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#sugar-meeting, 2010-03-26

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All times shown according to UTC.

Time Nick Message
11:28 walterbender could everyone please wave :)
11:28 tomeu waves
11:28 cjb wave
11:28 SeanDaly does the wave
11:29 walterbender our wave is bouncing back and forth across the Atlantic
11:29 SeanDaly standing waves
11:29 tomeu imagines a tsunami of brown sugar
11:29 walterbender We've been discussing SoaS and TM... I'd like to also discuss the general topic of sustainability.
11:29 mchua waves
11:30 walterbender but let's focus on SoaS discussion for a moment.
11:30 #topic SoaS
11:30 mchua walterbender: what's the rest of the agenda? soas and tm is all?
11:30 walterbender mchua: + sustainability
11:30 sdziallas that sounds like I should be paying attention ;)
11:31 walterbender I don't know that we have any decisions to make today, but I want to make sure people on the board have a heads up as to what is going on... lots.
11:31 mchua digs up links to mailing list threads
11:31 walterbender re SoaS, just to let people know, sdziallas has set into motion a Fedora "spin" for Mirabelle
11:32 mchua #link http://lists.sugarlabs.org/arc[…]March/010395.html
11:32 walterbender This has ramifications short term and long term.
11:32 mchua That's the IAEP thread that links to the other ones.
11:32 #link http://lists.sugarlabs.org/arc[…]March/000934.html
11:32 walterbender alas the thread got split on different lists
11:32 there is a marketing version as well.
11:32 mchua yeah, the link to the marketing thread is in the iaep email.
11:33 walterbender suggests as an aside to try to keep the thread unified if possible in the future
11:34 In any case, there is a more recent discussion not yet on the lists about a team separate from the SoaS team that may be willing to pick up support and maintenance of Blueberry.
11:34 tomeu so maintenance of a stable branch?
11:34 walterbender yes...
11:35 with the Fedora patches for F12 included
11:35 tomeu cool, I presume it's because they use it?
11:35 walterbender yes
11:35 tomeu great, that's good news for the sustainability front, as well
11:35 walterbender I agree
11:35 sdziallas I guess there's three things going on (+1 not to throw everything altogether)
11:35 and yes, I'm happy if somebody wanted to take that off my shoulders :)
11:36 walterbender so we were just talking about the marketing implications... and we can take the rest of that discussion back to the lists...
11:36 SeanDaly it sounds like great news... Activities are a moving target
11:37 walterbender but the point is that a good thing is happening and we should celebrate it and amplify it if we can.
11:37 tomeu walterbender: great idea
11:37 walterbender anything else for this topic we should discuss now?
11:37 tomeu we need to learn to replicate that in other areas
11:37 SeanDaly we've cited local Labs in PR previously, we need to demonstrate that we have a plan for scaling
11:37 walterbender tomeu: +1
11:38 SeanDaly: we should do a feature on the .py team...
11:38 tomeu btw, seems like the argentinan local lab is doing awesome stuff, but I don't have time to read the archives of their list now
11:38 walterbender they are off the charts productive
11:39 SeanDaly walterbender: I like the idea, since our PR has historically been weak in Spanish speaking countries (my bad I don't speak es !)
11:39 walterbender another aside: I meet with the MoE of .ar in a few weeks. I will coordinate with the .ar lab
11:39 SeanDaly great
11:39 tomeu great, I think they are working more with the municipal government in buenos aires
11:39 mchua *really* appreciates walterbender writing these sorts of things up in weekly reports, btw!
11:40 it's hard for me to keep up with all that's going on otherwise
11:40 walterbender SeanDaly: I think we can find someone who speaks Spanish :)
11:40 SeanDaly reminder, my idea for joint OLPC PR is to showcase AR project
11:40 tomeu when we have a deployment team with regular meetings, I hope everybody be more aware of what happens locally
11:40 walterbender SeanDaly:  and PY!!
11:41 tomeu: do you know if Ceibal uses IRC the way Paraguay does?
11:42 #olpc-paraguay uses the meeting bot... etc. all their meetings are on freenode
11:42 so it is easy to interact with them in #sugar too
11:42 mchua To tie this into the sustainability discussion - how can we tap the contributor growth in these deployments to help us spread the load?
