The Karma Project: Code Less, Teach More

April 28, 2010

Karma Project Update

Filed under: News — bryanwb @ 7:26 am

I apologize for the lack of activity on the karma.js mailing list and on this blog. While this blog has been silent, development has been proceeding steadily. Please check out the current set of Karma lessons here. The finished lessons are in folders ending with the “_K” suffix. The biggest change in Karma-land is that I have had to significantly reduce my personal involvement in the Karma Project and larger OLPC Movement for the foreseeable future.

Changing of the Guard

I have been working in the OLPC Movement for four years now, the last three as a full-time volunteer. I have had the pleasure of working with some incredibly talented people scattered around the world. Real life, unfortunately, is interfering with my ability to continue working on Karma full-time. I am leaving Nepal this summer to move to Rome, Italy with my fiancee, Kimberly. Once there, I will do my very best to secure paying employment. If you know anyone looking for a good linux sysadmin/web developer to work in Rome or remotely, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Preparing for the RHCE exam over the last two months has consumed much of the time I would normally spend on Karma.

I am very happy to tell you that a more than capable replacement is waiting in the wings. Peter Gijsels, an incredibly-talented Belgian software engineer, will take over technical leadership of Karma in early June. Peter is relocating from Leuven, Belgium to lovely Kathmandu to focus full-time on Karma and work very closely with Nepal’s content development team.

Exploding Interest in HTML5

I have received a large number of e-mails expressing interest in Karma’s progress over the last two months. I find this ironic since I have been least active in the project during this same period. I correlate this to the fact that HTML 5 is rapidly developing as application platform. With ipad’s exclusion of Adobe Flash (and other cross-platform toolkits) and Flash’s poor run-time performance on many current Android devices, many developers are looking to HTML5 as the only toolkit that runs on the new crop consumer technology devices. The rapid growth of SVG toolkits like Raphaeljs doesn’t hurt either.

Next Steps

The single piece of Karma that needs the most work is integration with pootle. Peter and I made some decent progress on this front in February and March, but have stalled since then. I suspect that completing this component will be at the top of Peter’s to-do list.

Important Notice:

The Karma development tree has moved from  to OLE Nepal had to set up its own git repository because of bandwidth issues. Doing periodic builds for E-Paath requires downloading the entire Karma tree anew from the git repository. This can take days across our crappy Internet connection. With our locally hosted git server, this process only takes a few minutes. Our local repository is completely public and I hope to find time in the near future to replicate it to a read-only repository hosted at


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