Deployment meetings/20090210

Jump to: navigation, search


     m_stone> hi folks!
     m_stone> tonya37: hello!

     tonya37> m_stone hi, there is a meeting today?
     m_stone> that's why I'm here. :)
     tonya37> m_stone great

     m_stone> unfortunately, all of the OLPC folks just locked themselves in a
              room with a delegation from UY.
     m_stone> so I suspect we won't be hearing too much from them.
     m_stone> cjb:  (though they could surprise me and prove me wrong!)

     m_stone> tonya37: would you mind introducing yourself?
     tonya37> m_stone I am Tony Anderson, I am working with OLENepal
     m_stone> tonya37: great; a pleasure to see you again. :)

     m_stone> aa, luar: awake?
     m_stone> kristianpaul__, tarbo2: alive?
     m_stone> wadeb|w, bjordan: around?
     wadeb|w> m_stone: yep
     m_stone> Lemon-Jade-09: hola!
        luar> m_stone: hi! Awake but working :/ But I'm reading the IRC each
              some minutes :)
   smithbone> m_stone: I'm keepking an eye on the the meeting.  ping me when
              you think its a good time to bring up the MBC.

         cjb> hi all
         cjb> I'm afraid I'm in a meeting this week
     m_stone> cjb: maybe you could speak near the end? (or write an addendum
              for me to add to the minutes?)
     m_stone> cjb: if your meeting runs late?
         cjb> I think the meeting will run late

Nepal Updates

     tonya37> m_stone: I had a chance to visit the Connexions 2009 Conference
              last week. Shuttleworth Foundation is beginning to roll out a
              complete k-12 curriculum call Siyavula on Connexions.

     m_stone> tonya37: url?
     tonya37> m_stone:
     m_stone> tonya37: thanks!

     m_stone> tonya37: do you intend to continue tracking their progress?
     tonya37> m_stone: yes

     m_stone> tonya37: great. it would be really nice if you were able to
              summarize their work, say, once a month, so that we learn about
              opportunities to share with them as such opportunities arise.
     tonya37> m_stone: ok. The plan is for science to be added to Connexions in
              March. I should be able to update after I get to Nepal at the end
              of the month.
     m_stone> tonya37: good, that will be very helpful.

     tonya37> wadeb|w another item. etextread has a karaoke/e-speak feature
              which is not working. The activity currently depends on speech-
              dispatch. It could either eliminate that dependency or speech-
              dispatch (a daemon to allow multiple activities to share e-speak)
              could be added.
     wadeb|w> tonya37: ok, I will follow up with the author

     wadeb|w> tonya37: what build are you guys on by the way?
     tonya37> wadeb|w I believe a homebrew mix of 8.2.1.
     tonya37> wadeb|w the important thing about OLENepal is that they are using
              Firefox 3 in order to deliver Flash 'activities'.
     wadeb|w> tonya37: yah, that's been annoying me :)  see the 3rd item at

     wadeb|w> m_stone: top task list needs right now are help triaging
              activities on SoaS and other distros.  we could also use some
              help collecting top requests from deployments
     m_stone> wadeb|w: speaking of which.
     wadeb|w> m_stone: actually the second item - collecting top requests from
              deployments - should be the highest priority right now :)
     wadeb|w> tonya37: a lot of discussion has gone around about fixing it but
              I haven't seen a solution appear yet
     wadeb|w> tonya37: IE, Firefox should not be needed to run Flash

     tonya37> wadeb|w the other key parameter is that the new school year
              starts in April 2009 - OLENepal is working on a freeze of 2/13.
     wadeb|w> tonya37: good to know, maybe we can get those issues fixed for
              you in time

