8.2 GUI and usability improvements

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This page refers to a feature introduced in XO Software Release 8.2.0 (AKA build 767). See the 8.2.0 release notes here

GUI and usability improvements

A number of aspects of the XO user interface (called the Sugar UI or GUI) have been revamped to improve the user experience.

This documentation refers to XO Software Release 8.2.0. See the release notes here

Home view

There are now three distinct view options:


This view shows only favorite activities. The activity icons can be positioned by dragging them around the screen.


This view shows only favorite activities. The activities are kept neatly ordered within a ring surrounding the XO.


This view shows every activity currently installed on the laptop, as well as other info about them such as their installation date and version number. The search field allows you to easily locate an activity in the list. Favorite activities can be specified here by clicking on the star icon next to an activity.

Launching activities

The Home view serves as a space for launching new activities. The Frame now shows the running activities. Clicking on an activity icon will launch it with a pulsing icon shown in the center until the activity starts. This feedback shows that the activity is starting and discourages users from launching many activities at once.

Removing activities
Activities can be individually erased to free up space

By hovering over the activity icon it's possible to add or remove it as a favorite activity, or remove the activity completely, uninstalling it permanently. To prevent accidental deletion, a confirmation step is required when deleting activities.


In the new Frame, the edges represent: places, people, devices, and objects. The Frame is accessed by putting the cursor in the corner or on the edge of the screen (see Frame control panel for setting these options) or by pressing the Frame key in the upper right of the keyboard. If the Frame is started by key stroke it must be removed by keystroke.

The Frame is accessible from anywhere
1. Places

The top edge shows the "places" within the UI. The zoom level buttons (Activity, Home, Groups, Neighborhood) appear here. The list of currently running activities also appear on the top edge of the frame. The most recent activity used is highlighted. The Journal is always present here as a running activity.

2. People

The right edge serves as an "active buddy list." Other XOs with whom the XO is collaborating appear on the right edge of the Frame.

3. Devices

System status is in the bottom edge of the Frame. The battery level, network status, USB devices (if present) and audio speaker all appear here.

4. Objects

The left edge of the Frame serves as a multi-item clipboard. The currently selected item will be pasted when the paste button (or the shortcut control - v) is invoked.


The 8.2 release includes an updated Journal The look is cleaner and some additional features have been added to make object management easier.

List view

The list view contains a list of all of the objects created on the laptop, ordered by date. Resuming an activity by clicking on the activity icon itself. Enhancements to the Journal include:

In-line renaming

It's now possible to rename entries directly within the list view, by clicking on the title text. A text field will appear to receive changes, which can be confirmed or canceled with enter and esc keys, respectively.

Object palettes

The activity and people icons within the Journal now have palettes (AKA drop down menus) attached to them. By hovering over their icons, it's possible to find out more information, such as the name of the person, and take actions on them, such as copying or deleting an entry. These changes make it possible to do more from the list, without having to constantly enter the detail view.

Better feedback

The Journal now provides better feedback in edge cases to prevent confusion, for instance when there are no search results returned for a query.

Details view

By clicking on the details button (the little arrow) at the right of an entry, you can view the details page for the entry. This includes a preview, editable description and tags, and other info about the entry. The toolbar at the top of the screen provides useful actions for launching, copying, or deleting the entry.

Graphical sugar control panel

Accessible from the pop-up menu of the XO icon in the home view, the control panel currently provides a graphical interface for setting language, power, UI, date and other options.