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Project: Ambulant (W3C Smil 3.0 implementation) - Netherlands

The goal of this project is to provide an implementation of Ambulant for the XO (Sugar 0.82) which meets the needs of OLENepal for an activity which can present storybooks with a controlled vocabulary which have a picture, a 'read-aloud' recorded audio track, and a synchronized display of the text.


The specific goal here is to be able to verify that the Ambulant software incorporated in the Smile activity operates properly on the XO with Sugar and to be able reproduce reported problems.

Plan of Action

Install Sugar (probably comes with 0.82 installed) and the Smile activity. Verify that the standard Ambulant demos run correctly on the XO (0.82). Work with other developers on getting problems resolved.


The Smile Activity based on Ambulant 2 (SMIL3) provides a way to 'read aloud' books to children with pictures in the background, the story read on an audio track, and the text highlighted in synchronization with the audio track. According to Dr. Saurav Bhatta at OLENepal, this is the highest priority teaching aid needed there.

The project requires XO and Sugar since the purpose is to verify operability and to be able to reproduce problems. Two are needed to test the possiblity of sharing multimedia presentations between laptops. Clearly the XOs need to be working units. We ask for two machines of the same type to be able to use activities such as ShowNTell to test interaction between two XOs using the mesh. And above that we ask for one XO 1.5 because machines of different type may reveal different problems when used in practice.

Sharing Deliverables

The activity is available for download at Smile with documentation and source.
For more information about Ambulant, see the the Ambulant website.

Ambulant has already been incorporated in the DAISY project's Amis 3, news


AmbulantPlayer is a completely Open Source project. It includes an actively used Bug tracking system . Tony Anderson ( will act as packager for this project.

The plan is to develop content for use in the schools in Nepal and to test the Smile activity in the deployment. Important improvements are expected based on this experience. It is hoped that other deployments will also develop content and share suggestions for improvements with the developers.


Our first goal is to resolve a 'redraw' problem that Tony Anderson encountered on OLPC in the next few weeks. The ongoing goal is to make sure Smile and Ambulant work properly on the XO (and XO-1.5). Since over a million XOs will be in use worldwide for the next five years - the ending time has to be a little vague.


The Ambulant project is located at:

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) c/o Kees Blom
Science Park 123,
1098 XG Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 592 9333


  1. Kees Blom ( +31205924296/
    • Employer: CWI(
    • Past Experience/Qualifications: MSc. in Physics, computer programmer for 30 years
  1. Jack Jansen ( +31205924303/
    • Employer: CWI (
    • Past Experience/Qualifications: MSc. in Computer Science, computer programmer for 32 years