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#sugar-meeting meeting, 2010-03-19 11:56:00

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Time Nick Message
11:56 sdziallas #chair mchua sdziallas
11:56 #topic kickstart part 2
11:56 here we go!
11:57 mchua When we last left our heroes, they were DRASTICALLY SLASHING the SoaS kickstart file to make the mainenance load more sane.
11:57 sdziallas so this is going to be the activity part!
11:57 nods.
11:57 mchua *introductory animation, cheerful trumpet music*
11:57 Anyway.
11:58 sdziallas :)
11:58 mchua sdziallas: do we need to put anything in the "multimedia" or "internet" sections or should we just delete those?
11:58 (also, hardware, sounds, and fonts)
11:58 sdziallas well, unless we need alpine, internet can go awawy.
11:59 mchua why would we need alpine?
11:59 sdziallas multimedia might be needed, depending on which activities we add.
11:59 to read emails :)
11:59 j/k
11:59 so multimedia is a little tougher, since some of the activities might actually need or not need stuff from there.
12:00 mchua Okay, so we'll leave the section in and if we add Activities that need things we can put them in.
12:00 and if the section's empty at the end of this exercise, it goes way.
12:00 sdziallas hardware was just there to support more hardware (which would be nice to have, I guess)
12:00 mchua er, away.
12:00 sdziallas nods, that sounds fair
12:00 mchua Mm, yeah, hardware support sounds good... how are those packages to update/maintain?
12:00 sdziallas (we could make sound and multimedia go into the same category, though)
12:01 mchua are those hardware packages being taken care of by other people for normal-Fedora anyway, and we can piggyback along?
12:01 sdziallas well, the b43 thing is maintained by... somebody (so non-sugar), i think Peter was looking into that.
12:01 so this is... exactly! the case there.
12:01 and the libertas firmware is for the XO, so we shouldn't need to worry there.
12:01 nukes sound (and will put that stuff later into multimedia)
12:02 mchua sdziallas: your call, I'd say. If you're confident they will take 0 maintenance, more hardware sounds good.
12:02 sdziallas so I add the two packages for additional hardware support?
12:02 yup.
12:02 nothing to worry about, I guess.
12:03 next one. fonts.
12:03 Walter filed a ticket on that some time ago, asking to include these.
12:04 http://bugs.sugarlabs.org/ticket/1119
12:04 should we simply add them and link this ticket for reference?
12:04 mchua looks
12:04 sdziallas: as long as $someone_else is maintaining the package, sure.
12:05 sdziallas mchua: yup, that's the case.
12:05 mchua sdziallas: yay packages that require no work from us!
12:05 oaky.
12:05 er, okay.
12:05 can't type this morning.
12:05 sdziallas mchua: mostly, the activities are what cause trouble, I guess
12:05 mchua: mhm :)
12:05 mchua: uh, actually we need to add the boot screen package, too (can wait, though)
12:07 mchua Oh, go for it
12:07 I wanted to save Activities for last
12:09 sdziallas: lemme know when you've got everything except activities in, I suppose.
12:09 sdziallas alright!
12:09 well, the rest is... depending on the activities, or negotiable.
12:12 (which is like "do we need a flash replacement?" or "a screen recorder?" "or a second installer?" or "a way of duplicating the image?")
12:12 mchua Activities, then.
12:12 Ah, okay.
12:12 sdziallas (if the answer is no to all of them, I think we're GO for activities)
12:12 mchua I'd say no to all of them.
12:12 and if people want that stuff, *they* can maintain it.
12:13 sdziallas heh.
12:13 mchua This is "operation: let's be lazy bums."
12:13 sdziallas well, it's not like I'm maintaining all of this, but it doesn't make sense to ship stuff that doesn't get used, either.
12:13 mchua er, I mean... "in order to ensure the high quality of the software that ships with Sugar on a Stick, we are making strategic decisions to..."
12:13 Right.
12:14 sdziallas can we turn that operation in a movie at some point? :D
12:14 j/k
12:14 alright. so. activities.
12:14 SeanDaly hi mchua, sdziallas
12:14 sdziallas waves to SeanDaly
12:15 mchua Hey, SeanDaly. We cancelled the SLOBs meeting.
12:15 (about an hour ago)
12:15 sdziallas: Yep, Activities.
12:16 SeanDaly ah, didn't know, I don't get invites anymore and didn't see a mail
12:16 mchua sdziallas: let's start with 0 and then add things in until we're not wincing *too* much anymore.
12:16 I'd like to try to stay at 5 or less, but... we'll see.
12:17 sdziallas mchua: whoa... heh, okay ;)
12:17 mchua: browse is a must, I hear.
12:17 mchua Yeah, if we can only ship with one, I would ship with Browse, from a "this makes Sugar functional" point of view.
12:17 It's also used to install other Activities, which... es muy importante.
12:17 sdziallas nods. it enables you to do a.sl.o... right.
12:17 goes adding that.
12:18 mchua sdziallas: so we know how much bandwidth we have to maintain other activities... how bad is Browse to package and maintain as a package?
12:18 Code-wise, the bugs scare me. It's not an easy activity to develop.
12:18 sdziallas mchua: well, browse is orphaned upstream.
12:18 mchua: so there are no updates anyways, heh.
12:19 mchua sdziallas: dumb question - why not use $another_browser? What's special about Browse?
12:19 (I think I know the answer, but humor me)
12:19 satellit__ firefox sugarized it is in aslo?
12:19 sdziallas mchua: well, if surf (as in: the webkit one) was better integrated with sugar, I'd go for that. but it's pretty dead, too.
12:20 mchua: to answer your question about maintaining it: browse is insofar special as the slightest change in xulrunner (in Fedora) gives us pain. but since xulrunner is pretty strongly maintained by the RH folks (except that they failed to care for F12), I think we... can't do much here.
