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Re: [olpc-software] graceful handling of out-of-memory conditions



Havoc Pennington wrote:
On top of that, it seems to be widely accepted that teenagers talking to teenagers these days use IM instead of email virtually always, using email only to talk to adults or web stores or what have you.

What this means is that a kids' laptop in the US could easily just punt and say "get a hotmail/gmail/yahoo account"

I won't pretend to know how email fits in to One Laptop Per Child, but if a "thick client" mail app is uninteresting to US teenagers, perhaps there are creative ways to avoid needing one on the global laptop too.

I think the answer here is "something in the middle." Being able to read mail offline is pretty important, but keeping things simple and easy to use is important. Right now on Linux we have the two extremes: easy via webmail or crazy-stupid-complex mail clients. Mail clients tend to adapt to everyone's environements. (Kind of like cracking out gnome-terminal?)

One of the nice things we can do here is to be able to dictate some of the environment. The carrot being that we can provide an easy to use interface with a clean method for configuration and the stick being that we don't really have any other options available.

As for chat, we need to move to something that supports both servers and peer-to-peer - at least from the interface standpoint. People have brought up using jabber for the servers and there appears to be little consensus on the peer to peer aspects; I have inventing, but it's clear that we're going to have to do some of that, especially on the interface side. Nearly everything I've seen that's out there has serious problems in the context of OLPC.


Possible questions, Where does the IMAP server live in the envisioned One Laptop Per Child deployment? Could a webmail server live there instead for example? To what extent will the kids be using some sort of chat, vs. email, and who will the kids be chatting with or emailing?

The model that we've been talking about using is that there's a small server that sits in each school. This server isn't really anything more than the laptop that you see with a disk enclosure added to the back to a USB port. The idea is that the software and experience is as close to the same as the laptop itself. That is, it's largely autonomous and self managing, patches are applied in exactly the same way, etc. The only difference being some switches that are flipped that say "I'm a server" and then it starts acting like one.

--Chris


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