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News: Javalobby puts up money to port Java to OLPC

  1. Javalobby puts up money to port Java to OLPC (27 messages)

    Rick Ross has offered to contribute up to $5000 of seed money to someone who will "and plan a reasonable, credible project to bring Java" to the One Laptop Per Child PC. His point: this is a huge opportunity for Java, and lacks effort instead of availability.
    the real problem: "the basic bottleneck, on this as in most things OLPC, is shortage of people. The core team is focused on the core, and on each deadline. The community fills in the many opportunties that leaves. And it doesn't look like anyone is really pushing on Java yet." There you have it, the problem is manpower. Nobody presently involved is pushing on Java. This is one of those rare moments of opportunity, and we should not let it pass us by. The Java community could make a meaningful contribution to this amazing and worthwhile project. I hope you will think it over and decide to get involved. There are so many times in life when we feel powerless to change things, but in this case your help could make all the difference. Javalobby will put its money where its mouth is on this one. If someone out there will organize and plan a reasonable, credible project to bring Java to the OLPC, then Javalobby is prepared to get things rolling by contributing up to $5000 in seed funding. We will also, of course, be happy to provide project hosting resources and assist in promoting awareness of the project. If anyone else would also like to commit to help funding such a project, then send me a note, and I'll get back in touch with you if a project team emerges to move this forward.
    Way to go, Rick. TSS applauds your drive on this, and hopes that someone does, indeed, step up.

    Threaded Messages (27)

  2. fantastic idea[ Go to top ]

    What a great idea to fast track java to the OLPC. I find the lack of OLPC resources kind of shocking given its media attention.
  3. From http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Software_components#Programming_environment * Adobe's Flash Player and Java™ virtual machine can be added via Yum or RPM install but are not part of the standard distribution. Leonardo Bueno
  4. Re: Great offer[ Go to top ]

    Its great to see someone from the Java community promoting a good cause. As I understand it though, there are already programming languages for the OLTPC project. I believe that Squeak is on the OLTPC. Squeaks historical use in early learning education and Alan Kays background in child education makes Squeak a much better choice for the OLPC then Java IMO. I guess you could have both? BTW, for anyone looking to gift their time to other good causes. Here is a link to a project that sounds very interesting: http://www.codegreenlabs.com/code_green/ Paul.
  5. Re: Great offer[ Go to top ]

    Its great to see someone from the Java community promoting a good cause
    Agreed. And I want to give my 10 cents... ok, well, my 100 euros to be added to Rick's offer. Regards, Raffaele
  6. Re: Great offer[ Go to top ]

    Raffaele and everone who is interested can send Rick an email.
  7. Re: Great offer[ Go to top ]

    Raffaele and everone who is interested can send Rick an email.
    Did it. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm sure there's a lot more people with some spare money. Pass the word around, guys
  8. Que?[ Go to top ]

    His point: this is a huge opportunity for Java, and lacks effort instead of availability. the real problem: "the basic bottleneck, on this as in most things OLPC, is shortage of people. The core team is focused on the core, and on each deadline. The community fills in the many opportunties that leaves. And it doesn't look like anyone is really pushing on Java yet."
    Has anyone identified a need for Java on these laptops? I would assume if there was demand, there wouldn't be a need for a bounty. Roy Russo http://www.loopfuse.com
  9. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]

    Valid point. Something to think about however: either Java (and everything that it encompasses: ubiquity, footprint, language, community, software, open source, ...) is prolific enough in the world or its not. If it is, then there is an opportunity for a huge mass of people and the software they create to contribute to making the OLPC project successfull, maybe in a small way, maybe in a large way, but in some way. One of the intriguing aspects of this whole idea for me is how far education can be a normalizing force to counter act challenging situations and poverty.
  10. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]

    One of the intriguing aspects of this whole idea for me is how far education can be a normalizing force to counter act challenging situations and poverty.
    Agreed, but I think that food distribution and weapons are a more effective means of tackling the world poverty problem. Thats just me. What do I know? ;-)
  11. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]


