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<title>TUX&amp;GNU@school - 5th edition</title>
<h1>TUX&amp;GNU@school - 5th edition</h1>
<p><i>Every month the column <a
[2]</a> reports about free software, a homepage on the topic
and an easy to implement idea. This month I talk about <a
[3]</a>, a free painting program for children, about "<a
href="">Debian [4]</a> at school" and
about the idea "Easily understanding large numbers".</i></p>
<p>Welcome to the 5th edition. As I promised last time, there
are some news today. This is the first edition released under
the roof of the <a href="/">Free
Software Foundation Europe [5]</a> and the <a
href="">GNU project[6]</a>. In this context
TUX&amp;GNU@school will be released in different languages in
the future but right now only in German and English. All
earlier edition are in english available too (<a
href="/activities/tgs/tagatschool1.html">TGS 1
[7]</a>, <a
href="/activities/tgs/tagatschool2.html">TGS 2
[8]</a>, <a
href="/activities/tgs/tagatschool3.html">TGS 3
[9]</a> and <a
href="/activities/tgs/tagatschool4.html">TGS 4
[10]</a>). If there is anybody reading one of the older
editions who want to implement an idea, go on. At this point I
want to thank Christian Selig and Kristian Rink for their
support with writing and translating. But we don't want to lose
too much time, therefore I move on to the program introduction
of this time.</p>
<h3>Tuxpaint - Painting is fun</h3>
<p><a href="">Tuxpaint
[3]</a> is actually a free painting programm for children which
is released under the <a
href="">GNU GPL
[11]</a>. I wrote "actually" because I heard of many adults who
can't stop painting with tuxpaint ;-). I tested the version
0.91. of the 16.11.2001 under <a
href="">Debian GNU/Linux [4]</a>
testing/unstable. On Debian you can easily install the program
with the following shell command: <tt>apt-get install
tuxpaint</tt>. The version 0.9.2 is the most up to date one
which is available in numerous languages. These are e.g.
German, French, English, Danish, etc. to name only a few. You
can find the full list on the <a
of the project [12]</a>. What we surely should mention are the
to the common platforms, such as GNU/Linux, Windows, MacOS X
and FreeBSD. As with all Free Software, the sourcecode is
available, so there shouldn't be a bar to other ports.</p>
<p>When you start Tuxpaint either over the console or by a
click on the corresponding icon, Tux with a brush in his hand
appears. After a click in the window or a few seconds of
waiting a screen as shown in screenshot 1 comes up. The
interface is divided into five sections. On the left there is
the tool panel, containing different tool groups, as well as
general functions such as <i>Print</i>, <i>Save</i> and
<i>Quit</i>. For each tool group, there are different choices
on the right. An example for this are the different painting
sizes of the color brush. A further example is shown in
screenshot 1, that is to say the really numerous stamps.
Whenever it's possible to use a color with a certain function,
the choice can be made in the second last row. Right beneath,
Tux, the little penguin, sits around, always saying something
about each action. Either he gives tips or he explains on what
you are clicking or what an selected stamp is showing. And
eventually the most important and largest part of the screen
viz, the artist's canvas which is situated in the middle. As
you can see in screenshot 1 I made already some art ;-).</p>
<p><img src="./img/tuxpaint.en.png"
alt="Screenshot 1: Tuxpaint in action" width="648" height="508"
border="0" /></p>
<h5>Screenshot 1: Tuxpaint in action</h5>
<br />
<br />
<p>At the moment I have to brace up that I'm not painting and
playing with Tuxpaint, but continuing this column. So as every
good program for infants there is a sound for each action and
for every click in Tuxpaint. For instance, when you use the
rubber it sounds as if you really used one on your screen. This
property is special with the stamps. The numbers for 0 to 9 are
spoken in english and when you select the ghost stamp, it right
then begins to ulutate. An the other hand when you select the
moon landing vehicle, you can hear Neil Armstrong saying his
famous first sentence. And there are a lot more of these
special sounds for the stamps.</p>
<p>As already mentioned the program is made for infants in the
first place and therefore the <i>Open</i> dialog is made quite
easy as you can see in screenshot 2. It's not necessary to
click trough many directories till you find your picture and in
any case you don't know what picture it is by means of the file
