sSTUDENTS SUGAR USER INTERFACE EVALUATION COMMENTS

Flux:
XO DISLIKES

  • Slow to load initially
  • Loading (splash) screen for each activity is sad, dull, not worth it
  • Games done cheaply compared with GNOME and KDE games
  • mouse pointer is too big
  • wants ability to replace XO icon with different icons
  • wants ability to create a new background
  • want fluxbox, a better GUI

response from walter bender (mail to Kasparov):
Very useful. Some of these issues are constraints due to the small footprint of the XO, which we were targeting. (When you run Sugar on a
conventional laptop, you hardly see the activity splash screens, they load so fast.) However, some are spot on. We should let people change the background and we should make it more obvious how to change the XO icon (something that has been discussed of late in IRC.)

Please keep the feedback coming and challenge Flux to figure out how to change his icon by following the instructions in the FLOSS
manual chapter on modifying Sugar!!
See http://en.flossmanuals.net/bin/view/Sugar/Personalising
Also http://en.flossmanuals.net/Sugar/ModifyingSugar
contains detailed step by step instructions about how to tweak the python files to modify the appearance of the home page
(spiral layout, sunflower layout, change the appearance of the xo icon to a cat etc.)

Death God:
Anyhow, just a quick opinion on the Sugar program itself. I think it's horribly boring and, I don't believe I'm saying this, I agree with Flux
on most aspects. It's dull and mediocre. It cannot play MP3 files. When you open up your USB it gets all the files, takes them out of their
folders and makes them into a list. After your USB has been plugged into it, it will make a folder called .olpc store. The splash screens are
lame and anyone with Windows 1998 with Paint could make a better picture. However, this is just my opinion.

I will now evaluate the program in the eyes of someone who doesn't know much about computers.

It would be a good thing to teach children with in school, except if they did teach it in primary schools they would need to make a much more advanced Sugar program that is for the older people who wish to continue on with a computer career. I say this because this is not like any other program and if you grew up with this then you would not be able to learn how to use Windows XP or Vista easily as Sugar is nothing like them. So it would be a good idea for small children or poor children in other countries. But I don't think it would be good for anyone else.

machineab1:
XO - Sugar - Opinion
I like the XO-PCs but it is not good enough for normal people. Because its too slow. Now a days people are looking for something fast and revolutionised. This will also be the same with the children of the 3rd world because it will be too complicated for them to use this devise for the first time in their life. They want something easy and general.

qwerty69
Sugar
: I don't really like this whole system. i think that most of the games aren't made very well and tend to have glitches and errors. i think it should be more educational about more subjects (i.e language, spelling, writing, reading, maths) rather than having dodgy games and stuff.


Gruntyrumble
I think the Sugar UI is really simple. In fact, I think it is a bit too simple. There has to be a little bit of complexity in the UI because otherwise, there are going to be some real IT pros who are going to be bored off their pants because of the simple UI. But a too complex UI can cause disruptions among beginners. I also thing that this OS needs more "useful" softwares. All the current softwares they have are not as good for an educational OS. So i think a little bit more educational softwares could do good.



from the sugar email list (Tomeu):
  • btw I have asked the class to try to put themselves, at least some of the
  • time, into the shoes of a 6-10 yo child from the developing world when
  • providing feedback - but have also said that I want to hear negatives as
  • well as positives

I'm not sure that's the best POV for useful feedback. I cannot think
myself of any features of Sugar that are specially targeted to people
in developing countries and I for one would like to see Sugar evolve
in an useful platform for all people independently of their age.

If kids are complaining so much about the Sugar Shell means that they
are "seeing" it too much. Most of the important stuff should happen
inside activities, not in the Shell. My reaction to that feedback is
that Sugar should dissolve itself better into the set of installed
activities (by improving performance, for example) and that activities
should address better the kids' interests (so they don't need to
change the shell icons to get some fun).

  • (note the final para from death-god, he's not able to think outside the MS
  • paradigm at this point - I plan to do some more talking about these issues
  • next term)
>
> one memory that this triggered in me was mark shuttleworths ubuntu

My suspect is that conventional desktops have a big dissonance with
non-office usage, so people spend more time that they would like to in
the "OS". Because of that, the desktop GUI is important for them and
they want it to be pretty. If we reduced the components that the user
needs to interact with, those eliminated components don't need to be
pretty any more. If we reduce the time that the user needs to spend on
the rest of the desktop, the importance of their "beauty" is also
reduced.

Not saying that Mark is wrong nor that Sugar should be ugly, just that
when we hear that some part of the Sugar shell needs to look nicer or
be more like traditional desktops, we may want to reflect why is the
shell taking so much of the user attention and if this isn't an
opportunity to streamline the experience and take ourselves out of the
way.

machineab1: Sugar has been able to develop a succesful computer software for the children of the 3rd world. Their message is able to reach in poorer countries but not in developed countries. Its not becoming that famous among normal people. Because windows is having more advertisements, speed and larger hard disks.

What I like about the sugar software is that you can the picture of the icons and even of the XO icon throgh the terminal which makes is as much customised as windows. This might take some but you get experience and get better at it. You also animate and choose the pointer which makes it heaps good. Some student think it is more slower. They are wrong, if they pay less they get less. Also it is strong to overcome any damage. This makes is lot better than other laptops.

