OLPC:News/2008/Week 6

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A view of the OLPC world from the community of content creators and library lovers. (and who doesn't love a library?) Style note: bolded terms in items from the week indicate pages on this wiki that have been updated with new information as a result.

^ Overview

Update.1 moves closer to completion with RC2

  Active learning discussions next week help review trials
  Community meetings slate (library, health, games, testing, support, open)
  Calendar: GDC (18-22) FOSDEM Europe (22-24)
     Cambridge Science Festival jam (Apr 27)


bundle metadata 
waiting on further commentary from last week.
developers program 
a co mmunity "contributors program" is being suggested as a scalable replacement to this.
Dynamic library view 
a dynamic replacement to the current browser main page.
To be migrated into its own Activity, so that it doesn't overlap with the default browse interface.


community organization:


under discussion:

 community review process for projects and more 
 Dynamic library : using a webserver, separating from Browse
 Library outreach : for physical libraries and archives


  • Ixo notes orgs that vet a record of the work they have done (like one he works with).

x Interactions

opportunities, people /& organizations, engagements


  • A confluence of groups gathering in San Francisco next week.
    Zvi notes Kiva may now have time to discuss collaboration
    Publishers interested in pursuing wikibooks will be at GDC, conveniently close to the new Wikimedia HQ.
    Don Hopkins and Alan Kay were planning to get together to pursue educational hacks to SimCity; the EA team that supported this effort will be around as well.

Weekly meetings

There are also regular team meetings for other specific teams. If you have a meeting or gathering you want me to include next week, drop me a line.

Conferences and Events

If you're near one of these upcoming events, drop a line to olpc-open or the grassroots list and let everyone else know; or plan a meetup.


Istanbul : OLPC Turkey takes off

  • Istanbul presentation on OLPC Turkey
    Alp Simsek of the MIT Turkish Student Association (MIT-TSA) has been drumming up support among MIT students and students in Turkey to develop an active OLPC Turkey chapter. They organized a press conference on Friday with partner NGO Ari Movement, who hosted the affair. Reporters fom national papers Milliyet and Hurriyet attended. They are pursuing close ties with university groups in Turkey and hope to attract contributors from the humanities and from computer science.

India : Sayamindu D. is at Gnunify, presenting about OLPC...

North America

San Francisco : GDC 2008 is a week away

  • GDC 2008 - the annual Game Developers Conference - will be Feb 18-22 in San Francisco. Many OLPCans will be there, including some of our active games developers; groups from CMU's ETC and MIT Gamelab, various Second Lifers, the Jordan Brothers (well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad), OneBigGame, and more. Also some groups doing fascinating things with interactive environments, such as GMD Studios.

Boston : We have our weekly open house Sunday 1400-1700, as usual, in Cambridge.

· Artefacts

projects, events, news, materials


  • OLPC:News : 16 updates from the office and the field
  • Help wanted : We could use help wikifying OLPC:News when it comes out, and updating individual pages on this wiki with notes from current and past editions of (including pulling out the we're keeping the archives and keeping them on-wiki) --Sj talk

In the press

Milestone: Update.1 RC2

  • Please test Update.1's rc2 release (Build 691) and report your results.
    For activities : please test all activities to see what has changed; test the browser and its speed with various javascript apps
    For collections: Test installation and uninstallation of new collections; in particular, test the on-disk collections that can be installed via the "find activities" sidebar from the browser's home page.

= Fundament

tools, status, timelines, process

Tools: Portals

  • The OLPC Forum has a slightly updated look. olpchelp and olpc.osuosl.org redirect here; now with more security. Thanks to Peter Harrison and Michael Burns for making the recent merge so smooth.
  • The Activities page

Tools : Projects database

A [projectdb.olpc.at projectdb] for capturing information about new and current projects, and what developers machines are being used for, is in alpha testing. Talk to crazy-chris to help test more actively, or get involved with development. (a project hosting request is out).

To see the database, for projects related to OLPC, requests for XOs, and status of machines and maintainers, follow the link above (user:olpc pass:pleaselook)

In the future, this should integrate with a people/org dataset that tracks information about relationships and interests of the people and partners helping with these projects, and with other aspects of OLPC (outreach, support, design, creation, &c).

Status: Collections

Peruvian curriculum
Peru has roughly 15 different texts for each grade 1-6. user:sj is waiting to see digital versions of these, and will test out and time sharing / downloading that many large texts across a class, with and without reliable connectivity.
Hindi Curriki portal
in final localization; should be ready within a month. Of use to our Indian community.
We have a slightly modified eGranary on 1TB disks available for schools that want to use them. We haven't worked out a broad license agreement; new disk images would cost $100 plus the cost of media (~$350 in all).