12:21 mchua winces slightly to hear about that history, but... well... okay.
12:21 sdziallas mchua: basically: if anybody develops and maintains a new activity for browsing the net, I'd be more than happy to go for that instead.
12:21 mchua satellit__: Dunno, you could check in ASLO. ;)
12:21 satellit__: Firefox is huge and slow compared to Browse, though. So I'd be reluctant to make the swap. The UI also doesn't translate well to smaller screens, in my experience.
12:22 sdziallas: Okay, so... should we put Browse in this time, live with it, file a ticket to either find a maintainer or to look for something better for v4?
12:22 sdziallas mchua: yup, sounds good! against what will the ticket be filed, though? SoaS? Browse?
12:22 mchua: (the sad thing is: our most important activity is orphaned!)
12:22 satellit__ it is in aslo....need password to do dl
12:23 sdziallas (heh, I think I'm both of us might be blogging about this session, so... heh.)
12:23 mchua sdziallas: SoaS, because we need to find "a web-browsing solution" which may or may not be Browse. As part of that ticket we'll have to be poking the Browse folks, but we'll also explore other options.
12:23 sdziallas mchua: sounds reasonable!
12:24 mchua goes to file that ticket
12:24 sdziallas thanks :)
12:26 mchua So it's basically no maintenance work from the packaging side this round.
12:26 But may be a heavy load on testing and support.
12:26 That's okay with me.
12:26 sdziallas nods. exactly!
12:26 yeah... we should be good for v3 by now.
12:27 mchua Okay. If we *just* shipped Browse, would we be totally unsatisfied?
12:27 sdziallas Heh. Possibly.
12:28 SeanDaly what's the topic?
12:28 sdziallas SeanDaly: sustainability :)
12:29 mchua sdziallas: What's the 2nd Activity you'd add?
12:29 SeanDaly always a good one :-)
12:29 mchua SeanDaly: The idea is to ship a *much* smaller SoaS Activity list - bare minimum, providing instructions on how people can install more.
12:30 SeanDaly: That way we have the bandwidth to really test and "support" the small number of core Activities we're putting out.
12:30 And people don't expect us to support the rest - and they also get to feel a little more participatory by going out and exploring other Activities to install.
12:30 (part of this would be making very, very good docs and guides for many different sorts of audiences on how to do exactly that.)
12:30 (welcoming them to the community as explorers, etc.)
12:30 SeanDaly mchua: that's a bit of a crazy idea, considering we tell everyone that SoaS has a selection of ready-to-use Activities
12:31 mchua SeanDaly: But the truth is that it doesn't, really - a lot of the Activities are broken/unmaintained right now.
12:31 SeanDaly No argument there, but that's not the point
12:31 mchua SeanDaly: SoaS will still have a selection of ready-to-use Activities, just a smaller one. And all the Activities on it will actually work, work well, and have responsive maintainers.
12:32 SeanDaly SoaS serves a vital goal in overcoming the two main barriers Sugar faces: the install barrier and the unfamiliarity barrier
12:32 mchua SeanDaly: No argument there either.
12:33 SeanDaly It serves an extremely useful purpose to recruit teachers, parents, and contributors
12:33 mchua SeanDaly: Yep, I agree.
12:33 SeanDaly leaving out Activities raises the install barrrier unfortunately
12:33 SoaS for a deployment would be a different story
12:34 But when I am in front of 100 people like I was 2 days ago at the education roundtable of Solutions Linux, I boot up Sugar and point to Activities and launch a few
12:35 mchua SeanDaly: Oh, we're not cutting *all* Activities. We'll certainly leave a couple that will make a compelling demo.
12:35 SeanDaly: And the instructions for installing more Activities will be so good, first graders can follow them.
12:35 SeanDaly: Actually, my plan is to get first graders to write them. ;)
12:36 SeanDaly Booting it up with 3 Activities and saying "fihure out by yourselves how to use this unfamiliar interface which may or may not work with your wireless card to get online and donwload and install more Activities" defeats the entire purpose of SoaS
12:36 fihure/figure
12:36 what possible advantage is there?
12:37 mchua SeanDaly: Well, let me try to describe what will happen if we *don't* cut the list.
12:37 SeanDaly: We have... what, sdziallas, 20 Activities on the list now? Something around there?
12:37 SeanDaly: 8 of them simply don't work, as of right nowl
12:37 er, right now.
12:37 sdziallas mchua: probably something around that, yup.
12:38 mchua SeanDaly: Nor do they have active maintainers. So they will, in all probability, continue to be broken.
12:38 SeanDaly: The remainder aren't necessarily in much better shape. Some are extremely well-maintained (say, TurtleArt), but those are few and far between.
12:38 And things we would consider "core activities" - Browse, Write - are among the broken, unmaintained ones.
12:39 SeanDaly so 240 Activities in ASLO, and we can't find 20 that work?
12:39 mchua SeanDaly: That work well and are actively maintained by responsive developers? Yes, we can't find 20 of those.
12:40 SeanDaly the maintenance matters less than whether they work
12:40 tomeu also, I don't think we have enough resources to go through those 240 activities and actually see if they work or not
12:40 mchua tomeu: +1
12:40 tomeu in the past, we have included activities just because they managed to startup
12:40 mchua SeanDaly: The maintenance matters, because we also want them to work tomorrow.
12:40 tomeu and later turned out that were useless because of some later error
12:40 SeanDaly I mean, 1.4 millions XO-1s in the wild, and most of those Activities don't work?
12:41 mchua SeanDaly: Yep.
