Support meetings/20080817

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2008 Aug 17 Support gang


Notes taken by Holt, edited by Mchua (Mel Chua). Note that some things sound like they're being said in third person because Holt is taking notes (for instance, if something says "Dan: He says that X," it really means "Dan said X," because Holt is taking notes on what Dan is saying.)

Dan Drake: (our guest speaker, now talking about the upcoming Build 8.2.0...) 8.2 runs CScott's Activity Updater on boot. Some kinks, but looking good. Tries to update your activities to the latest.

Henry Hardy: Activity Updater problematic when I tried it. Tried to download several 100 MB, failed to recover, still a work in progress!

Dan: Another new feature: auto-backups. If registered w/ school server. School server keeps a number of backups per-user, depending on space. And purge older backups automatically. Recovery still work in progress  ;)

Script on XO runs every 30min, rsync over ssh, to copy over data store. Script only actually backs up if latest backup on school server discovered to be over 24hrs old. New school servers will be important (Martin Langhoff's Moodle work).teachers may be interested, to use for marking/reviewing students' work.

What will ship for G1G1?

8.2.0 *under consideration* for G1G1 2008, depending on production considerations. Other options: ship 8.1 in the beginning of G1G1, and then quickly later transition to 8.2 production/shipping.

(People talking about testing 8.2.0)


(Floor opesn to questions)

Christoph Derndorfer: any idea when 8.1 vs 8.2 decision will be made? Given Austin Book Sprint in 7 days from now, etc.

Dan: other challenges too.

CJL: we are in feature-freeze thank goodness.

Christoph: But uncertainties will hurt while documenting.

Michael Stone: Thanks for yr concern. Will do what I can to explain why so hard to make this decision. Nasty bugs emerge daily! In kernel etc. (Decision soon, but understand tension)

Documentation sprint forthcoming


Extensive Doc Sprint discussion (Aug 24-29 in Austin, TX) "FLOSS Book Sprint" w/ Adam Hyde, Anne Gentle, Walter Bender, Adam Holt, Brian Jordan, etc

Testing and reporting bugs

(Seth Woodworth on testing...)

Test cases form in wiki, you will be able to fill out about your build/errors. Won't need fancy Wiki/Table markups.



Alternate linux distros on SD card

Dan: discussion alternate Linux distributions he & Bobby Powers are getting to install on XO, using a ~4GB SD card! Their script preps the SD, then just stick the SD card into yr XO, and boot into Ubuntu or Fedora! Wireless works, but not yet sound... We could release prepared images of these OS's possible, for G1G1 customers? Making it easy to run standard Linux distros... 4GB is the min size SD card he recommends... 8GB if you want more data etc.

CJL: SD card also neccessary for your own files etc?

Dan: yes, also buy a fast SD card! huge diff in performance, get the faster card!

Henry: I am getting a 32GB SDHC card for my XO

CJL: can you remove the SD card and reboot into regular Sugar?

Dan: yes, but shut down 1st, before removing SD card!

Henry: Get a "class 6" SD card (MB/sec transfer rate)

Dan: 15MB/sec... some confusion on accuracy of stated speeds -- but get a fast SD card! will post more on his blog:

CJL: dual boot may be very attractive for G1G1 donors/clients

Dan: just got this going Friday! Give him a couple days to post on his above blog!

Christoph: Suggest / stock SD cards with Linux distros ready-to-go for resale?

Dan: Interesting idea.

Seth Woodworth: OLPC should have very recent copy of popular distros, and make avail from server tyo host somewhere?

Dan: Sugar Activity to download onto SD card? Even tho challenging, given ~4GB image will need to be downloaded/burned-to-SD in chunks. Std Linux kernel will freeze during boot. But, as of latest 2.6.26 Linux kernel, we're very close to having a standard Linux kernel booting on the XO!

Distro suggestions

Iain Davidson: thoughts on scaled down distros (EG. like <1GB Ubuntu) running on XO?

Bobby Powers: some of these are small, but still ~2.1GB images, larger than a CDROM

Dan: investigating smaller boots running off internal flash, but this is far away...