11:42 I know tomeu and bernie and others have been doing a lot of great work and outreach with them
11:42 tomeu walterbender: don't think they use irc internally
11:42 walterbender mchua: this is the point of highlighting the .py example...
11:42 tomeu walterbender: but esteban and daniel_c are in #sugar often
11:43 walterbender they are very systemic in their approach.
11:43 mchua but there seems to still be more of a bridge that could be made - core folks are still overloaded with basic tasks, it seems
11:43 ah, okay/
11:43 sits back to listen about .py and such
11:43 walterbender tomeu: I don't want to diminish the .ar efforts :)
11:43 SeanDaly Yes .py too
11:43 walterbender it is cool that we have some great examples emerging... time to let the world know so they can emulate
11:43 tomeu walterbender: hmm, can you extend? what plays .ar here?
11:44 walterbender tomeu: I think that in Argentina, many of the same good things that are happening in Paraguay are also beginning to happen.
11:44 tomeu ah, could be
11:45 though I think they talk more often of the plan ceibal as an example
11:45 walterbender they just need to steal bernie for a while :)
11:45 SeanDaly bernie, roving Sugar ambassador
11:45 tomeu we should talk with gonzalo about all this, no point in us speculating what's going on there
11:45 walterbender heads south in October...
11:46 tomeu: well, I try to read their list archive... not pure speculation :)
11:46 anyway, we should move on...
11:46 briefly discuss TM?
11:47 cjb and SeanDaly were exchanging some perspectives earlier.
11:47 but can I propose an Action for marketing: to talk with .py re some PR?
11:48 mchua just sent a message to the SLOBs list re: scheduling a TM discussion call - will forward to iaep momentarily.
11:48 SeanDaly walterbender: sure
11:48 walterbender (and maybe a profile of our roving ambassador?)
11:48 tomeu walterbender: ah ok
11:48 walterbender #Action: Marketing will discuss with .py a PR plan to highlight their local-lab efforts.
11:48 #topic TM
11:49 cjb hm, not sure how to talk about TMs more.  oh, I could be clear that the latest TM policy draft on the wiki is fine with me.
11:49 walterbender #action: mchua will organize the voice meeting to discuss TM prior to the April face-to-face meeting.
11:50 bernie hello
11:50 walterbender cjb: I think we have exhausted our ability to discuss this topic in low-bandwidth media
11:50 cjb walterbender: sure, I agree.
11:50 walterbender bernie: ciao... do you have the backlog?
11:50 tomeu hi bernie
11:51 sdziallas hi bernie
11:51 bernie walterbender: yes
11:51 SeanDaly TM issue is a motivator for my Boston visit, I am finding imits to electronic communication
11:51 bernie reads
11:51 SeanDaly hi bernie
11:51 walterbender ok, so maybe we leave it at that.
11:51 cjb walterbender: (I think it might actually be just because we understand each other's position pretty well by now, rather than because we're not communicating well.)
11:51 walterbender cjb: I am not sure...
11:52 cjb: in any case, we aren't finding any middle ground
11:52 cjb yeah
11:52 SeanDaly there's an article-of-faith issue: I maintain that I can't grow the brand wiithout TM licensee vetting; like coding with no compiler
11:52 cjb (sometimes that just means it's time to make a decision somehow)
11:53 walterbender but after the face to face, it is time to give a vote and live with our decisions for a while, me thinks
11:53 cjb *nod* I see.
11:53 SeanDaly I also maintain that it's in our interest to know testers & deployers, to get feedback & grow community
11:54 my problem is, everyone can vote marketing out of effective existence
11:54 tomeu in sugar we code a lot without compilers :p
11:54 faith-based computing
11:55 bernie sdziallas: I'll follow up with an email where I clearly explain what the goal is and why I think the naming should suggest continuation rather than forking.
11:55 cjb SeanDaly: I think you just have to make it as clear as possible -- hopefully the face-to-face helps -- that that's what you think they'll be doing.
11:55 walterbender SeanDaly: that is of course a serious consideration in the discussion.
11:55 SeanDaly what we're trying to do is edge-of-envelope, so as stated earlier it may be I am too ambitious for growing awareness
11:55 tomeu: touché !!