12:41 tomeu well, those xo-1s don't care if an activity works in mirabelle
12:41 SeanDaly it's news to me that most Activities used by children today are not working, where does this info come from?
12:42 tomeu often, we cannot say if an activity "works" because there's no documentation about how the author intended it to work
12:42 sdziallas tomeu: right, test cases are something we desperately need, too.
12:42 mchua SeanDaly: I think you're assuming that we have (or had, in the past) a sufficient amount of development and QA manpower to do things properly. ;)
12:42 tomeu SeanDaly: anecdotal experience from reading the bugtracker and the mailing lists
12:43 mchua SeanDaly: As the person who used to be responsible for running the OLPC QA community team as half of my $dayjob, and did deployment support as the other half... I can tell you with great confidence that This Is Not The Case.
12:43 SeanDaly I'd be surprised if the major Sugar deployments hadn't mentioned to anybody that most Activities are not working
12:43 sdziallas SeanDaly: booting the latest snapshot. knowing that browse and record were broken *for months* without anybody caring about that. (to be continued)
12:43 tomeu SeanDaly: they aren't using mirabelle
12:44 mchua SeanDaly: They're using old, old images that we shipped more than a year ago.
12:44 tomeu the problem is not only if something "works", but also in which sugar version it works
12:44 mchua SeanDaly: And they do report bugs sometimes (the ones who even know they can report bugs - not all of them do).
12:44 SeanDaly tomeu: mchua just confirmed that most Activities in the 1.4m XO-1s are not working, I'm just surprised to hear that
12:44 cjb SeanDaly: the main argument is that activities *did* work, and continue to work on XO-1s, but do not work on current SoaS
12:44 (as I'm hearing it)
12:44 tomeu cjb: ++
12:45 SeanDaly I'm confused at this point
12:45 cjb: but put like that I'm less confused
12:45 tomeu SeanDaly: also, it's not only if an activity works on a sugar version or not, we need to take into account different versions of the same activity
12:45 mchua SeanDaly: the set of deployments we care about Activities working on SoaS for is "the set of deployments actually using SoaS"
12:45 SeanDaly: which is extremely small at this point, afaict
12:45 SeanDaly This seems to be a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater
12:46 mchua SeanDaly: the N-million kids using XO-1's are not part of our userbase for SoaS.
12:46 SeanDaly: How so?
12:46 SeanDaly As I say there's a difference between SoaS for lowering barriers and SoaS for deployments
12:46 mchua sdziallas: Which one would you say we are working on now?
12:47 (I would say the latter.)
12:47 SeanDaly SoaS fulfills a vital role for demoing Sugar, allowing teachers and parents to get past the two biggest hurdles
12:47 mchua SeanDaly: Ok - SoaS as demo tool vs SoaS as deployment tool are different uses, I agree with that.
12:47 tomeu suggestion: make a call for testing activities for inclusion into mirabelle
12:47 sdziallas mchua: I believe that with the position statement I issued for Blueberry (and I hear most people agreed with), we moved more towards the latter point.
12:47 mchua SeanDaly: The intent of demoing, though, is that we hope people will eventually deploy SoaS, right?
12:48 SeanDaly SoaS without Activities may be a good base for a pilot deployment version, but will fail in its role for demoing Sugar
12:48 mchua SeanDaly: so what I would do, if I were to stand in front of 100 people, is to have my SoaS image with minimal Activity set, and go to ASLO and load it up myself.
12:48 tomeu SeanDaly: the root of the problem is that if we want something done, we need to find someone who will do it
12:48 mchua SeanDaly: Then, when I gave my demo, I would say "I installed these additional Activities from ASLO - here's how I did it. Isn't ASLO awesome?"
12:49 SeanDaly mchua: and every nongeek teacher there will think "too complicated"
12:49 tomeu SeanDaly: until now, we have been trying to do more and more without worrying enough about who will do it, and this lowers quality and stresses people like sdziallas
12:49 mchua SeanDaly: And right now, I think that's fine.
12:49 SeanDaly tomeu: not just sdziallas :D
12:49 tomeu well, in the soas case, most of the pressure has been on him
12:49 mchua SeanDaly: We don't have bandwidth for support.
12:49 satellit__ could we have a script to install sets of activities from aslo
12:49 mchua satellit__: That's one possible solution that may be worth exploring.
12:50 SeanDaly mchua: I showed ASLO at Solutions Linux too
12:50 mchua satellit__: It still makes the assumption that we start with a very small set of Activities and let other people figure out what else *they* want to add and worry about themselves. :)
12:50 satellit__ like fedora net install preset activity sets
12:50 SeanDaly but when I handed out SD cards, I was always asked if "content" was present or if had to be added, and teachers are invariably happier to find out that they don't need to do anything complicated
12:51 For example, I installed Fedora from DVD on 2 netbooks and getting Sugar to work on them has been difficult
12:52 and also disorienting, since there are no Activities in the base install; and no indication that ASLO exists
12:52 mchua satellit__: A script like that would be outside the scope of SoaS itself, but it might make a nice thing to make as a tool to act *on* the finished SoaS image (though I'm not sure how easy/possible it is, tbh; it may be a simple 'yum install activities' bash script, or it might be ubercomplicated.)
12:52 satellit__: in other words, "if you want to make a script that takes the SoaS image and does stuff to it to add more Activities, that's great, but that script itself isn't part of SoaS."
12:53 SeanDaly We've been dealing for some time with our limited resources issues
12:53 mchua SeanDaly: I don't disagree with your assessments - I just think that we do not have the capacity to support teachers who can't figure out a lot of this stuff, at this point.
12:53 As a project - as SoaS.
12:54 Individual deployment supported by individual people can do that.
