Ruby on OLPC?

I’ve been seriously considering the One Laptop Per Child Give One Get
One program, and it’s starting to look really good at this point.
However, the preferred scripting language is Python, and in fact the use
of other languages is discouraged. Given that, I’m wondering if there’s
a Ruby port.

There is lots of other “interesting stuff under the hood.” It doesn’t
appear to have GCC built in – I think you have to cross-develop. But it
has Squeak for the Smalltalk folks, Open Firmware for the Forth folks,
and CSound for its audio toolset. I suppose, given all that, I could
live with Python instead of Ruby, but I’d rather not. So … does anyone
know if Ruby has been made to run on one of them? Clearly it can be
done – the processor is an AMD Geode (MMX plus 3DNow! – Athlon
equivalent).

If I do get one, I most likely won’t do a Ruby port myself – given
CSound, there are some other things I’m planning to do with it, and I
don’t mind learning Python if I have to. (Anything to avoid Squeak!)
:slight_smile:

On Nov 26, 2007, at 18:29 , M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

Anything to avoid Squeak!

well, I was going to chime in with support / info, but not after that…

Ryan D. wrote:

On Nov 26, 2007, at 18:29 , M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

Anything to avoid Squeak!

well, I was going to chime in with support / info, but not after that…

I’ve loaded Squeak three times on my Linux boxes. I’ve bought both
commonly-available Squeak books and attempted to work my way through
them. I just can’t get past the UI and how totally different it is from
everything I’ve ever touched before. In short, I really want to like
Squeak, but I don’t.

Now I’m sure if I locked myself in a room with it for a month, I could
figure out how to make it do what I wanted to do and would come out
wishing someone would pay me to use it. But given all the other
languages out there with UIs/IDEs that do work more or less the way I
do, it just doesn’t seem to be worth the effort.

Squeak (and Logo, btw) remind me of that old Tom Lehrer song about the
“New Math”: “It’s so simple, so very simple, that only a child can do
it!”. I am 0.5 – 1.0 generation older than the kids who were trained in
that “New Math”, and as a consequence I spend large parts of my day
having to explain when one multiplies and when one divides to solve
simple word problems.

“John’s car gets 45 miles to the gallon on the highway and 10 miles to
the gallon in the city. John drives 15 miles on the highway and one mile
in the city to get to the office. What is his average gas mileage?”

On 2007-11-26 20:29:22 -0600, “M. Edward (Ed) Borasky”
[email protected] said:

I’ve been seriously considering the One Laptop Per Child Give One Get
One program,

There’s also the eeePC by Asus and the Nokia N800 if you want some
linux minicomputers. I don’t think they make the Zaurus devices for
linux anymore so you have to get them off of eBay.

OLPC feels kind of imposing to me. I’m too afraid to rationalize this
because people would probably call me a cold, cold person. (Hint: Has
to do with US schools sucking).

On Nov 27, 2007 3:29 AM, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky [email protected]
wrote:

I’ve been seriously considering the One Laptop Per Child Give One Get
One program, and it’s starting to look really good at this point.

Go for it! The price is extremely reasonable, and it’s for a good
cause. I ordered mine just two days ago, for my kids, of course. :wink:
If only I had the funds to order more…

  • Dimitri

P.S. You could always generate more funds though:
http://www.olpcnews.com/internet/access/100_dollar_xo_laptop_sale.html

Steven L. wrote:

In any case, Ruby will be running on it soon after I receive mine.
Unless you have child-size hands, you may not enjoy typing on an OLPC.
(Mine is for use by an actual child, though I seem to be in the
minority in that regard.) Just download the developer image and boot
on whatever random PC. In fact, I suspect that if you then
immediately type something like “yum install ruby”, you’ll be
pleasantly surprised.

Steve

Interesting. I just got confirmation that I’ll be receiving mine. I
wonder if the developer image will run under VMware Fusion?

“M. Edward (Ed) Borasky” [email protected] writes:

I’ve been seriously considering the One Laptop Per Child Give One Get
One program, and it’s starting to look really good at this
point. However, the preferred scripting language is Python, and in
fact the use of other languages is discouraged. Given that, I’m
wondering if there’s a Ruby port.

