One Python Per Child

Originally published on theploneblog.org

The $100 laptop project has chosen Python as the primary development language for The Laptop.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an olpc developer board, and have spent a little time learning about the platform and project.

While there are a few issues I have with the project, it is really an thrilling moment in educational technology and after holding the hardware in my own hands I actually believe this vision might truly manifest.

The main reason I am writing about this in the Plone blog is I have learned that the olpc’s application development language of choice is Python!

Sheckitout.

While Plone itself is probably not well suited for the laptop itself — The Laptop’s hardware characteristics are closer to a pda w/ a big screen than a MacBook Pro¬† (plone-on-a-stick? maybe it could ship on a thumbnail drive), it is easy to imagine communities of practice emerging around this platform. Places where educators and students alike can share tips and tricks, strategies and pitfalls. Who will be their dotmac?

Admittedly, these devices are being built to operate unconnected to the Internet, communicating with each other through ad-hoc mesh networks (presence will be a very low level primitive in this environment, and all applications will have access to it), there may still be a role for a server w/in the network.

I don’t know exactly how Plone fits into the larger OLPC strategy, but I get the sense that with all the momentum and capital around this project, if Plone gets there lots of people will see it. And many of them may be the next generation of Python/Plone developers.

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