12:54 satellit__ could the script be on a startup menu plus install to hard disk  (usb) like trisquel and fedora
12:54 SeanDaly If we have that many orphaned Activities, perjaps we need to raise priority of recruitment
12:54 mchua For instance, that's why I've got the CFS SoaS deployment - because I can guarantee that *I* (Mel) will help that classroom.
12:54 SeanDaly mchua: Teachers need to know Sugar exists
12:54 mchua SeanDaly: We do need to raise the priority of recruitment - but that's going to help us make a more full-featured SoaS later.
12:54 SeanDaly: Right now, we need to slim down many things because the capacity we have to make things well *now* is small.
12:55 SeanDaly: I'd rather do a small, high-quality release than a large crappy one. I want to have a reputation for being Extremely Good.
12:55 SeanDaly: Teachers need to know Sugar exists, yes. And when they discover Sugar, I'd like them to discover a great, working product.
12:55 SeanDaly Well, hearing that most Activities in ASLO don't work seems to me to be a critical situation
12:56 mchua SeanDaly: Right now, if they don't know about Sugar, they have no expectations about what it does - so we set expectations for the few things we know we can do well, and then as we gain the capacity to do more things well, we go "and now we have more things!" and celebrate that.
12:56 SeanDaly: It absolutely is a critical situation.
12:56 tomeu a critical situation is that people think that SLs does things by itself, without needing investment
12:56 SeanDaly mchua: a solid bulletproof Sugar would spread very quickly, by word of mouth. But it seems to me we can't have a solid bulletproof Sugar with new versions every six months, unless I'm missing something?
12:57 tomeu this has drained the energy of the people who managed what we have today, without giving us a way forward
12:57 mchua SeanDaly: With our current manpower for SoaS, we can only have a *very small* solid bulletproof SoaS every 6 months.
12:57 sdziallas tomeu: +1.
12:57 mchua tomeu: +1
12:57 tomeu we have shown that we are capable of doing stuff, now we may need to switch to show how other people can make it possible that we make more stuff
12:58 SeanDaly The recruitment problem could be partly solved with funding
12:58 mchua SeanDaly: That's actually the goal - it's why sdziallas made SoaS a Fedora Spin this time around, it's why we're slimming down the Activities list for SoaS right now... we *want* solid bulletproof Sugar.
12:58 SeanDaly: But we don't have funding now.
12:58 SeanDaly: The thing is, beta freeze is *Tuesday.*
12:58 tomeu SeanDaly: but not just money, the money should be coming from those who actually use and need sugar
12:58 mchua SeanDaly: So our problem right now is "okay, between now and Tuesday, what's going to work - and work well?"
12:58 tomeu otherwise we won't invest it wisely
12:58 SeanDaly mchua: without Activities, there's no point for SoaS
12:59 mchua SeanDaly: There'll still be Activities, just not 20 of them.
12:59 SeanDaly As I say, no point
12:59 mchua SeanDaly: We're going through the list here in public precisely so that people can help us prioritize which Activities we need to spend our time on shipping.
13:00 tomeu sees a big point in what mchua and sdziallas are doing
13:00 mchua SeanDaly: Criteria include things like "impact on education," "demoability," "effort needed to package and maintain the package," and "state of bugs/ease of development."
13:00 SeanDaly might be better to deal with this on-list, it's an important topic (unless I missed the mail, I have had connectivity issues)
13:00 tomeu and I'm sure deployers like simon and children like his class do as well
13:00 mchua SeanDaly: It's going to be hitting the list as soon as we're done with the first cut of the kickstart file.
13:01 SeanDaly: Freeze is Tuesday; between now and then, there are 4 daily builds.
13:01 SeanDaly I don't know what a kickstart file is, I'm sorry
13:01 mchua SeanDaly: We just need to get a first small working version up, and then tell people the process for other things being added to it.
13:01 SeanDaly: Whoops, sorry. Geek-brain slip. :)
13:01 SeanDaly mchua; that's fine for deployments, but fails as a Sugar demo
13:02 SoaS is the central pillar of our marketing because it overcomes the two greatest barriers Sugar faces: installation and unfamiliarity
13:02 mchua SeanDaly: You can think of the kickstart file as the list of Activities that will ship in SoaS. It's in a special format so that when you run a script on a kickstart file, it generates an .iso.
13:02 sdziallas: (I think. Correct me if I'm wrong.)
13:02 sdziallas mchua: that's a good description, I think.
13:03 mchua SeanDaly: If we have no solid product, though, we have nothing to market.
13:03 SeanDaly: We need to market what we do have - what we can produce - which is this small thing that works well.
13:03 SeanDaly mchua: no, that's not correct
13:03 mchua willing to be corrected - I'm an engineer, not a marketer, though I've been trying to learn the latter lately. :)
13:04 SeanDaly although a bulletproof reliable product would make marketing extremely simple - think Google, which never had to advertise for its first 10 years in business,
13:04 we can't say "stop spreading the word about Sugar, it's not ready"
13:05 mchua SeanDaly: oh, no, I wouldn't want to say that.
13:05 SeanDaly: I'd want to say "spread the word about Sugar - here's what we've got right now, and you can help us build the rest and make it even better."
13:05 SeanDaly Everyone who evaluates Sugar - journalists, ed tech buyers, the EU contacts for example - everyone knows Sugar is not ready
13:06 What they want is to see the signs of how it is developing and improving
13:06 But, my concern is not with them
13:06 it is with the 7 million or so primary school teachers in the world
13:06 We need to inform them that there is an alternative
13:07 mchua There's an alternative, and it's not ready for most of them yet.
13:07 They can help make it more ready for them.
13:07 SeanDaly OLPC has been thoroughly slagged in the press these past couple of years, for several reasons,
13:07 tomeu is confused about the subject of the discussion
13:08 SeanDaly but one of the main ones is: journalists couldn't get their hands on one
13:08 mchua Hey, rkabir!