11:55 sdziallas bernie: that sounds fair! I'm looking forward to it :) (and I'm pretty confident that we'll have it work out)
11:55 walterbender though he said code without "computers"
11:56 SeanDaly I could have said computers... back in high school students wrote code in little notebooks since timeshare limited :D
11:56 tomeu heh
11:56 walterbender so let's grab a few remaining minutes to discuss sustainability.
11:56 hated punch card and batch programming :(
11:57 not the way to do iterative design
11:57 #topic sustainability
11:57 I got two more grant rejections this week: from the NSF and the DML grant
11:57 I am questioning this as a model for us
11:57 cjb aw, sorry to hear.
11:57 SeanDaly ouch
11:58 any feedback concerning rejection reasons?
11:58 walterbender we haven't really tried the EU programs yet... maybe we could win there?
11:58 SeanDaly: nothing useful from the NSF and nothing at all from DML
11:59 part of this is a communications problem...
11:59 SeanDaly I neglected to debrief SLOBs on my OSOR meeting
12:00 in a phrase, they are very interested in us but consider it early days to promote us; want third-party studies re 1to1 effectiveness and Sugar as good 1to1
12:00 EU has vast number of programs
12:01 OSOR would be great reference in any EU application, and they are willing to work with us when we wish
12:01 walterbender I am still holding out hope for the USAID grant for a local lab in Pakistan... it would be a great model
12:01 SeanDaly walterbender: communications problem, can you elaborate?
12:01 tomeu in europe, I would partner with some organization that has already experience getting eu grants
12:02 but I wonder why we would need grants when: - our current operational costs are very low, - sugar is widely used and their deployers increasingly depend on SLs' operations
12:02 walterbender well, we have so much going on that it is hard to make clear in a grant proposal what is the relevant aspect to that grant...
12:02 SeanDaly tomeu: yes, since arriving back in FR last summer I have started developing contacts in FLOSS edu; lots of stuff going on & following my Solutions Linux prez I have been invited to 2 other conferences
12:03 cjb tomeu: funding travel to in-person confs would be a good use of grants
12:03 walterbender tomeu: well, I have been very specific in the what I am trying to get money for: meetings, media, specific development tasks that wouldn't happen otherwise...
12:03 SeanDaly tomeu: marketing/promotion/pr is expensive, I've been paying those myself but I can't go on like that
12:04 tomeu: and if we could advertise, things couls move very quickly with teachers
12:04 walterbender but no luck on any of these (well, actually, the Nokia grant came through but got fumbled in our interactions with the SFC)
12:04 tomeu cjb: yeah, but if we stop having developers, we won't have nobody to fly around
12:04 walterbender I want to be able to give out SoaS because it is still a roadblock for teachers to make sticks, for example...
12:05 SeanDaly travel funds would certainly be very useful
12:05 tomeu SeanDaly: I'm more worried now about keeping our current capacity than about growing it in quite open-ended ways
12:05 walterbender tomeu: building more relationships like you have with Collabora would go a long ways towards helping us with the status quo
12:05 and with growth...
12:05 tomeu basically, my main problem is that our community keeps talking about things we want to be done, but I don't think we talk enough about who will do it and for how long
12:05 SeanDaly tomeu: our current capacity is stretched thin and we need to grow contributors as a priority
12:06 tomeu walterbender: hmm, I think collabora is kind of a one-time donation, not really sustainable
12:06 walterbender tomeu: there are many exceptions to that assertion...
12:06 mchua Yeah... we have resource scarcity, but tend to need other kinds of resources more.
12:06 (er, that was re: tomeu's much earlier comment on "why do we need grants?")
12:06 tomeu walterbender: well, it's the impression I have
12:06 mchua (my screen, apparently, failed to scroll.)
12:07 walterbender tomeu: I agree... but getting 3rd parties interested in sustaining projects I think is part of our strategy...
12:07 SeanDaly I have become convinced we should recruit in schools - high schools & universities - through professors (cf jt4sugar kit proposal)
12:07 walterbender tomeu: those will come and go and local labs will be more consistent
12:07 mchua One question I wanted to raise - and this may not be the right forum for it, so I'm happy to take it elsewhere - is resources for Sugar core development itself.
12:07 tomeu walterbender: yes, but I think that if we have possibilities that are more sustainable, we should focus on those
12:08 mchua Most of our marketing has been about deployment-facing products, like Activities and SoaS.