Henry:, recommends DSL running on 50mb.

Christoph: recommends SLAX as another tiny Linux distro (spelling of SLAX unsure)

Henry: also look at Red Flag linux for the Chinese mkt.

Holt: Dan is head kernel developer at Gentoo!

Seth: Dan also did XO's rebase from F7 to Fedora9! go to pretty pretty princess page on wiki, Dan nominated this week.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics! ~20,000 hits/day to Wiki. Strangely large # of viewers from Uruguay. Possibly due to link on opening page of their XO's. 5 full days of data so far, plus Saturday. Saturday's traffic only ~10,000 (about half of prior days).

Languages and browser details interesting... 171 countries have visited in last wk French Guyana missing  ;) Missing a few countries in Central Asia & Africa. Our traffic is more intl than other sites Seth has examined. Brazil map looks like Chicken Pox! Broken browser issue shows up from Ship.1 ? 623?

Range of browsers:

  • #1 Mozilla (XO registers as)
  • #2 Firefox (unusual, normally I.E. at other sites)
  • #3 Internet Explorer
  • #4 Safari? ETC
  • ETC

Top 10 pages: (popularity)

  • #1 Activites (embarassing! as it's so dated, and

not very translatable today!)

  • #2 Home Page
  • #3 & #4 Doom activity!
  • #5 Sound Sample Pg (Barry Vercoe's) *1000's* of sound samples, as sounds fonts, sound effects etc.

Henry: Correction, Dr B is Richard Boulanger at Berklee School of Music, whereas Barry V is author of CScound

  • #6 Spanish Activities (out of date, argh!)
  • #7 Home
  • #8 Support
  • #9 Software Components
  • #10 Activity Speak
  • #11 Category Activities
  • #12 Portuguese Activities Pg
  • All above have got 1000-OR-MORE HITS in last 6 days!

IS4 Continues to summarize Google Analytics data, examing how the public/community is using ...

Automatic translations of the wiki

CJL: Google Trends? Around March, Google improved ~23 languages translation support. Pairs of languages machine-translated on the fly, with buttons right on yr page. EG. getting Spanish pages from S. American pages, so developers here can get this info otherwise lost. "Reverse Localization" for the largely English-speaking development community. User:Katie had started a template, back in early 2008 before Google's new lang support.

CJL: Look at bottom of (now on top too) See "Machine Translations" section at bottom of

Iain: likes 150 pages which already have machine-translation: how different from drop-down on top-left of each page?

CJL: all invoking Google API, where Google stepped up its game around March 2008

Iain: Google Trans can detect orig language

CJL: Yeah true, but not sure how to invoke this on Wiki automatically

Seth: wants Semantic Wiki Templates... form pushing you to specify language?

CJL: His own real desire using "Parser Fcn for Media Wiki" would be a single template

Iain: CJL has devised a great set of templates to get us where we need to be. Seth Woodworth helped him a lot on translation in past, EG. for zine.

CJL: Indeed-- Rally the translation resources needed, specifically when rapidly changing content!

Henry: Include Sayamindu and his translation volunteers where possible!

CJL: argument on machine-translation vs. human-translation is not the point. Machine translations nec when data changing

Book sprint

Christoph: Book Sprint -- HOW will remotes contribute?

Seth: Good glossary can begin NOW. Anne Gentle should start Road Map now?

Holt: Remote participation will be coordinated by Seth Woodworth in Cambridge MA, with a daily 1PM EDT call linking Austin writers with Boston developers and beyond, also including Greg DeKoenigsberg from NC, Chritoph Derndorfer from Austria, etc. Helen Kelly (intl editor of based out of the UK near London) may attend as both a volunteer writer, and as a journalist exploring OLPC volunteerism.


Holt: OLPC is fulfilling $1000+ worth of bulk XO parts to and, which should ship next week, allowing these 2 entrepreneurs to begin selling parts on their web sites very soon now!

Hironori Mitsuishi: Introduces himself, and Progress Report on Miami's imminent Sunshine Repair Center.