Poor Nicholas. He can say something that is completely true, and get pilloried for it.
What Nicholas said, from TFA: “But what we did…was we had Sugar do the power management, we had Sugar do the wireless management — it became sort of an omelet. The Bios talked directly with Sugar, so Sugar became a bit of a mess. It should have been much cleaner, like the way they offer [it] on a stick now.”
Slashdot headline: Negroponte Sees Sugar As OLPC’s Biggest Mistake.
NO NO NO WRONG JUST TOTALLY WRONG. STUPID STUPID WRONG STUPID LAZY RTFA HIVEMIND SLASHDOT. FAIL!!! WRONG!!!
In what he actually said, Nicholas is exactly right.
What should have happened: OLPC should have worked to get system-level changes into the upstream Linux kernel / X / other projects, and Sugar should have been a desktop environment sitting on top.
What actually happened: OLPC forked its own distro and called the whole thing “Sugar”, pushed a ton of XO-specific changes in this distro, and wasted a lot of engineering cycles fighting to maintain a fork. This mistake was a crucial and painful mistake — one that we have fought to remedy in the context of Fedora 10 and Fedora 11. Two release cycles of nothing but pushing XO-specific code upstream, everywhere we find it.
I’ve certainly had my disagreements with Nicholas in the past — I still think it’s a shame how much community goodwill OLPC squandered by failing to be sufficiently transparent — but let’s not put words in the man’s mouth. Saying “the way we did Sugar was a big mistake” is a completely different thing from saying “Sugar was a big mistake”.