Activity Team

     m_stone> wadeb|w: have you gotten any helpful additions to your activity-
              team's task list?
     wadeb|w> m_stone: we are making progress, driven by the amazing efforts of
              a few individuals :)  alsroot has taken and completed Speak
              collab which was on our high priority list, and Tony Anderson is
              making progress on image quiz which is another one of our top
              priorities. also, activities continue to be migrated.
     wadeb|w> m_stone: my biggest looming task is writing to all the past
              activity authors (morgs sent me a list he collected late last

     wadeb|w> m_stone: I'm also still working on Typing Turtle which is nearing
              feature complete, been doing a lot of testing back and forth with
              Nepal (who plan to ship it)
     m_stone> wadeb|w: neat. there are probably other groups who will enjoy
              Typing Turtle as it is completed. I'd love to help advertise it

     tonya37> wadeb: I should have put it on the list. SocialCalc desparately
              needs to be able to save/restore spreadsheets.
     wadeb|w> tonya37: it can't save and restore spreadsheets? yikes
     tonya37> wadeb|w yea, verily
     wadeb|w> ...I'm trying to track down the email address of the SocialCalc
              devs right now

Modifying Activities

     m_stone> several of the items we spent some time on last week which might
              be relevant to you include:
     m_stone> wadeb|w: we spent a long time talking about how to help Peruvian
              teachers (and others surrounding them) communicate better among
              themselves even though they have little connectivity.
     m_stone> wadeb|w: walter suggested that we produce digests of olpc-sur and
              distribute those via the UGELs (regional distribution centers)
     m_stone> wadeb|w: we also talked a lot about both local activity creation
              and adaptation of activities to meet new ends.
     m_stone> wadeb|w: for example, caryl led a short conversation about "how
              someone might make Conozco-Uruguay into Conozco-Peru?"
     m_stone> wadeb|w: we talked about sneaker-net compatible blogging software
              -- aa offered to work on edublog in order to make it work better
              for Peru.
     m_stone> wadeb|w: and walter hinted that Peruvian teachers had already
              found imaginative ways to reuse existing activities.
     m_stone> (in other parts of the world, we discussed how desperate Sierra
              Leone is for materials which assist with literacy since the
              literacy rate in their current pilot schools is apparently < 2%)

     wadeb|w> m_stone: all that sounds great! we have a page going on SL
              regarding how to modify activities. it might be of interest to
              the deployments
     m_stone> wadeb|w: well, maybe we can help get it tested so that you get
              some feedback on it...
     m_stone> wadeb|w: for example, it would be great to get some sense of "how
              much it helps" to advance work on environments like Pippy &
              Develop vs. writing better tutorials or modifying existing
              activities to be "user extensible" like Walter's recent TAP

     wadeb|w> m_stone: digests of olpc-sur also sound awesome, the language
              barrier is huge for me at least (1 yr spanish in high school :))
     wadeb|w> m_stone: and I would love to hear what they are saying about
              Sugar in their own words (or as close as possible)

     wadeb|w> m_stone: let me investigate edublog for a sec

     m_stone> wadeb|w: we should get
     translated and
              distributed on-XO.
     m_stone> wadeb|w: it's not going to do Peruvian teachers much good on the
     wadeb|w> m_stone: yeah, good idea :)  maybe a library bundle could be
              created from the current snapshot

Conozco Uruguay

     wadeb|w> m_stone: perhaps we could ask the Conozco-Uruguay devs to
              contribute a section?
     m_stone> wadeb|w: we can ask. :)
     wadeb|w> have you got contact info?

     m_stone> aa, luar: who wrote conozco-uy? :)
          aa> m_stone, wadeb|w: Gabriel Eirea wrote conozco uruguay
     wadeb|w> aa: ok, thanks I have an email to write then
          aa> he can be reached through sur or olpc-uruguay lists, or at geirea
              at gmail
     wadeb|w> aa: thanks
          aa> welcome :)
     m_stone> (yay networking!)

Finding Help in Sugar

     m_stone> wadeb|w: re library bundles: maybe, but maybe activities could
              grow a hints or a "help overlay"?

     wadeb|w> m_stone: I've been cheerleading for a "Help" button in the
              toolbar of most activities that launches Browse with a .html file
              from the activity bundle
     m_stone> wadeb|w: nice and simple. your idea is good to implement because
              it's trivial.

     wadeb|w> would have to be translated o/c, which could increase the amount
              of translation per activity by a lot... but still better than
     m_stone> wadeb|w: still, I think you should talk to eben, walter, and the
              etoys folks. this might be another area in which sugar could
              profitably distinguish itself from its competition.
     wadeb|w> m_stone: agreed!  ok, I'll follow up on it then.