    Agreed, but I think that food distribution and weapons are a more effective means of tackling the world poverty problem.
    Thats just me. What do I know? ;-)
    IMO, Education and skills is by far more effective and sustainable than food and weapons. Those kids have bigger dreams than looking forward to the next meal.
  12. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]

    Phew - there was I cynically thinking the idea of a laptop for every kid in the developing/under developed world was to increase growth and profits for companies in the long term - 'buy into our way - you'll like it, honest!' - when actually it turns out that a laptop would help them 'develop' and possess the ability to feed, water and protect their families. Contrary to impressions, India (for example) isn't a country being helped and improved by technology. Relatively high wages available to less than 1% of the population thus creating further differences and pressures within societies, and the real money held by the large corporations in countries outside of India does not aid or benefit a population as a whole. A lap top for all is yet another parasitic device to impose our western way, thinking and being on the 3rd world to maintain the current status whilst enlarging the market - I can't help thinking a donkey would be a little more helpful.
  13. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]

    perhaps you are right, however, I don't think this is meant to be the single panacea for world poverty, it is only one of dozens and dozens of things that should be focused on. Perhaps its even very low on the priority list, as it should be, below things like potable water, sanitation, basic medicines, food. In my mind, that doesn't mean that it should be wholly discounted. I don't work in the water purification industry, but if I did, I'd surely point out to those I work with the opportunities that exist to leverage our expertise. I would think that widening the education gap would generally help communities, countries, societies, as a whole. If anything, this whole discussion is a good opportunity for one to pause and think about the consequences and contributions of what we do on a daily basis beyond the daily grind. Where I'm from, a local charity was set up by the family of a young man who was murdered. His younger brother recently used the funds from the charity to sponsor an orphanage in war torn are in Africa (incredibly admirable and more than I could do to be honest). The photos of a toddler sleeping in gutters are beyond heart breaking. Would a laptop help him? Surely not as much as a roof over their head, a real sense of security without violence, human relationships with caring, food. But what happens when that boy grows up and the context of what he is exposed to isn't any different beyond what he has already experienced, except to say that instead of just knowing the danger of a gun, he now knows how to operate one, and I guess this is just how life on this planet is for everyone else? Yes, food, shelter, security, crayons before laptops. But these things in my mind are not mutually exclusive of each other. They should be all be focused on, which reminds me a Russian phrase I recently learned that translates into "1 person with a shovel, 7 people with spoons". For those in our professional community, things like OLPC and the software on it, we have the shovels. If anything, the very fact that there is a discussion here and elsewhere is encouraging to me. Perhaps it will help us all to give pause in our day and at the very least think about these things, and hopefully either help purchase, build, or use the shovel.
  14. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]

    Phew - there was I cynically thinking the idea of a laptop for every kid in the developing/under developed world was to increase growth and profits for companies in the long term - 'buy into our way - you'll like it, honest!' - when actually it turns out that a laptop would help them 'develop' and possess the ability to feed, water and protect their families.

    Contrary to impressions, India (for example) isn't a country being helped and improved by technology. Relatively high wages available to less than 1% of the population thus creating further differences and pressures within societies, and the real money held by the large corporations in countries outside of India does not aid or benefit a population as a whole.

    A lap top for all is yet another parasitic device to impose our western way, thinking and being on the 3rd world to maintain the current status whilst enlarging the market - I can't help thinking a donkey would be a little more helpful.
    Hi Bob, Check the detail. The main purpose of the Laptop is Education not IT skills training. One of the goals is to promote the use of e-books. Given the mass availability of OLTPC then an e-book is much more readilly distrubuted and copied (cheaper) then conventional paper books. Education and knowledge is a powerful tool. What people choose to do once educated is up to them!! Paul.
  15. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]


    Hi Bob,

    Check the detail. The main purpose of the Laptop is Education not IT skills training. One of the goals is to promote the use of e-books. Given the mass availability of OLTPC then an e-book is much more readilly distrubuted and copied (cheaper) then conventional paper books.