It has some positive points also. You cannot access some of the basic files because that software only runs on windows. Sugar is sometimes not able to handle 2 or more files running at the same time; it easily gets frozen. Its to difficult for a child to download a new program, because they are not grown up like us using windows. This should have a bit good programs because if a child is 12-14 than he might find them easy but the programming languages are alright.=





Azumanga : The Sugar UI is annoying. It takes frickin' ages to load anything, the games are probably only fun if you're missing a brain or mentally retarded (not to mention most of them are completely glitchy and the laptop looks as if it were the first computer invented when you look at how visually advanced the software is compared to the new age colours and design of Mac or Windows. The touchpad on the Laptop is completely screwy needing recalibration every frickin 20 seconds. Also the damned mouse pointer is too big and looks as if it could poke your eye out. The screen could possible blind you with the size of the screen being so small you have to have eyes like an Asian to see (No offense). And why can't I put on a frickin colour scheme. I'm bored of the lackluster scheme of the XO system. Theres also no obvious way to access a lot of the programs such as Totem Movie Player or Gnash.

But the XO system is not without its positives. The laptop has the durability of a block of iron and could possibly survive a hurricane. It is cheap (you get what you pay for) and very economically viable if you look at the costs of the new laptops in this era (do I look like I have $5000?). Most of the system is a very user-intuitive system and the terminal for me is its saving grace as it can determine a file's properties, which program was used to create it and which version of the software was used to make it. This is a very smart system compared to Windows' open as or open with option. Also the Write Program acts a bit like word (without all the pretty looking fonts or options and certainly not word count) so you can still use it on the bus or something to do that essay last minute that is meant to be handed up and you were too much of a jackass to do it for homework. Unfortunately though you cannot play any windows based items like .exe and whatnot and the lack of a CD player still sucks.

All in all it seems that you only get your moneys worth if you are looking for a cheap, slow, inefficient, lack luster, easily undisposable little kids' toy. If all that fits the bill then look no further than the XO OLPC Laptop.


Sinister-Moon :

What my opinion on the Sugar UI is more on the visual side of the whole thing, the XO interfaces is fairly bland and is boring after a while so I think that it could use some personal customization for the background, splash pages and whatnot, because being able to have the ability to customize those little things can make a lot of people more happy in my opinion.

As commented by some others the mouse icon for the XO is a bit too big and it becomes both annoying and an eyesore, maybe having the ability to be able to change the size of the mouse to compromise between those who like smaller mouse icons to those who enjoy the larger icon.

Another thing that is ignored but for people who enjoy having good colour scheme for the XO is that you cannot choose fully what colours you want but you have to choose between colours that are pre-made and the majority of those colours look bad. But also what is annoying is that when trying to find a decent colour scheme you'll have to randomly click till you find one and sometimes you'll go past one then have to continue clicking till it appears again which is a pain and a waste of time.

Sweet Angel

The XO laptops are portable but difficult to use. They would have been more interesting if they were touch screen because now-a-days everything is touch screen. Maybe it should have a solar charger so that you can charge it wherever you are (in sunlight). Its appearance looks like a kid's toy and it doesn't look very professional. The screen is too small and you can't put a screensaver and a background on the desktop. The laptops should come in different shapes and sizes. The graphics are not of high quality and also the shortcuts and the opening of folders is stupid.That is why it wouldn't look good if older people began to use it. We people find it hard to use because we are brainwashed by Windows. I think windows is better than XO.

There are advantages and disadvantages for each and every object. The advantage of Sugar XO is that it is unbreakable, water resistant and portable. The disadvantage is that the programs run very slowly and it takes heaps of time to load anything. The advantage of Windows is that you can open anything you want just by clicking it. It is very easy and anyone can follow the instructions and it gets even better once you get used to it. The disadvantage is that... When you install the sugar software on your computer, it won't support any external cd games which are meant for Windows and Vista.

If I had a choice between Sugar and Windows, I would definitely go for Windows. Anyways, XO would be great for the children of the third world. There are many activities to help the children. for eg. turtle art which would help them to learn different shapes. It is still developing and it maybe it will reach up to the level where people would be rushing in to buy the XO laptops.

Baby angel:
Common things:
I like XO but its a bit complicated and of course for chidren and students under 12 years of age.
It is portable and easy to use. There are many different activities that help in different manner.
It is unbreakable and water-proof.

Positives:
We can even save our planning and lessons that we do everyday, take videos and images very easily.
I like some activities in XO that are not to be found in a normal computer.
I even like chat, turtle art, puzzle type games etc.


Negatives:

I am confused with terminal because there are so many small tags and symbols that they are difficult to remember. I still can't understand a bit how to change icons in XO laptop. I think XO is a bit slow. It needs to be fast and accurate nowadays. New accurate technologies are existing now. If it wo'nt be fast and a bit modern, it will be behind (in technology) in future.


Advantage...

Both the XO laptop and the Classmate PC provide unique advantages that are worthy of consideration. With a more powerful processor, more memory, and support for unmodified Windows and Linux software, the Classmate PC provides schools with more choices and greater flexibility. OLPC's XO laptop offers a better price, a more cohesive and well-integrated software platform, and special features like a built-in video camera, high-resolution dual-mode screen, longer battery life, and pull-string charging.
Although the advantages of more powerful hardware seem apparent to the average computer user, a faster processor isn't necessarily of great value for an education laptop destined for use in the classroom. If Intel can keep the cost of the Classmate PC below $300 and can offer it with a robust assortment of useful applications that make use of the hardware's potential, it may prove a better value for some countries.
On the other hand, OLPC's XO laptop is very functional despite its hardware limitations and can probably provide all that students and teachers in target countries need for only $140. Regardless of which product achieves greater adoption, the availability of competing mobile computing devices designed specifically for education in emerging markets is a promising sign of things to come. As technological innovations continue to make hardware more powerful and affordable, computers could transform the way that students learn and make technology more pervasive and accessible to people in developing countries.

But I still like to play with XO (the cute laptop)!!!