     m_stone> wadeb|w: for example, could scott's click-to-trans feature be
              used to help get the help text in the right languages?
     m_stone> (i.e. "how would I edit one of those help docs on an XO?")
     wadeb|w> m_stone: sure, don't see why not.  integrating it into hulahop
              might be a job though
     wadeb|w> m_stone: but yeah, offering the ability to translate locally
              would be great

     m_stone> wadeb|w: tiddlywiki! :)

     wadeb|w> m_stone: yeah, it seems like we need some kind of a system.  I'll
              open up a discussion re: Sugar help
     m_stone> wadeb|w: thanks v. much.

     m_stone> wadeb|w: (though don't forget the hard work on the manuals)
     wadeb|w> m_stone: do you know if we ship the manual?  is that what goes in
              the Help activity?
     m_stone> wadeb|w: yes. on the other hand, I think that the chapters which
              went into the XO manual are quite different from those which went
              into the Sugar manual.
     m_stone> perhaps encouraging PE and others to ship the Sugar manual as
              well would be time well spent (if they don't already have it)?

Multi-Battery Charger

     m_stone> smithbone: would now be good for the battery-charger pitch?
   smithbone> In the near future (2 weeks) I'll have 20 Multi-battery chargers
              to send out for people to mess with.
   smithbone> I'm looking for sites that are interested in testing.
   smithbone> And feedback on if this is some thing that they can integrate
              into their plans.

     tonya37> smithbone: please contact Bryan Berry (
   smithbone> tonya37: he's already on the list.
     tonya37> smithbone: great

     m_stone> smithbone: what qualifies a site?
   smithbone> A site really boils down to either:  poential for ordering lots
              of them or somebody with advanced technical skills and lots of
              batteries to charge

     m_stone> smithbone: where should people go to register to participate?
   smithbone> m_stone: have them email me

     m_stone> smithbone: (seems like this is kinda similar to the contributers
              program; just for less common hardware?)
   smithbone> m_stone: yes.  Contributors just with more specific conditions.
              you need lots of batteries to charge. (and discharge)
     m_stone> smithbone: okay, will do. thanks for the update.
   smithbone> wadeb|w: The key thing is that I need is demand info.
   smithbone> To make it work I have to either place large orders with my mfgs
              or charge more.
     m_stone> still, we won't know what's economical for folks until we ask...

     m_stone> smithbone: anyway, thanks for trying to figure out something that
              makes it easier to get batteries charged. :)

Rwanda + XSen?

     m_stone> anyone else have questions that I can try to find answers for?
     tonya37> m_stone: as a general question, it would be interesting to know
              which deployments plan a schoolserver at each school and how they
              plan to use them.

     m_stone> hey folks. bjordan is sitting here chatting with me if anyone has
              questions for him about deployments he's working with; etc.

     m_stone> bjo: how about those XSen?
     m_stone> (not sure yet, though it seems likely)
     m_stone> (it's hard because rwanda's schools are _large_: 1K students at
              school A, 2K at school B, ...)
     tonya37> m_stone: Nepal is rolling out (this year) three classes per
              school. This converts to about 100-150 XOs per school.

     m_stone> bjo: is there a contact-person for Rwanda to whom such questions
              can be directed?
     m_stone> (not yet.)

     tonya37> bjordan: also, whether the deployment plans to use Moodle, and if
              so, how.

     m_stone> tonya37: what sorts of hardware would be needed for Moodle to
              scale to these numbers of users?
     tonya37> m_stone: One guideline says 2gb per student for backing up their
              data (4tb?). Ejabberd is another limiter - there is a large
              memory cost per user.
     tonya37> m_stone: multiple servers per school could be implemented by
              separating the ssid of the wifi to partition students between
     tonya37> m_stone: I don't think Moodle will be a bottleneck. It is
              currently used with large numbers of users.

     m_stone> tonya37: your point about backups is well taken though.
     m_stone> 4tb/school gets expensive right quick.

     tonya37> m_stone: I like the msi wind server (based on atom). Costs on
              Newegg for a 1tb with 2gb memory - $205. Bryan is rightly
              concerned that we understand cooling issues.
     tonya37> m_stone: oops $205 with 160gb, 1tb is about $250.
     m_stone> tonya37: neat recommendation; thanks!