    Education and knowledge is a powerful tool. What people choose to do once educated is up to them!!

    Paul.
    If the goal is "education", why aren't they distributing books, or other reading/writing materials? I would assume most of us on here were educated using those primitive tools. They seem to be effective. This entire program is just technology searching for a problem. They'd be much better served if the investment was put toward reading/writing materials they can actually comprehend, don't break, don't get virus, don't become obsolete, and can't be blocked by corrupt governments. Roy Russo http://www.loopfuse.com
  16. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]


    Hi Bob,

    Check the detail. The main purpose of the Laptop is Education not IT skills training. One of the goals is to promote the use of e-books. Given the mass availability of OLTPC then an e-book is much more readilly distrubuted and copied (cheaper) then conventional paper books.

    Education and knowledge is a powerful tool. What people choose to do once educated is up to them!!

    Paul.


    If the goal is "education", why aren't they distributing books, or other reading/writing materials? I would assume most of us on here were educated using those primitive tools. They seem to be effective.

    This entire program is just technology searching for a problem. They'd be much better served if the investment was put toward reading/writing materials they can actually comprehend, don't break, don't get virus, don't become obsolete, and can't be blocked by corrupt governments.

    Roy Russo
    http://www.loopfuse.com
    You've got a point. I guess it comes down to whether you can distribute more knowledge more cheaply using a computer then using traditional methods. I don't know enough about the program to tell, and I guess it will come down to the networking. I must admit my first thoughts were similar to the point you raise above. Paul.
  17. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]


    Hi Bob,

    Check the detail. The main purpose of the Laptop is Education not IT skills training. One of the goals is to promote the use of e-books. Given the mass availability of OLTPC then an e-book is much more readilly distrubuted and copied (cheaper) then conventional paper books.

    Education and knowledge is a powerful tool. What people choose to do once educated is up to them!!

    Paul.
    And thus there's no need for Java (or indeed any programming language) on the machines. If they're supposed to be glorified eBook readers with some text processing capabilities (nothing wrong with that, I think you'll find that the vast majority of even the most expensive laptops are used like that) the current softwareset on them is more than large enough. And Bob, what's wrong with trying to get those people out of the squallor of subsistence farming that many of them have been stuck in for generations? I know that the anthropologists and greens don't want them to improve their lot for a variety of reasons, but what they effectively say is that life at a level higher than that of Europe in the stone age is too good for them. I wonder what the response in the donor countries would be if anthropologists and other "experts" were to say that in those very words instead of veiling their statements in "preserving quaint indigenous ways of life", "respecting primitive cultures", "not wanting to polute the ancient way of life", etc. etc. which all come down to that: preventing people from developing technologically, socially, and in any other way.
  18. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]


    And thus there's no need for Java (or indeed any programming language) on the machines.
    If they're supposed to be glorified eBook readers with some text processing capabilities (nothing wrong with that, I think you'll find that the vast majority of even the most expensive laptops are used like that
    Hi Jeroen, AFAIK the OLTPC is designed to be useful rather than lucrative :^). So it should prove a lot more useful then the average Windows XP laptop :^). I haven't been following the OLTPC program closely, but I know of the people involved. Alan Kay has an oustanding reputation in Software and Education, and Etoys and Squeak have a strong following in early childhood education circles, including the Montesori movement. I would suggest taking a closer look at what they're doing before rushing to judgement. Given the achievements of the people involved, I wouldn't be surprised if this project has a massive impact on education around the world. Paul.
  19. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]

