora Project Wiki.
You can check the Category:Developers.
Youth and the OLPC Initiative
You are under 26 ? Team up with 2 other friends and we have an airplane ticket waiting for you to participate in the next international OLPC-Youth initiative. More info: http://it4yi-wiki.skn.wsinf.edu.pl/YouthandtheOLPCinitiative
Ways to Help
Work on the software can fall into a number of types of work detailed below.
Quality Assurance and Bugs
You should use the software that we will use and you report bugs. In addition to simple functionality and usability bugs, you can also look for performance and optimization related bugs. Due to our memory and disk constraints, we need to be much pickier about certain types of inefficiency in software than many other users of free and open source software.
Please add OLPC bugs filed in other bug-tracking system to this wikipage.
Server Side Solutions
There are many different pieces of only learning or "courseware" software out there. Writing a detailed review of the strength and weakness of different courseware systems is one great way to help contribute to the knowledge base around the project. Please add such reviews to the OLPC Courseware Review page.
Translation and Internationalization
If you know English and another language, you can ensure that software works in your non-English language by translating strings. You can currently do that either by using your favorite PO file editor or through a piece of web-based software like Rosetta or other systems you may be familiar with that will also get upstream.
There are numerous projects in Asia and Africa to localize Linux into one or more of the languages of the country. Check with the Linux User Groups and other such organizations in the countries concerned, such as IndLinux in India and translate.org.za in South Africa. If there isn't a project for your language, you can start one, even if you aren't a programmer. See also the IOSN/UNDP FOSS Localization Primer, an introduction to localizing Linux].
We need as much information as possible on easily making this system work with different input methods and their associated keyboard layouts and Input Method Editors (IMES) for different languages and writing systems, whether alphabetic, syllabic, or logographic. If you input a language other than English in a writing system other than Latin alphabet, please check the relevant wiki articles, including countries, keyboard layouts, writing systems, and fonts, and add information on what software and Unicode fonts are necessary or best for inputting and displaying text.
About 30 writing systems are used for at least one modern national language. Linux systems now routinely come with support for more than 25 of them, lacking mainly Mongolian alphabet, Khmer, Myanmar, Thaana, Lao, and Sinhala, all of which are in development or are available in some but not all distributions. There are free tools for making keyboard layouts for any language and writing system.
Note that Unicode code charts for all of these writing systems are available online in PDF format, so you can see the characters even if you don't have a matching font installed on your computer.
A good resource for Unicode fonts is the Unicode font guide. There are large Unicode fonts such as Code2000 with the characters for most writing systems. Windows and Macintosh also support many writing systems with fonts and keyboards.
While ultimately, the work on curricula will be done by the ministries of education who buy this, there are several efforts underway to explore some of the education potential from this project. These projects include:
- Benjamin Mako Hill's Software Freedom Curriculum which will (very soon) be available on Wikibooks, an open textbook project.
If you can write code, you can focus either on fixing our bugs or by building up or creating new types of education applications. There is no guarantee that anything will be on every or any machines but a compelling system stands to make a real difference.
(It would be really cool if the devices were made available to developers. Say at twice the current going rate. This way each developer that bought one would not only be contributing code that made the devices more valuable, but would be making another device available to someone in need at the same time.)
- Developers working on hardware can get Laptops. You don't need the hardware to develop applications, just the Sugar development environment.--Mokurai 20:41, 4 November 2006 (EST)
See also Earth Treasury, which proposes to link schools for educational and business opportunities.
- Buying laptops for a poorer country, or funding national Internets.
- Localizing Free Software.
- Creating more content on the Web in as many languages as possible.
- Connecting emigrants and expatriates to their home countries and communities.
- Connecting schools in your country with schools in another country, including students, teachers, and communities.
- Connecting all sorts of other organizations: Linux User Groups, churches (of any religion), service organizations, the PTA,...to schools, hospitals, churches (of any religion), refugee camps, orphanages,...
- Creating a curriculum around global connections, using new resources to update coursework in all relevant subjects: languages, literature, history, geography, economics, art, music, biology, health, statistics, civics, home economics,...
- Working with organizations such as Junior Achievement on international business opportunities and business education for schoolchildren.
- Field work in Green MBA programs, the Reuters Digital Vision program, and the like.
- Community health interventions along the lines of Partners in Health or Sarvodaya.
- Work on international relations, including your own country, any treaty organizations it belongs to, and more general legal frameworks for ecology, economic development, Intellectual Property, and human rights.
- Peace in Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestinian territories, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka...
- Freedom in North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe,...
- Creating new human rights, to health, to information, and more.
- Starting more microbanking institutions.
- Joining the Village Computing projects of Sarvodaya and Grameen Communications.
Feedback and Ideas
The best way to get things done in this project or to push it in a good direction is to get involved and help push it yourself. That said, feedback is still welcome. You can add ideas to the OLPC Idea Pool.