Normally, software development really is fun. So much so, we sometimes neglect the parts that aren’t fun. Recognizing this, we decided upfront to tackle the high risk and no fun parts of this project, rather than put them off. On the no-fun front, we (mostly Eric) has been dueling with the various server packages. The idea is to start off with a transparent process and inviting web site, in order to promote international cooperation.

Coming from a coddled Windows background (& before that, Macintosh), I have been appalled at how much work it takes to get well-known open source packages to run on our server! Good thing we have people like Eric & Visa that consider that stuff is a challenge and are tough enough to keep slogging until it works.

Wait a sec… I think Eric’s joyful proclamations nearby mean that our MediaWiki is now open for business. “Threads… it’s all about threads…” he’s saying. I remember last week a similar episode which ended with “Permissions… it’s always about permissions”.

On the risk-reduction front, we are slowly inching towards testing Mono on the OLPC emulator. I spent the day fiddling with ways to share files between the OLPC emulator running under VMWare Player and my Windows host. Being the lazy Windows user that I am, I don’t see myself doing a bunch of development limited only to the VI editor that is available on the OLPC. I’ll leave that to the real men. 🙂 It turns out that the easiest way is actually just to plug in a physical USB key. The vmware player recognized it right away, and the OLPC OS noticed it. I still had to get Eric to do some Linux hocus-pocus to get access to the files, but at least it worked. I also got a shared vmdk (vmware virtual disk file) formatted with fat32 and mounted under both ubuntu (in vmware player) and my Windows filesystem. But I did not quite get that to mount under OLPC… I’m sure it’s doable, just need some more experimentation. Meanwhile, on the actual code-writing front, we introduced Michael to subversion; a repository is at, his project to configure writing systems is at