12:08 walterbender SeanDaly: that too... I get lots of help these days out of Jeff Elkner's group, for example
12:08 tomeu mchua: I would call it maintenance
12:08 mchua But sugar-core needs love, and attention, and resources to - do folks working on sugar-core feel like they're getting enough of that?
12:08 tomeu mchua: we have lots of developers, few maintainers
12:08 mchua tomeu: ok, help with maintenance, then
12:08 bernie has to drop off again :-(
12:08 walterbender tomeu: is there a project where it is otherwise?
12:08 mchua Okay, then maybe that's another recruiting thing to look into... sugar-core maintainers.
12:09 (conbributor recruiting as opposed to user marketing.)
12:10 tomeu walterbender: there are projects in which downstreams understand they need to contribute to maintenance
12:10 walterbender tomeu: that is a different matter and one where I think we are in need of better communication
12:10 SeanDaly recruitment of contributors, and reaching out to millions of teachers, are very separate projects although of course common thread
12:10 tomeu walterbender: yes, it's a matter of communication
12:10 walterbender tomeu: we are getting better cooperation from OLPC these days, for example
12:10 tomeu SeanDaly: you aren't very likely to get volunteer maintainers
12:11 walterbender: yes, OLPC groks it
12:11 SeanDaly tomeu: another model then? obtain funding -> hire contract engineers?
12:11 tomeu SeanDaly: the maintainers should be employees of deployers
12:11 SeanDaly: because deployers know what is important and what not
12:12 and they are spending lots of money in downstream engineering work
12:12 walterbender tomeu: I think people would be more willing to maintain if they had more feedback from the end users... I cannot keep up with the TA feedback, so I am very attentive to that project...
12:12 tomeu that wouldn't be efficient if there weren't maintainers where to pool their work
12:12 SeanDaly a bit chicken-and-egg, since no large Sugar deployments yet outside OLPC
12:12 tomeu SeanDaly: what's the problem with OLPC deployments?
12:13 SeanDaly: they are already spending money in engineering, they are giving for granted that volunteers will always maintain sugar. and that's wrong
12:13 SeanDaly tomeu: is there a problem? I thought latest Sugar not on any OLPC machines
12:13 tomeu and we need to explain them that it's wrong and which risks they are running
12:13 SeanDaly: I interpreted "a bit chicken-and-egg, since no large Sugar deployments yet outside OLPC" as if olpc deployments couldn't contribute to maintenance
12:14 cjb tomeu: hi
12:14 SeanDaly tomeu: my mistake, I assumed OLPC deployments runnning older Sugar
12:14 cjb not sure what you mean -- Sayamindu's maintaining 0.84 for us at the moment, and that's what we're shipping
12:14 (he's an employee)
12:15 oh!  maybe you mean the *deployments* are assuming they don't have to maintain Sugar, rather than OLPC itself?
12:15 walterbender needs to go in a few minutes... I'll do an #endmeeting so I don't block the channel.
12:16 cjb I think it's true that a lot of deployments don't really know how they'd meaningfully maintain Sugar, they'd much rather do it through OLPC somehow
12:16 tomeu cjb: well, any downstreams, but deployers have bigger engineering resources in total than olpc
12:17 cjb I see
12:17 walterbender let me just say for the record that there are some other sustainability issues in addition to maintenance... a related one, for example, is testing. And documentation.
12:17 tomeu cjb: that would work as well
12:17 cjb yeah, I agree that deployers should help out with Sugar maintenance more
12:17 tomeu cjb: I guess some deployments will want to grow local capacity, others not
12:17 cjb tomeu: I think some just really don't know how to start doing that
12:17 (and I don't know either)
12:17 walterbender tomeu: but we are seeing examples of that... .py for example.
12:17 tomeu cjb: in any case, they have told me they want to contribute to upstream
12:17 cjb: but it's very hard to explain these things to their bosses
12:18 cjb yeah
12:18 tomeu they just cannot believe we are doing what we are doing by free
12:18 it blows thier minds
12:18 so there's a work to be done there that takes time
12:18 cjb walterbender: I should get going in a few mins too
12:19 mchua has to leave soon
12:19 SeanDaly testing, documentation, ... -> even helpline, through for example for-profits in ecosystem
12:19 walterbender ok...
12:19 #endmeeting

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