I was going to say “tough luck”. Was the original 2 week limit just
hype or what?

In any case, Ruby will be running on it soon after I receive mine.

There is lots of other “interesting stuff under the hood.” It doesn’t
appear to have GCC built in – I think you have to cross-develop. But
it has Squeak for the Smalltalk folks, Open Firmware for the Forth
folks, and CSound for its audio toolset. I suppose, given all that, I
could live with Python instead of Ruby, but I’d rather not. So
… does anyone know if Ruby has been made to run on one of them?
Clearly it can be done – the processor is an AMD Geode (MMX plus
3DNow! – Athlon equivalent).

Unless you have child-size hands, you may not enjoy typing on an OLPC.
(Mine is for use by an actual child, though I seem to be in the
minority in that regard.) Just download the developer image and boot
on whatever random PC. In fact, I suspect that if you then
immediately type something like “yum install ruby”, you’ll be
pleasantly surprised.

Steve

Joshua C. wrote:

There’s also the eeePC by Asus and the Nokia N800 if you want some linux
minicomputers. I don’t think they make the Zaurus devices for linux
anymore so you have to get them off of eBay.

I have a Zaurus 6000, but I haven’t gotten a chance to try the
open-source tools on it yet. Most of those are for the 5500, and I’m not
sure how compatible they are or how active the developer community is.
Sharp intended the 6000 for OEMs, not end users. They dropped end-user
support literally hours after I got mine. Thanks for reminding me – I
should go see what’s available for it.

OLPC feels kind of imposing to me. I’m too afraid to rationalize this
because people would probably call me a cold, cold person. (Hint: Has to
do with US schools sucking).

I’d refrain from saying snotty things about the US school system on
public mailing lists if I were you. Stuff posted on the Internet lives
forever, and you just never know when you’ll be in a job interview with
someone who’s married to someone who has devoted his or her life to the
US school system.

But go ahead and say snotty things about Perl or Python … that’s
expected. :wink:

Steven L. wrote:

I was going to say “tough luck”. Was the original 2 week limit just
hype or what?

It’s been extended to the end of December. It’s still only available in
the US and Canada. There’s another bonus – T-Mobile is throwing in a
year free wireless.

Unless you have child-size hands, you may not enjoy typing on an OLPC.
(Mine is for use by an actual child, though I seem to be in the
minority in that regard.)

I heard that on another mailing list. As I noted in another post, I’ve
got a Zaurus 6000, and that keyboard truly is unusable. I’ve also got an
LG “ENV” phone and that keyboard I can use (more or less). I actually
got pretty good at keyboard work on the HP-100LX Palmtop PC – the real
bottleneck was the tiny screen at 80x25, not the keyboard. And what I’ve
heard about the XO/OLPC is that its screen is superior to the ones in
the “professional grade” laptops, especially for monochrome document
reading.

Just download the developer image and boot
on whatever random PC. In fact, I suspect that if you then
immediately type something like “yum install ruby”, you’ll be
pleasantly surprised.

I’m about to do that, although it will be VMware Workstation 6, not a
real machine. But I actually think I want Lisp (SBCL) before Ruby,
because a lot of the other music software I like is in Lisp and there’s
virtually no music software in Ruby.

“M. Edward (Ed) Borasky” [email protected] writes:

reminding me – I should go see what’s available for it.
to the US school system.
Hmmm. That’s not strictly true. Reading the list through Gmane, I
never saw the original message, so maybe he’s using X-No-Archive or
friends.

So what does OLPC have to do with US schools? I have serious doubts
that we’ll ever see them deployed here.

Steve

Tim H. wrote:

Interesting. I just got confirmation that I’ll be receiving mine. I
wonder if the developer image will run under VMware Fusion?

Probably … I downloaded one a couple of months ago and it came up fine
on VMware Workstation (Linux host). I couldn’t figure out the UI – as
Tom Lehrer said, “It’s so simple – so very simple – that only a child
can do it!”

:wink:

Joshua C. wrote:

On 2007-11-29 16:29:56 -0600, Steven L. [email protected] said:

So what does OLPC have to do with US schools? I have serious doubts
that we’ll ever see them deployed here.

