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The Sugar "Home view" (v0.82)
|Initial release||May 2006|
|Stable release||0.108 (February 13, 2016[±])|
|Written in||Python, PyGTK, GTK+|
|Available in||25 languages|
|License||GNU General Public License|
Sugar is a free and open source computer desktop environment designed for interactive learning by children. Copyright by SugarLabs. Developed as part of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project, Sugar was the default interface on OLPC XO-1 laptop computers. The OLPC XO-1.5 and later provided the option of either the Gnome or Sugar interfaces.
Unlike most other desktop environments, Sugar does not use the "desktop", "folder" and "window" metaphors. Instead, Sugar's default full-screen activities require users to focus on only one program at a time. Sugar implements a journal which automatically saves the user's running program session and allows them to later use an interface to pull up their past works by date, activity used, or file type.
Sugar has the objective of being suitable for even inexperienced users, but provides more advanced facilities for the more experienced. The project's stated goal is to "avoid bloated interfaces", and "limit the controls to those immediately relevant to the task at hand.". Applications run full screen, double-clicking is not used, and menus show icons.
Sugar is written in Python, an interpreted language, and can be modified by users with programming experience. Desktop environments used by many operating systems are written in compiled languages such as C.
Hundreds of learning activities for Sugar can be downloaded from the Sugar Activity Library. Additional activities are available from third parties, such as the Project Ceibal portal in Uruguay.
Since May 2008 Sugar has been developed under the umbrella of Sugar Labs, a member project of the Software Freedom Conservancy. Some contributors are employed by One Laptop per Child and other related organizations, others are volunteers, in many cases associated with the free software community. Contributors to the original Sugar platform included Marco Pesenti Gritti, Walter Bender, Christopher Blizzard, Eben Eliason, Simon Schampijer, Christian Schmidt, Lisa Strausfeld, Takaaki Okada, Tomeu Vizoso, and Dan Williams.
Sugar on a Stick
The Sugar learning platform for Linux is available as a USB-bootable Linux distribution ("Sugar on a Stick") and as software components forming an installable additional desktop environment for most Linux distributions. It can be installed using the Fedora Live USB Creator, and can be installed onto a computer hard disk using the
liveinst command from a Sugar Terminal or console.
On June 23, 2009, Sugar Labs announced the availability for download of Sugar on a Stick v1 Strawberry, which can run from a bootable 1GB USB flash drive. On July 23, 2009, Recycle USB.com went live with a program to reflash used USB keys with the Sugar software and donate them to schools. On December 8, 2009, Sugar Labs announced the availability of Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry, which incorporates Sugar Release 0.86 and Fedora 11. Sugar Labs announced the availability of Sugar on a Stick v3 Mirabelle, which incorporates Sugar Release 0.88 and Fedora 13. Since Mirabelle, Sugar on a Stick has been a regular, semi-annual, Fedora Spin (official special-purpose version of Fedora); the a Spin using Fedora v22 was released on 26 May 2015.
If too many activities are loaded at the same time there may be performance problems due to low memory or processor load.
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