13:08 tomeu SeanDaly: I think everybody in this channel wants sugar and soas be wonderful products and cater all the educative needs of teachers and students
13:08 SeanDaly tomeu: SoaS is fulfilling two roles, and if Activities are absent from it, it will not work in one of those roles
13:08 tomeu SeanDaly: but: 1. we cannot do more than what we can do, 2. we need to think about expanding our capacity
13:09 mchua SeanDaly: I think we're drifting from the original purpose of this conversation, which was taking a hard look at the engineering reqs for SoaS for this release cycle (with the upcoming Tuesday beta freeze) and being realistic about what we can and can't do well.
13:09 tomeu SeanDaly: I suggested before making a call for people testing activities for inclusion in the next release
13:09 SeanDaly: or who do you expect to do that work?
13:09 SeanDaly tomeu: yes, which is why I said earlier we should raise priority of recruitment and funding if situation that bad
13:10 mchua SeanDaly: That's a great medium-term solution, and I'd love to do that. And in the short term - between now and Tuesday - we have to be realistic about our engineering capabilities.
13:10 On that note... sdziallas, what's the 2nd Activity you'd add back in? ;)
13:10 tomeu SeanDaly: so, as I said before, I think first step is stop giving that image of we being able to do much more than what we can really do
13:10 SeanDaly tomeu: we've made that call before (cf. press releases) without much success, we need to try another way
13:11 tomeu: I'm not aware of that image...
13:11 tomeu SeanDaly: I'm pretty certain there is
13:11 sdziallas mchua: turtleart? physics? not sure.
13:11 mchua sdziallas: wait, over Record and Write?
13:11 pulls up activity list
13:11 sdziallas mchua: write is broken.
13:11 mchua realizes that Record and Write are broken, but yeah :)
13:11 sdziallas mchua: record... well, works half-ish, could go in.
13:11 SeanDaly Look, if situation is this critical we can skip the launch for Mirabelle
13:12 mchua SeanDaly: You're welcome (actually, it would be *great*) to chime in on the Activity selection... which ones demo best?
13:12 SeanDaly: I think we can redirect a lot of the publicity push for Mirabelle for users/consumers
13:12 SeanDaly What we should do is number it v2.5 and position it as strengthening stability for our deployments
13:13 mchua SeanDaly: but we need to "release early, release often" to enable developers to help out - it's part of what we have to do in order to increase our capacity, and make recruiting possible.
13:13 SeanDaly mchua: as I say, if the situation is this critical we shouldn't do any publicity
13:13 mchua SeanDaly: to users, no.
13:13 SeanDaly mchua: yes, as I say we need to raise priority of recruiting/funding
13:13 mchua SeanDaly: To developers who might help out, we need to do a *lot* of recruiting.
13:13 SeanDaly: so maybe that's not called 'publicity,' but somehow we have to reach those folks. :)
13:14 satellit__ fix spin v3 then when it works do publicity
13:14 SeanDaly mchua: by "users" I guess you mean my 7 million teachers? :D
13:14 mchua sdziallas: ok, I'm looking at https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Sugar_Activities
13:14 SeanDaly: Yeah... market less to teachers and more to techies who can help make it ready to market to teachers
13:14 sdziallas mchua: I'm there, too (and have the rest of the activities in the old kickstart file)
13:14 mchua SeanDaly: Or to techies who can then opt to support the teachers near them, kinda like what erikos and I are doing now
13:14 SeanDaly satellit__: betterr to renumber v2.5 maintenance release and save v3 number for media launch in the fall (or whenever ready)
13:15 satellit__ yes i guess I agree...sadly
13:16 SeanDaly mchua: well, a diffferent approach could be to recruit geeks to pilot in schools (previously we had been thinking "geeky teachers")
13:16 mchua SeanDaly: Hold on a moment, I want to make sure we're on the same page here...
13:16 here's what I have in my brain, correct me if I'm wrong.
13:16 satellit__ I still like the minimal idea....with scripts to install on startup menu
13:16 mchua SeanDaly: The facts of the situation are that we have a looming deadline (Tuesday beta freeze) before which to get engineering done, and few resources, so we need to (temporarily) scale back the scope of our engineering efforts.
13:17 SeanDaly satellit__: it's a good approach... for a school admin setting up a deployment
13:17 mchua SeanDaly: which is what sdziallas and I are trying to do right now, in the form of reducing the list of activities that ship with SoaS by default.
13:17 SeanDaly mchua: I have no objection (I mean, we can't spin gold from flax), but dong so make SoaS unusable in its demo role
13:18 mchua SeanDaly: So there will be an image created that is 100% solid working SoaS - but very minimal SoaS, with few Activities, because we will be spending our efforts on making sure those Activities are working really well.
13:18 SeanDaly: Right, getting to that.
13:18 satellit__ strawberry works for demo?
13:18 mchua SeanDaly: This image is a lot less full-featured than the previous one - it has fewer Activities, and as SeanDaly pointed out, doesn't demo as well because... well, there's less stuff to demo.
13:19 SeanDaly: And so it's less appealing to a large group of teachers - the kind who want and need the extra leg-up of having Activities ready-to-go on the stick they're trying out.
13:19 Which is fine, 'cause teachers have a lot of other things to do. :)
13:20 SeanDaly: And so the question now is - okay, we're making this slimmer image... what do we call it and how do we market it when it's released (in May, because we're tied to the Fedora 13 release date, as a spin)?
13:20 SeanDaly mchua: we don't market it
13:20 mchua SeanDaly: I agree.
13:20 SeanDaly: I think we use that release as a recruitment release, rather than a marketing release.