    Thanks for your reply Joren, Paul and others. I've been in a few IT jobs, in fact, more jobs than years in IT(!) Bizarre! - (the outcome of freelance work rather than being generally useless). I mention this as all my IT jobs seem to follow the same pattern. There is something to do with a screen, a keyboard, a bunch of processes that do stuff, a chair and a wall to look at behind the screen. Being near the cutting edge of the "developed" world hasn't really enlightened me toward the benefits of it - the only one that leaps to mind is free good health care (in some countries at least). Instead of wondering where the next food comes from we wonder whether we can pay bills, when we'll get cancer and whether our kids will get into drugs. Why do we assume our way is the right, better way? I've been looking at a screen 8 hours a day for 8 or 9 years in order to develop systems that lock more people into sitting looking at the screen. There are working social systems established in impoverished farming communities which isn't true in many parts of our developed world. Of course, there is neither beauty nor romance in poverty, but societies have equal validity and (should be allowed to?) evolve overtime. The sustainable "squalor of subsistence farming" has it's ups and downs, as does what ever our own field gives us. There is more squalor in over populated cities than in the sustainable countryside. Our system does have an incredible marketing machine behind it - so much so that in being white, and doing western things in India (again for example) is generally seen as a good thing by "progressive" Indians - this machine creates global demand for our companies, products and culture. Control of media means control of people, and I can't help but seeing this "sweet, educational" lap top for kids as an incredibly powerful controlling media mechanism - a few implanted in every village across the world makes me a little nervous to say the least. We don't physically invade places now (well, not quite) but we do so surreptitiously, implanting our culture and ways. I'm a (not particularly proud) English man, and so am well aware of the rich tradition of wanting to exploit the poor. Perhaps if the olpc website showed a few adults being educated - perhaps even white ones in a social centre in a deprived part of England (for example) - then I would be more inclined to be convinced of its educational ethos and not something that would result in power centralised further. Granted, the people involved in bringing this project to fruition I'd hope would have virtuous intentions with the olpc. If the Utopian "education for all" result came to fruition, local manufacturers of paper who provide material to the local printers who provide the books for the horse and cart to deliver to school X all initially deplete and then change their business toward other more profitable endeavours trying to make a living - some perhaps go out of business because of the changes, systems become reliant on said laptop downloading content from a central knowledge base. Kids still learn so what's the problem? I'd hope the answers are obvious, however a few problems include: 1) More electricity used 2) A diversity of local jobs are lost 3) The (few) people who control the knowledge, and all pervasive laptop have the power 4) The laptop for some reason drops out of the equation leaving a void - this is not a normal market evolving over time, so allowing alternatives and competition to the olpc to arrive - the void can't be filled, and the local printer no longer exists....so....? 5) etc. 6) The (few) people who control the knowledge, and all pervasive laptop have the power ...no mention of preserving traditional ways. The more I think about it, I see parallels with GM crops that don't allow farmers to reuse seed but have to buy new seed each year from foreign western companies who have marketed their products as also being beneficial to the 3rd world (more disease resident for example) but essentially take advantage of poor people. The example of java being pushed for the olpc typifies the perceived gold rush and importance of being involved in this project - best not miss this boat, looks like a good 'un! Cheers Bob
  20. Re: Que?[ Go to top ]

    Hi Bob, Great post!!! I wish I had more time to reply and it would be great to get to discuss this one with you down the Pub over a Pint. Suffice it to say that I'm with you one this one. I'm also painfully aware that in the end the Ludittes lost :^(. Change isn't always for the better, yet it appears enivitable. One thing that as always surprised me is the Millions we spend protecting "our way of life" and imposing it on others. Yet we never stop to think whether "our way of life" is working. Is it delivering the goods? Are we happy? Like I say, one for down the Pub. I live in London so who knows we could get to meet one day and put the world to rights - beckfordpatbtinternet.com :^) Paul.
  21. Always seeing glass half empty[ Go to top ]

