Ticket #2778 (new enhancement)

Opened 7 years ago

Last modified 6 years ago

A clock "device" in Sugar could be useful to many

Reported by: YChao Owned by: Eben
Priority: normal Milestone: Opportunity
Component: interface-design Version: Build 542
Keywords: clock Cc: bemasc, jg, kimquirk, mtd, edsiper
Action Needed: Verified: no
Deployments affected: Blocked By:
Blocking:

Description

Just feel something is missing but didn't tell for the first time. There is no clock displayed anywhere in Sugar, except for issuing 'date' in the develop console. IMHO, it's quite important for children to have a good concept of "time". It would be also quite useful to have a clock toy that children can learn and play around with it.

Change History

follow-up: ↓ 2   Changed 7 years ago by jg

  • milestone changed from Untriaged to Opportunity

Heh. We certainly don't want to wake the machine up very often.

in reply to: ↑ 1 ; follow-up: ↓ 3   Changed 7 years ago by cjb

Replying to jg:

Heh. We certainly don't want to wake the machine up very often.

Yes, veto on having a clock on the sugar home view.

Having a Time activity that incorporates a timer/stopwatch/world time etc sounds like a grand idea, though. (Maybe even one we should implement ourselves; it's certainly a bug that the laptops currently can't be used to tell time at all without using the developer console.)

in reply to: ↑ 2 ; follow-up: ↓ 7   Changed 7 years ago by AlbertCahalan

Replying to cjb:

Replying to jg:

Heh. We certainly don't want to wake the machine up very often.

Yes, veto on having a clock on the sugar home view.

Well, for sure not xdaliclock displaying seconds.

Waking up once per minute is really nothing to a computer.

Put it in the frame. Show both analog and digital. On mouseover, show the date and seconds.

  Changed 7 years ago by marco

  • owner changed from dcbw to Eben
  • component changed from sugar to interface-design

  Changed 7 years ago by bert

There are various clocks in etoys fwiw.

  Changed 7 years ago by Eben

Our early designs for Sugar had clocks in them, but Nicholas was largely against the idea of making this an integrated part of the OS, so we dropped it. I could now see an argument for putting a small analog clock "device" next to the other device icons (battery, wireless, camera, etc) which would tell time and have digital/date on rollover, as mentioned above. Perhaps the use of an analog visual by default would eliminate the "slave to the clock" idea that I think was the reason we left it behind. Also, its presence in the Home view only would prevent it from feeling like a perpetual ticker that was governing the kids actions all the time.

On the other hand, I've always simply assumed that, with or without a clock in Sugar, we should absolutely have a "Clock" activity (and what a perfect name, since "clock" can also be a verb). This activity should take advantage of collaboration so that when kids from Brazil and Nigeria can interact in future versions they can identify the time shifts and get a better understanding of time in general. I'd love to see us add this to the base set of activities in the future.

in reply to: ↑ 3   Changed 7 years ago by YChao

Replying to AlbertCahalan:

Waking up once per minute is really nothing to a computer.

Yes. I checked the wake-ups with powertop on OS546 and found that there are already ~220/s for python schedule_timeout (not sure if this is mainly due the CPU load diskplay of develop console), ~135 for mfgpt-timer (any way to elliminate this?), ~10 for ehci_irq (ehci_watchdog, should this be turned off for stable release?) and 10/s for Journal. Other wake-ups are less than 3/sec level.

It sounds quite good to just display an analog clock and update at minute level. Also a "world clock" would be quite useful for children to communicate world-wide.

  Changed 7 years ago by bemasc

  • cc bemasc added

Basic Clock activity is now in joyride. It displays date and time. Time is shown on a 12-hour analog dial and a 24-hour digital display, with color-coding to connect each hand to its corresponding digits. The date is displayed in the format designated by the locale.