13:21 SeanDaly mchua: we use it in a recruitment campaign, and the less said in our PR the better
13:21 mchua SeanDaly: +1.
13:21 SeanDaly: Okay, so I don't think we actually disagree on anything. :)
13:21 SeanDaly: (wait, isn't recruitment sort of a form of marketing, though?)
13:21 SeanDaly: (marketing the experience of participation, anyway.,)
13:22 SeanDaly Well, it's a disappointment not to keep press release rhythm going, but I have other PR in the pipeline
13:22 Marketing is what I call reaching 7 million teachers, and recruitment is what I call reaching 1000 developers
13:23 mchua SeanDaly: Yeah... well, between May and the start of the school year, there's some time to fix stuff. I'm not sure what'll happen there, but hopefully we'll have enough contribution from that recruitment push to give you something really good to market for v4.
13:23 SeanDaly naturally, there's a communications strategy in recruitment :-)
13:23 satellit__ I think strawberry is great for demo's most applications work. use v2.5 for recruitment for developers
13:23 SeanDaly Shouldn't be v4, that will confuse people. We should renumber v2.5 and save v3 for the fall when hopefully it will be ready
13:24 mchua SeanDaly: Yeah, I think we're going to need a lot of help with that when the time comes. :)
13:24 SeanDaly satellit__: Ii still use Strawberry for demoing
13:24 tomeu SeanDaly: I don't think recruitment is just reaching developers, there's much more to it. also, we don't only need to recruit, we need to manage them
13:24 satellit__ : )
13:24 tomeu iow: we need a community manager
13:24 mchua SeanDaly: Actually, can we talk about the version numbers for a bit?
13:24 SeanDaly tomeu: no disagreement from me, but mchua was talking marketing
13:25 mchua SeanDaly: As a (former) developer, calling this 2.5 is confusing and goes against all the FOSS dev conventions that I know.
13:25 SeanDaly most FLOSS projects think marketing is recruitment, and miss opportunities for breakout
13:25 tomeu SeanDaly: I just say this because if we reach those developers but aren't in place to welcome there, we'll miss the chance
13:25 mchua SeanDaly: Maybe what we need is a way to mark releases as "for teachers" - the same way, for example, Ubuntu marks some releases as LTS.
13:25 satellit__ if use 2.5 then have 1 year releases. better for school periods?
13:26 SeanDaly mchua: exactly the opposite: I argued for the renumbering to v1, v2, v3 precisely because the v0.84 numbering was incomprehensible to nongeeks teachers
13:26 mchua tomeu: Yep. So any outreach/contribution campaign has a dependency of making sure we can take in the influx of whatever that campaign will give us.
13:27 SeanDaly v3 is commonly considered a version that is stable and has the bugs out
13:27 it would be a big mistake for us to use v3 on a maintenance release
13:27 mchua SeanDaly: Hm, okay. I thought that's what the names (strawberry, blueberry, mirabelle) were for - so that there would be a series of user-facing names independent of the engineering-development numbers.
13:27 satellit__ v3 RC?
13:27 tomeu mchua: and perhaps there's even more to that, we need to change our community's culture to be one where it's more clear where more work is needed, how that work can be contributed, and what will happen if nobody steps up
13:28 mchua SeanDaly: from my pov, as an engineer, I need some way of marking when large changes in the product happen - for technical compatibility and maintenance reasons.
13:28 SeanDaly mchua: if you look at the PR, we have always associated the ice cream flavor with v1, v2
13:28 mchua SeanDaly: and in my mind, what we're doing now is a *huge* change, relatively speaking
13:28 SeanDaly mchua: removing nearly all Activities is a pretty major change
13:28 mchua SeanDaly: so I'm going "oh hey, this is something different altogether - this is a new major version, engineering-wise."
13:29 SeanDaly: Maybe the engineering numbering needs to be separate from the marketing numbering, but I'm not sure how we can separate those two counters.
13:29 tomeu: Yep, culture of contribution.
13:29 SeanDaly then best to start an Nth engineering numbering system
13:29 v1, v2, v3 have always been "marketing" version numbers
13:30 mchua SeanDaly: in the engineering numbering system, the-image-that-will-come-out-in-May will, I think, be the-third-version...
13:30 tomeu should restart reading jono's book
13:30 SeanDaly This was discussed in depth last May before Strawberry release
13:30 mchua SeanDaly: what can we use for counting engineering releases that won't collide with the marketing version numbers?
13:30 sdziallas: thoughts?
13:30 SeanDaly mchua: not for teachers, so should be v2.5
13:30 mchua: you could use SoaS F13/v0.88
13:30 sdziallas (I've been following this convo)
13:31 mchua SeanDaly: well, if we were using the same numbering system for marketing and engineering, sure. But we're not, because engineers need a different numbering system than... oh, hey. SoaS F13/v0.88 would work for me.
13:31 sdziallas I'm leaning towards arguing that it's still the third release.
13:31 mchua sdziallas: Why's that?
13:31 SeanDaly mchua: I argued for v1 instead of "F11/v0.84", and you saw the press coverage?
13:32 sdziallas mchua: Because... it is. Whether it has a different audience from a PR point of view doesn't decrease the value of the release.
13:32 mchua SeanDaly: Refresh my memory?
13:32 satellit__ why cannot it be labeled V3 release candidate?
13:34 SeanDaly sdziallas: journalists who reviewed v2 Blueberry and in the fall hear about v4 Cloudberry will say: "Whoa! I missed a version!"
13:34 mchua satellit__: Because a release candidate is "the final release, we think, except it hasn't been fully tested yet" - implying that the feature set in the release candidate is the feature set that will be marketed to users.