Timeline: Update.2

There is discussion of relying more on community review and assessment of activities and collections for update.2. Help us refine our critera for the best projects, and nominate activities and collections you like for featuring/testing or for peer review.

Update.2 Library 
We're working to make the creation, assessment, and packaging of bundles easier and more compatible with existing systems. See discussions about a move to more sensible and unified bundle metadata, and new auto-bundling tools being developed with curriki.
Please make sure any bundles you work on include needed metadata about their sources, authors, and licenses : including the info included in Template:project-summary and any bibliographic information
Update.2 Features 
see the git milestones page for a rought timeline with features.

Process: starting an independent trial

Some trials have come about as a result of the insistence and perseverance of their advocates in a region, in the absence of strong government commitment. A recent thread on the grassroots list addressed how to start a local trial of OLPC [with or without XOs, with or without formal government support; sometimes as a way of attracting such support].

  • notes on how to pitch a trial to local organizations, teachers, and governments:
    Nepal's "Concept note"
    XO roadshows includes a fair bit of presentation material for a variety of audiences
  • Community groups have asked for successful independent trials to describe their processes for advocating to get their trials off the ground, and have them made part of something larger.
    l-fy is pushing hard for G1G1 in Romania to pursue this, and talking about this at FOSDEM.
  • wanted: process for getting an independent trial online and connected with the rest of the OLPC community

+ Priorities

milestones, sequences, first and next


  • Test the library of Peruvian textbooks (1-6, 15 books per grade) for display speed, ease of adding/removing books
  • Make addition of new collections easier in the absence of a network -- via USB
  • Test and finalize library-core#Update.1
  • Finalize a draft review process for choosing featured content (potentially including library-core#Update.2)


  • Test and refine l10n for XO Core and Update.1
  • Add more projects to pootle (especially XO Bundled)
  • Review localization priorities for new localization recruits
  • Properly integrate library strings and core collections (such as Getting Started) with pootle

Local chapters

  • An OLPC Europe meeting is being organized for FOSDEM.
  • Get Weekly zine/0 edits and translations
    Draw in contributions and interviews from new community members for next week

Welcoming committee

  • Finding 5-10 more people to join the welcoming committee processing mail to volunteer@laptop.org and new wiki accounts
  • Getting more mailing-list and wiki moderators.



  • Organizing the links selected by HSO into categories, each of which should eventually have its own collections.
  • Defining initial projects, finding maintainers for active ones, organizing unmaintained health pages on the wiki
  • Setting up regular meeting times and places for community members


  • Organizing help from the students and clinical programs at Harvard and Berkeley Law Schools, which have both offered help with copyright and any other issues OLPC is facing.
    Andriani is meeting with Phil Malone next week to fix a meeting, and writing to law students who have already expressed interest.
  • Offering organized help to anyone who wants to identify the current rights holders for a specific [set of] work[s], perhaps with a separate rights rt queue.

o Reflection

review, updates, analysis, feedback

Keep your own 'week in review'

  • Feel free to use this or other templates; keep track of the projects you're working on, who you are collaborating with, where you hope to be next week, and what you're excited/worried about.
  • ixo notes : provide recognition of the # of volunteer hours / time spent. Part of this is encouraging people to track the tasks they've done, wrapping into this WIR. It's not about quantity and quality - just about clarity of communication. Ixo wants to know about time spent on the project, but this is hard to quantity; projects involved with is perhaps clearer.

Feedback on the week

  • Share your ideas on OLPC, and on education in general, in your own userspace -- post, link to inspiring blog posts, capture the best discussions from mailing lists, help us refine a body of ideas and knowledge future contributors can build upon.
  • Post ideas, links, or suggestions here; or submit them directly to the weekly zine.
  • Bring questions and ideas to our weekly community discussions -- Sunday afternoons, for grassroots projects and initiatives, or Friday afternoons, for broader open discussion.


  • Kevin Novak, AIA (architecture) - he submitted a proposal, waiting on an update
  • Tim Falconer, Haiti - hoping to get early XOs for his own trip there; asked open list
  • Michael S, C Scott - working with SJ on practical classroom use cases for sharing / padssing out large sets of books, possible autoinstallation from USB keys.
  • David Jasmin of LAMAP - visiting the aft of the 17th (at 16:30, in time to share with the community meeting). wants to talk about content and microscope collaborations.

New bundles :