Day 22: Progress

Things feel like they have been moving a little more over the past week, and with Andy’s return to the project from his camp away, we should hopefully be able to produce some useful work!

Following on from where I left you, aside from our results celebrations, last week Day 18 (2009.07.08) Day 19 (2009.07.09) and Day 20 (2009.07.10) continued with getting Sugar JHbuild to work, and after some discussions with the developers, I finally found myself pulling, updating and building a version of the latest Sugar JHbuild successfully onto the laptop.

This then allowed me to correctly get the sugar emulator working from the build, meaning I should now be able to mess around with the build code for Sugar, and hopefully learn how to introduce my own activities. It is possible to do very useful things with the emulator, such as run multiple profile instances in order to test XO collaboration etc.

During the build I had found myself with more errors, which when I asked the developers, was able to be guided onto the correct course of action, along with asking me to actively contribute by raising a ticket over at Sugar Labs Development, in order to allow the developers to diagnose and fix the problem.

After further talks with Sebastian over what I can do to contribute, I soon found myself writing some basic tutorials for anyone else who might be new and come along attempting to get Sugar JH build working.
These were uploaded to the Education Spin Wiki which were made in order to allow access to the Education Spin, allowing members to build their own version.

The Education Spin Wiki can be found here, along with the Getting Started Page with some tutorials here. The idea for the tutorials is to allow anyone who might be new to Linux, OLPC or Open Source projects in general to get involved as easily as possible by stepping them through the start up processes required to for example, get Sugar JH build working.

This also prompted me to create accounts with Fedora and Sugar Labs Git in order to allow me to contribute to the Wiki and hopefully Sugar Project. Along with this I managed to finally create my own SSH Key to develop with.

Day 21 (2009.07.13) and Day 22 (2009.07.14) saw Andy return to the project, and allowed for Cornelia, Andy and I to have an informal meet on how the project is going and where we would like to head.

With the date of the Nottingham Unconference looming and its day Programme released, we also planned out what materials we would need, and so after registering that we would attended, agreed that we would be bringing a handout along with demonstration of the Codex project, in order to hype interest about OLPC and the Sugar project to other Conference attendees.
We plan to update the Codex Wiki created last year, using it as a portal for those who want to follow on from our leaflet.

Finally we also got a link to the missing puzzle pieces of last years Git Codex Sample along with Tutorial Content, meaning we can hopefully adapt some content that was created last year, carrying on the cycle. – Over and out!


Day 1: The Starting Line

With the project having officially started yesterday, I decided it’s time to explain in more detail what the project will entail, and what we achieved on the first day.

With the finite tasks still a little hazy and a To Do list not completed yet, the beginning of the day was spent looking into the task brief to identify what the project should entail.

The brief envisaged that the project would involve three main phases which were to be part of a continuation of last years CODEX 1 project, as the brief stated:

  • Investigative phase: background research on OLPC, study of XO software base and its existing applications, study of existing results achieved in CODEX (1) and review of updates required.
  • Development phase: updating of the CODEX 1 Live CD and development of an enhanced version comparable with recent developments of the XO Sugar interface and Ubuntu and production of a CODEX USB.
  • Trial usage and evaluation phase: develop a range of simple applications using the deliverable of phase 2, i.e. the new updated and enhanced CODEX USB, update the CODEX 1 tutorial guide for project students, and develop a CODEX 2 web site and repository for XO application projects to be used by Lincoln students in 2009-10.

One of the main achievements of the CODEX 1 project was the production of the Live CD which allowed users to boot a computer using Xubuntu, which then emulated the SUGAR software, however one of the downfalls from using a CD to boot, was that it mainly acted as a blank template which could not be updated or saved to.

This problem could be solved my using a USB stick which would act as a personalised portable (computer to computer) operating system from which users could save to. This coupled with the SUGAR interface would allow users to learn and develop for the SUGAR software, and save their accomplishments without the need to install anything on the computer.

The day then continued into research of the current materials for the previous CODEX project, namely James’s blog, OLPC & SUGAR projects, and the utilization of OS emulation and USB bootable drives.
The outcome of this meant that we already started to build a repository of knowledge through the web links saved, and further allowed us to test some of the software currently available.

First we utilised a virtual machine called Virtual Box which allowed us to emulate the Live CD ISO provided by James from last year in order to test out the Sugar Software, and as Andy rightly put it, “found ourselves stuck in an emulator, within another emulator.”

This was further developed to test out current released ISO’s of Fedora, Ubuntu and its lighter partner Xubuntu.

Then through further research into the bootable USB drives, were able to successfully load a new version of Ubuntu onto a pen drive and boot from this pen drive using one of the lab computers, thanks to the help at PenDriveLinux.

At the moment, most of the main links we discovered are available directly in my blog (to the right), however the plan is to move these links to a central Codex 2 repository.
Below I have displayed some usefull links found throughout the day and used in this post.