13:34 SeanDaly But they didn't, because this version is not intended for demoing Sugar
13:34 sdziallas SeanDaly: well, not necessarily.
13:34 SeanDaly: here's the thing:
13:34 satellit__ ok  I thought is was for debugging and testing
13:34 mchua satellit__: In this case, we have a very tiny feature set, and we don't *want* to market that to users, we want to wait another cycle to have more features in a release we *do* want to market to users.
13:34 satellit__: at least that's my understanding - SeanDaly can probably correct me if I'm wrong. :)
13:34 sdziallas (gah. gotta find a quote, hang on.)
13:35 SeanDaly sdziallas: surely you're aware that most tech writers review a "v3" more in depth than first two versions?
13:35 sdziallas SeanDaly: "Do Your Own SoaS! - we included the base, now it's your  turn. EXPLORE! - grab whatever you want from our portal,  activities.sugarlabs.org"
13:35 SeanDaly: together with a "we're calling for more developers"
13:35 SeanDaly: plus a "we're collaborating with Fedora to make v4 more awesome - v3 is already rock-stable"
13:35 ...call should make a pretty decent marketing call from my point of view.
13:36 mchua I do think there's a way to calibrate expectations for this as a release such that reviews based on those expectations will be good.
13:36 SeanDaly sdziallas:as I say i agree we can work on recruiting developers, but a SoaS without Activities will fail as a demo for teachers
13:36 sdziallas SeanDaly: we are *not* removing all activities.
13:36 SeanDaly: and you were talking about journalists a second ago.
13:36 I'd like to tackle these issues step by step.
13:37 mchua listens
13:37 SeanDaly sdziallas: it's just not realistic to expect someone who has never seen the interface and doesn't know what a wifi driver is to connect to ASLO and install Activities
13:37 sdziallas SeanDaly: that is why there will be awesome documentations.
13:38 SeanDaly: such as included instructions in the journal and a redesigned wiki page.
13:38 SeanDaly sdziallas: it's a major change from previous launched versions
13:38 That's why we shouldn't do any media campaign, just outreach to developers
13:38 sdziallas SeanDaly: I'm not sure I understand that point.
13:38 SeanDaly but v1, v2, v3 numbering should be tied to media launches
13:39 sdziallas SeanDaly: Change is good. And as long as we can justify why we're doing this - and we certainly can - it'll be alright.
13:39 satellit__ we need an accompanying DVD .iso to DL with the instructions and demos
13:39 sdziallas SeanDaly: If we explain that v3 introduces a cooperation with Fedora, making everything more stable, I don't see why we shouldn't do that.
13:39 SeanDaly sdziallas: it will be fine, just not for media launch and teachers, that can wait until the fall
13:39 sdziallas SeanDaly: such as we did with Strawberry.
13:40 SeanDaly: I still don't understand why it shouldn't be fine for a media launch.
13:40 SeanDaly sdziallas: developers will care about that, but teachers will ask: "what's Fedora?"
13:40 sdziallas SeanDaly: if you select the target audience wisely, it won't be a problem.
13:40 SeanDaly: that's why you say: "to make it more stable."
13:40 SeanDaly: you give rationals for *what* we're doing.
13:41 SeanDaly I think the target audience should be developers
13:41 sdziallas SeanDaly: we're telling the people that we're making these steps to make SoaS *more* awesome.
13:41 mchua pipes up. I was just reading backscroll in #fedora-mktg and saw a potentially relevant conversation - short excerpt at http://fpaste.org/ZUWG/.
13:41 SeanDaly sdziallas: most of my 7 milllion teachers will ask: "what's Sugar?"
13:42 to be clear, it is a major challenge to build a brand from zero
13:42 mchua It's a huge challenge, and you're doing an amazing job at it. I'm not sure what we'd do without you, SeanDaly.
13:42 SeanDaly we are encountering success because we are smart and depsite having no marketing/promotion budget
13:42 despite
13:42 mchua And because we have been producing *good stuff.*
13:43 We fundamentally have a good product. It's rough. It's definitely nowhere near complete. But it's got plenty of potential.
13:43 SeanDaly mchua: yes, that's always the case - you can only market colored water for a limited amount of time
13:43 mchua It is also a major challenge to build a software learning environment - or a distro - from zero.
13:43 SeanDaly Our shortcut to raising awareness with tiny budget is: news coverage
13:44 mchua that's one of many possible strategies, but yeah, it seems to work well. :)
13:44 SeanDaly We've had success with tech news and some general outlets, but not with education press yet
13:44 mchua Anyway, the version numbering - I think this is something we can come back to, really. Right now, we have to figure out our engineering scope.
13:44 Otherwise we won't have anything to assign a name or number *to*.
13:44 SeanDaly mchua: I'm always open to strategy discussions :-)
13:45 mchua SeanDaly: as am I. ;)
13:45 sdziallas (uh, I'm, too. heh :)
13:45 mchua how about this - sdziallas and I and whoever else wants to hang around will blaze through the first round of the slim package list, make that iso
13:45 tell the list, attempt to summarize this conversation
13:45 we'll tell 3 lists in 3 different ways.
13:45 soas, to say "okay, here's what we're doing, engineeringwise, and why"
13:46 SeanDaly If we can't offer a SoaS with Activities, it's a pity, but no big deal, we just delay the media launch to the fall
13:46 mchua activities (or maybe ieap and devel or... wherever we think activity devs hang out) saying "here's why these things made soas this time and why the rest did not, and how you can get your stuff in next round by stepping up to do this work."
13:46 SeanDaly But journalists and analysts watching us should not get confused by us skipping a number
13:46 mchua and marketing, to say "here's what's going on in the other two lists," and then let you take it from there and figure out what marketing should do.
13:47 first topic can be version number. ;)
13:47 SeanDaly: how's that?