     m_stone> tonya37: bjordan and I were just discussing how valuable it is to
              benefit from the experience of "people who have broken the trail"
              like you've done in nepal.
     m_stone> tonya37: he said he'll try to get his contacts to publish some
              details so that more benefits of this nature can be extracted.
     tonya37> m_stone: I think we should all share this info - no point in
              several people out there with machetes.
     m_stone> tonya37: that's why we're here. :) after all -- what better time
              than the very beginning to avoid obvious mistakes!

     tonya37> m_stone: speaking from 30,000 feet. I think the issue of server
              is very important. Much of the Sugar/Activity discussion does not
              assume a server is available. Moodle offers off-the-shelf
              solutions to a number of problems - but can't be used if there is
              no server
     m_stone> tonya37: as you say -- it's not a decision to be made lightly.


 mick_laptop> i was just talking to wadeb|w in #sugar about a particular issue
              that i have and he said that i should plead my case here
 mick_laptop> basically my problem is that i can't find the right person/people
              to talk to about putting the WTND book from Hesperian onto the xo
              laptops in deployment
 mick_laptop> i talked to some medical professionals (who are actually family
              members of mine) who setup hospitals in developing countries
              (Cambodia and Afganistan being two that they mentioned) -- they
              had expressed their concerns about making it a download
 mick_laptop> they had said that for security reasons it should come on the
              laptops that are deployed
 mick_laptop> if anyone has a second to talk about this, it would be much

          aa> mick_laptop: I believe you should build a library bundle as those
          aa> (never done so myself)
          aa> I believe they can be accesed through the browse homepage

          aa> m_stone: maybe you know more about this
          aa> the library bundle can probably be included in the image with a
              customization key
          aa> mick_laptop:

 mick_laptop> ok, lets say i make the bundle - how would the deployments know
              about it?
          aa> I guess talking to whoever makes the content decisions at the
              deployments you're targeting

     m_stone> mick_laptop: ironically, my mom was the person who introduced
              OLPC and Hesperian... two years ago?
 mick_laptop> m_stone: really? hmm, cool
 mick_laptop> tell her thanks for me :)
     m_stone> will do. she'll be pleased that someone is finally pushing to get
              the darn books shipped. :)
 mick_laptop> m_stone: i'm jsut still not sure what the best way will be :-/

     m_stone> mick_laptop: well, what form of content are you working with at
              the moment?
     m_stone> the html pages? the indesign document? the pdfs?
 mick_laptop> the content isn't the issue
 mick_laptop> pdfs -- the other 2 were really bad ideas
 mick_laptop> i will just do a pdfmerge
 mick_laptop> that way there will not be any issues w/ formatting or keeping
              them up to date
 mick_laptop> since hesperian releases them as pdfs (chapter by chapter though)

     m_stone> mick_laptop: okay, in that case, aa's suggestion is a fine one.
 mick_laptop> m_stone: ok, after i make the .xol (i take it that they should be
              bundled as such?) and i do the Library Grid thing (haven't gotten
              too deep into that) then i should contact the deployments
              individually? (like say i bundle the spanish version, then i get
              in touch w/ the Uruguay deployment etc.)
          aa> mick_laptop: or find people in the deployments willing to help
          aa> mick_laptop: I would be glad to talk to LATU or ANEP here  in
 mick_laptop> aa: thank you so much; any help would be greatly appreciated

 mick_laptop> also, does anyone know a olpc wiki admin?
 mick_laptop> i've asked in a few channels to be able to add something to a
              page (which is protected)
 mick_laptop> it is the one regarding developer keys
          aa> mick_laptop: try _sj_ at #olpc-content
 mick_laptop> i'd like to add a section of what to do if Browse freezes (I'm
              not the onlyone with that issue)
 mick_laptop> aa: re: hesperian? i talked to _sj_ already -- sleeping last that
              i checked
          aa> re: finding a wiki admin :)
 mick_laptop> sj was the "community contact" w/ hesperian before afaik
 mick_laptop> oh, heh
 mick_laptop> like i said, sleeping :)
 mick_laptop> i might just make the changes and /msg _sj_
 mick_laptop> aa: know anyone else who might be an admin?
          aa> mick_laptop:
 mick_laptop> thanks