Today we spent our time learning how to get the source code for a FOSS project. We used git to get the source for the Abacus activity from Sugar, and then made modifications to Abacus. Jerry Breecher and I added a “decimal” version of the abacus (10 beads on each rod). The changes to the code were easy to make – mostly copying and pasting, and then making some simple changes.
The more difficult part of the task was committing the changes to my local repository and making patches. These were not technically difficult, but I don’t really know enough about how to use git. I think that a more thorough introduction to git would have been useful (although I guess I can just read the documentation on my own…) I also think it would have been helpful to have created our own branches on gitorius and committed our changes there. That would have accomplished multiple things for me:
- It would have allowed me to test the ssh key I created on Monday to see if I registered it correctly in gitorius. I also want to find out if that ssh key is machine-specific, in other words, will I have to create a new key on my other main machine and register that one as well, or can I use the same key on both machines?
- It would have allowed us to learn how to submit a merge request. Since I was creating the patches in my VM instance of the POSSE Education live CD, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get them off the VM and send them to Walter. It seems it would have been easier to just commit to gitorius and request a merge.
I spent most of the evening not working on the assigned homework. Instead, I spent my time getting a working instance of Sugar on a Stick (SoaS) running on a virtual machine. Since I had been unsuccessful at creating a Live USB version that would boot on the Mac, I wanted a version I could work in to test my Sugar activities. I had been booting the SoaS Live CD in a virtual machine, but that didn’t provide any persistence. After some failed attempts at using zyx-liveinstaller, I contacted Peter Robinson over IRC and found out that I should be using liveinst instead. That worked fine, but it took me a couple of iterations because I made the virtual hard drive too small the first time.
Today, in between assigned tasks, Peter Robinson and I are going to try to get the SoaS Live USB to boot on the Mac. He’s pretty sure he knows how to do it, but has never had a Mac to try it on.