13:47 SeanDaly mchua: many approaches possible: "adopt an Activity"
13:47 mchua SeanDaly: Yep yep. But we gotta get the first version of "slim SoaS" done first. (...I'm sure we'll think of a, um, better codename soon.)
13:48 SeanDaly mchua: what is clear is that calling a maintenance release v3 makes my work much harder
13:48 media launches are a lot of work
13:48 mchua SeanDaly: Right. so we'll go ahead with the engineering, but we won't call it anything in particular until you have a chance to figure this out with the marketing team.
13:49 SeanDaly no big deal to call this one off if it's not ready, after all it's not like we have made media investments already
13:49 mchua or we'll call it "slim SoaS" or something less... silly sounding than that in the meantime. But not Mirabelle, not v3... for now.
13:49 right.
13:49 good to find this out early on.
13:49 SeanDaly: I'm glad you popped in today.
13:50 SeanDaly Mirabelle is cool, it's just "v3" I have a problem with for a non-media launch release
13:50 mchua sdziallas: (does that sound like a reasonable temporary compromise - we'll just use a codename for this until we can figure out the version/name thing with the marketing folks?)
13:50 SeanDaly mchua: I popped in for the SLOBs meeting
13:50 mchua SeanDaly: wait, so you'd be fine with us calling it mirabelle, but not... v3?
13:50 SeanDaly mchua: Yes, we had alrready agreed to save "Cloudberry" for fall version
13:51 mchua SeanDaly: basically, "what should we call this slim-Activity-set SoaS version we're making, until such time the Marketing list can discuss what to actually call it?"
13:51 SeanDaly: if that's mirabelle, then I think we're set.
13:51 SeanDaly call it v2.x Mirabelle where x is any number you want
13:52 mchua Heh, I usually think of Marketing wanting the names and engineering wanting the numbers :)
13:52 SeanDaly This is not a big marketing team issue which requires lots of discussion, since it is a media launch cancellation
13:52 sdziallas I believe rel-eng has a call in the versioning, too.
13:52 SeanDaly mchua: no, the v1, v2, v3 came from me, for marketing purposes
13:52 sdziallas I also don't get why this is a "media launch cancellation".
13:52 is quite a bit lost in this convo.
13:53 SeanDaly sdziallas: we had planned a media launch for Mirabelle, but it's clear it won't be ready
13:53 sdziallas SeanDaly: it will be ready.
13:53 mchua so we'll do a recruitment push instead, is my understanding
13:53 sdziallas and it will be released in May.
13:53 mchua sdziallas: ready for recruitment, not for "hey end users, new stuff for you, out of the box!"
13:54 SeanDaly sdziallas: with or without Activities?
13:54 without Activities, there's no point
13:54 sdziallas mchua: right. but for people reading stuff also with "we're doing this BECAUSE..."
13:54 SeanDaly However, it's now clear to me that recruitment and funding needs to be higher priority than before
13:54 sdziallas SeanDaly: certainly with activities. but neither broken nor crappy activities nobody needs.
13:54 mchua SeanDaly: So, clearly, not everyone is on the same page re: version numbering and naming and marketing stuff :) I'd like to have that convo on the marketing list
13:55 ...I'd also like to finish the engineering scoping of what Activities we will be shipping asap
13:55 so we know what we will be marketing and/or recruiting for.
13:55 If we don't know that, at some level, we're just talking hypotheticals.
13:56 Let us figure out the product first, because we're under some hard resource constraints in terms of engineering firepower.
13:56 And then we'll figure out the marketing on-list with you.
13:56 SeanDaly: sound fair?
13:56 SeanDaly Look at the press page... the next PR media campaign needs to be v3. That launch should happen in the fall if we can't ship with a set of Activities
13:57 sdziallas SeanDaly: we are NOT saying that we're shipping "without a set of activities"
13:58 SeanDaly mchua: the key takeaway is... an engineering crisis situation needs to have marketing in the loop asap, and not as an afterthought
13:58 sdziallas SeanDaly: we are saying that we're shipping with a *well-selected* set of activites which can be adjusted and enhanced easily by following clear instructions.
13:58 SeanDaly: what do you think does having three core modules (out of 12) for Sugar mean?
13:59 SeanDaly sdziallas: again, great for deployments, but useless for first-time tryers
13:59 sdziallas SeanDaly: so we're trying... to target everybody at the same time?
13:59 mchua SeanDaly: That's why I'm glad you're here, and why we're going to be sending this to marketing right after we finish picking the activity set.
14:00 SeanDaly: but right now, Sebastian and I have to scope the feature list for engineering so we can do the engineering and actually have a product.
14:00 SeanDaly sdziallas: No, we are accepting that next SoaS can't fulfiill demo role, no big deal we just roll back the media campaign to the fall. But the v3 number needs to be associated with the next campaign.
14:00 mchua So I'm going to request we table this convo for a couple hours while sdziallas and I work that out, and then we'll take this to the marketing list.
14:01 satellit__ sdziallas:  off topic :we also need to fix the jabber.sugarlabs.org It has been down quite a time now. Needed for testing and demos
14:01 mchua Okay, guys, I really need to get some food.
14:01 sdziallas same here.
14:01 SeanDaly me too need to go
14:02 sdziallas satellit__: daveb is the guy for that. if nothing helps, emailing him should help.
14:02 mchua sdziallas: Meet you back here when we're done eating and we'll go through the rest?
14:02 sdziallas: (I might be an hour or two)
14:02 sdziallas mchua: sounds good!
14:02 mchua: I'll be around.
14:02 mchua sdziallas: #endmeeting?
14:02 yeah, sam here
14:02 er, same here
14:02 sdziallas #endmeeting

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