That’s the part that bothers me. Exporting technology resulting from a
US research group to another country exclusively, meaning the schools
here have to continue to fight for funding to do anything more than old
whiteboards.

Please … if you want to debate OLPC politics, take it to the mailing
list specifically defined for just that:
http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/olpc-open

ObRuby: OK, why isn’t Ruby taught in US schools?

On 2007-11-29 16:29:56 -0600, Steven L. [email protected] said:

So what does OLPC have to do with US schools? I have serious doubts
that we’ll ever see them deployed here.

That’s the part that bothers me. Exporting technology resulting from a
US research group to another country exclusively, meaning the schools
here have to continue to fight for funding to do anything more than old
whiteboards.

-JC

On Sun, Dec 02, 2007 at 06:12:42AM +0900, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

ObRuby: OK, why isn’t Ruby taught in US schools?

Wait, Ruby is taught in US schools. Parkrose Middle in Portland added
Hackety Hack to its curriculum this year. Eventually every school
in the world will teach Ruby, one reputable source was heard to say,
but politely asked that she not be quoted.

_why

_why wrote:

Well … I’ve spent most of the past few days immersing myself in the
OLPC software, and unless either Intel or Microsoft manages to wipe OLPC
off the map and supports Ruby to boot, “eventually every school in the
world will teach” Python and Squeak S… Remember, this hardware
platform has 256 MB of RAM and 1 GB of flash disk and can’t be upgraded
without prayer and a soldering iron.

For those who do want to experiment with Ruby on an (emulated) OLPC XO,
the rest of the UI is pretty standard – GTK, Pango, Cairo, Xulrunner,
and the kernel itself (except for the wireless and touchpad, which are
bleeding edge). However, OpenGL isn’t there – apparently the resource
usage is too high.

On Nov 27, 2007 9:10 AM, Ryan D. [email protected] wrote:

On Nov 26, 2007, at 18:29 , M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

Anything to avoid Squeak!

well, I was going to chime in with support / info, but not after that…
exactly, big thumbs down Ed,
but seriously now, what’s wrong with Squeak (unless that it is not
Forth;).

I also would like to have more information about discouraging other
languages, that seems a bold and stupid move IMHO, not at all in the
spirit of education on an open platform.
If this were true I would be rather shocked.

Robert

http://ruby-smalltalk.blogspot.com/


All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second,
it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Schopenhauer (attr.)

On Nov 27, 2007 4:02 PM, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky [email protected]
wrote:

languages out there with UIs/IDEs that do work more or less the way I
the gallon in the city. John drives 15 miles on the highway and one mile
in the city to get to the office. What is his average gas mileage?"

Sorry Ed I have overlooked this when asking you why, that is indeed
good enough an answer.
Actually I share your problems, but I believe that they are here
because we were spoiled by “Old Math” :(.
R.

http://ruby-smalltalk.blogspot.com/


All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second,
it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Schopenhauer (attr.)

On Nov 28, 9:13 pm, “M. Edward (Ed) Borasky” [email protected]
wrote:

But I actually think I want Lisp (SBCL) before Ruby,
because a lot of the other music software I like is in Lisp and there’s
virtually no music software in Ruby.

I’m curious. What Lisp music software are you refering to?

yermej wrote:

On Nov 28, 9:13 pm, “M. Edward (Ed) Borasky” [email protected]
wrote:

But I actually think I want Lisp (SBCL) before Ruby,
because a lot of the other music software I like is in Lisp and there’s
virtually no music software in Ruby.

I’m curious. What Lisp music software are you refering to?

Common Music and David Cope’s algorithmic composition software. Some of
the latter is generic, but some of it requires a Macintosh.

On Dec 3, 2007 6:41 AM, Robert D. [email protected] wrote:

I also would like to have more information about discouraging other
languages, that seems a bold and stupid move IMHO, not at all in the
spirit of education on an open platform.
If this were true I would be rather shocked.

IIRC, the restriction was on what could be used for a core component of
the platform (to keep the base size down), but that additional devel
environments could be added. I did find this reference:
Java virtual machine can be added via Yum or RPM install
but [is] not part of the standard distribution [1]

I will certainly be installing Ruby on mine.

[1] http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Software_components

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