The clock updates every second. However, it only updates when it is visible. Thus, if you open the clock and leave it running in the background, it will consume precisely zero CPU when you are not looking at it. Even when it is running, it requires very little processing power.

follow-up: ↓ 11   Changed 7 years ago by edsiper

  • cc jg, kimquirk added
  • keywords clock, review? added; clock removed

The clock activity has been included in the latest joyride realeases and it works very good. I think that the clock activity don't have to replace a sugar clock, in the activity the kids can learn different ways to read the time, but if the user want to see 'what time is it?' it feels a little slowly to open an activity to see the time.

The basic proposal is the same that Eben wrote above:

1) Include a simple clock icon in the home view and add a palette with the current time. 2) Add a digital clock in the top frame (right side) that can be updated every 1 minute.

I know that we're in featucan I submit a patch with some of this options in order to be included in joyride?

  Changed 7 years ago by marco

  • keywords clock added; clock, review? removed

review? is for patch reviews. Removing it.

in reply to: ↑ 9   Changed 7 years ago by chihyu

Is the Clock activity only included in joyride builds? Is it supposed to be in Update.1? There is no Clock activity in build 689.

Replying to edsiper:

The clock activity has been included in the latest joyride realeases and it works very good. I think that the clock activity don't have to replace a sugar clock, in the activity the kids can learn different ways to read the time, but if the user want to see 'what time is it?' it feels a little slowly to open an activity to see the time. The basic proposal is the same that Eben wrote above: 1) Include a simple clock icon in the home view and add a palette with the current time. 2) Add a digital clock in the top frame (right side) that can be updated every 1 minute. I know that we're in featucan I submit a patch with some of this options in order to be included in joyride?

  Changed 6 years ago by Eben

  • cc mtd, edsiper added

It's great that we have clock activities available for kids to use now. It can no longer be said they are without any options for telling time at all.

I can still see the need, for some, to have a clock which doesn't have the overhead of finding/launching an activity. For this, I still propose adding a small analog clock "device" to the devices edge of the Frame, which includes a digital readout with the date (and even a calendar?) in it's palette. If someone has interest in developing this, I'd be happy to whip up a quick visual mockup for what I'd expect it to look like.

Of note, since the clock-as-part-of-Sugar has been controversial, I'll put this forward as a perfect example of why I'd prefer some re-factoring of the device implementation to support modules!

  Changed 6 years ago by Eben

  • summary changed from No clock "activity" in Sugar to A clock "device" in Sugar could be useful to many

follow-up: ↓ 15   Changed 6 years ago by bemasc

The choice of an analog clock seems quite bizarre to me. I would never set the clock in my deskbar to analog. Children have great difficulty with analog time. In fact, the younger generation now can barely read them at all, since analog watches are more expensive than digital ones.

Analog clocks are more difficult to read at the same size, more ambiguous, more prone to error, and less culturally universal. On a computer, they are a digital simulation of a particular mechanical device, instead of what is really desired: a display of what time it is.

I understand that some have worried that the increased precision of a digital clock will make life worse for the children. I find this absurd.

in reply to: ↑ 14   Changed 6 years ago by mtd

Replying to bemasc:

I would never set the clock in my deskbar to analog. Children have great difficulty with analog time. I understand that some have worried that the increased precision of a digital clock will make life worse for the children. I find this absurd.

+1

A new device is pretty easy, though I don't know about the font rendering side of things...

  Changed 6 years ago by Eben

I agree, but that doesn't change the fact that we don't have a clock at all for precisely this reason. We tried several times to incorporate it into early designs, to no avail. In any case, I also figured that an analog clock would fit in nicely with the graphical style of the device icons, and that offering a digital readout in the primary palette might be sufficient, but I agree with the points you made regarding readability as well.

In any case, it seems that someone could take the initiative to provide a template for this, so we can test it out and play with the various parameters until we get something that works. If it turns out that a colored rectangle with a digital display is most appropriate, then that's what we should use.

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