    It's almost amusing how much whining there is about "evil plans" by western capitalists to train and then exploit work force, when all that is being done is to provide goods that people in Africa would gladly have. This based on observing how other new-fangled gadgets like, say, cell phones are doing in Africa (go and read an article or two on subject -- there's been a few lately). But you and other nay-sayers probably prefer keeping your mind closed, it must be bad when westerners are doing it, right? To think that impoverished people would not possibly find laptops (_in addition_ to everything else that's needed) useful is rather patronizing (if not even racist). Humans are in general very adept at making use of new tools. Given the change that the internet (or rather, services it made practical; added information, access to information) would it not be likely to lead to significant changes in third world countries as well? But I digress: isn't it just better to mope about "hey gee why not buy them books". After all, it clearly is zero-sum game here. So we must be interfering on your thriving ship-them-school-books efforts, which would otherwise all but eradicate poverty and all white-man induced maladies in Africa. If only it wasn't for these meddling kids.
  22. It's almost amusing how much whining there is about "evil plans" by western capitalists to train and then exploit work force, when all that is being done is to provide goods that people in Africa would gladly have. This based on observing how other new-fangled gadgets like, say, cell phones are doing in Africa (go and read an article or two on subject -- there's been a few lately). But you and other nay-sayers probably prefer keeping your mind closed, it must be bad when westerners are doing it, right?

    To think that impoverished people would not possibly find laptops (_in addition_ to everything else that's needed) useful is rather patronizing (if not even racist).
    Humans are in general very adept at making use of new tools.
    Given the change that the internet (or rather, services it made practical; added information, access to information) would it not be likely to lead to significant changes in third world countries as well?

    But I digress: isn't it just better to mope about "hey gee why not buy them books". After all, it clearly is zero-sum game here. So we must be interfering on your thriving ship-them-school-books efforts, which would otherwise all but eradicate poverty and all white-man induced maladies in Africa. If only it wasn't for these meddling kids.
    Hi, There are a lot of assumptions being made here. Useful tools are good, no matter where you live in the world. Education is good too. I don't agree with everything in Bobs post, but I do agree that "we" in the West assume that "our way of live" is naturally superior, and that everyone should want to be like us. I made reference to the Luddites in my post. They lived in the UK, the first industrial nation in the world, yet they believed that perhaps the industrial revolution wasn't necessarily change for the better. If you speak to an over stressed City of London worker today who is planning on "down sizing" and starting up a Vineyard in rural France, then he/she may agree that perhaps the Luddites were right. The bottom line is that this isn't a black and white issue :^), and I can see merit in both sides of the debate. Polarizing the discussion and accusing people of racism doesn't help to shed light on what are important issues affecting us all. Paul.
  23. Thanks for helping spread the word[ Go to top ]

    Thanks Joe and friends at TSS. We appreciate your help in getting the word out about this OLPC opportunity. The quote from the OLPC wiki sums it up - shortage of manpower. Hopefully someone will be inspired and step up to organize and lead an effort. Thanks again, Rick
  24. Huh? I guess I'm REALLY not on top of that project. I thought those laptops would be running some form of Linux with x86-compatible processors. Assuming that's the case (and I guess maybe it's not), hasn't Java already been ported to that OS/Processor combo and shouldn't that be enough? Slightly confused... Terry
  25. Huh? I guess I'm REALLY not on top of that project. I thought those laptops would be running some form of Linux with x86-compatible processors. Assuming that's the case (and I guess maybe it's not), hasn't Java already been ported to that OS/Processor combo and shouldn't that be enough?

    Slightly confused...
    Terry
    Hi Confused, I think you may find this enlightening: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Software_components It looks as though the software is what we use to call a "turn key" solution. Etoys in Squeak is pretty neat. Who knows if the OLTPC program really takes off then Etoys could become the most widely used programming environment in the world. Lots of interesting stuff is happening outside Java. Paul.
  26. Won't be a pretty sight.
  27. Won't be a pretty sight.
    +1 Yep! Paul.
  28. Oh, wait! We did run it on 128MB back in 1999, and some folks do now in virtualized datacenters... What was your point, again? :) It'll do a lot of things just fine.