name. In Tuxpaint the artist simply clicks on the <i>Open</i>
button and then chooses the right picture in the window which
appears where the canvas was before. You may also delete one of
the pictures right here. By the way, under GNU/Linux all
pictures are saved in a directory called
<tt>.tuxpaint/saved</tt> which is always situated in the own
home directory. The pictures are filed in the PNG format which
is a free and standardised format. Even easier is printing. You
have to simply click on <i>Print</i> and the picture gets
printed, provided that mum or dad installed the printer
<p><img src="img/"
alt="Screenshot 2: Tuxpaint opens new pictures" width="648"
height="508" border="0" /></p>
<h5>Screenshot 2: Tuxpaint opens new pictures</h5>
<br />
<br />
<p>When you then accomplished it once to stop painting and you
leave the program, of course Tux is pointing you out that you
didn't save your picture yet and gives you right now the
possibility to change this. I hope that all these who didn't
know Tuxpaint yet now have a good mind to try it out. Tuxpaint
is really a genial part of software that you can't keep back to
your children. Therefore a large "thank you" to Bill Kendrick
for his software masterpiece and we are all anxious to what you
will create in the future.</p>
<p>But now continues to the topic "Debian at school".</p>
<h3>Debian at school</h3>
<p>Originally I wanted to introduce only the project <a
href="">"Debian Jr."
[14]</a> at his place. But in the meantime it arises that
further subprojects of Debian suitable to the topic came into
being and that's why I want to try to introduce all the
relevant projects. These are:</p>
<li><a href="">Debian
Jr. [14]</a> - "Debian for children from 1 to 99"</li>
<li><a href="">DDTP [15]</a> - The
Debian Description Translation Project</li>
<li><a href="">DebianEDU
[16]</a> - Debian as the best distribution for education</li>
Desktop [17]</a> - Simplification for Debian on the
But before I come to the single items it's perhaps useful to
introduce Debian in the first instance. Debian is a project
which, quite similar to Linux (the kernel) itself, is developed
and supported by volunteers from all over the world. Surely the
most well-known distribution of this group is Debian GNU/Linux
which is available for <a href="">11
hardware architectures [18]</a> until now. Furthermore there
are projects with other kernels, such as <a
href="">Debian GNU/Hurd
[19]</a> and <a
href="">Debian GNU/FreeBSD
[20]</a> <a href="">(NetBSD)
[21]</a>, plus other <a
href="">subprojects [22]</a>. <br />
<br />
<p><a href="">Debian Jr.
[14]</a>, as the title already says, want to make the Debian
distribution easier and more attractive for children. Thereby
the primary target group are children up to eight years. When
once the distribution is adapted optimally for children of this
age they want to repeat the same thing for children between 8
and 12. The subproject provides numerous <a
href="">Meta packages
[23]</a> which are packages containing thematically sorted
programs. Furthermore they want to provide means for parents
and administrators too to customise the system to the new
target group's needs. Of course as usual with Free Software
Debian Jr. cooperates with related projects, such as, for
example, the <a href="">SEUL/edu
project[25]</a> which has been introduced in the <a
edition [24]</a>. What's just as important for the young debian
users is the adaption to their mother tongue. This is a goal
for Debian Jr. too, but right for this there is another special
subproject: <a href="">DDTP [15]</a>.</p>
<p><img src="img/debian.en.png"
alt="Screenshot 3: The homepage of Debian" width="800"
height="600" border="0" /></p>
<h5>Screenshot 3: The homepage of Debian</h5>
<br />
<br />
<p>The <a href="">DDTP - Debian
Description Translation Project's [15]</a> original goal was
the translation of all package descriptions into all languages
spoken on this planet. In the unstable version of Debian there
are meanwhile more than 10000 packages, which means a lot of
work. And even though, if I remember correctly for some
languages already all packages descriptions are translated. As
already indicated above DDTP currently limits not only to
package descriptions but translates also texts of debian-own
configuration tool debconf and will probably also help or do
the translation of the new <a
[26]</a>. By the way it's very easy to help with the
translations, you need only an email client and the very good
written <a
[27]</a> of Michael Bramer, the project founder.</p>
<p>DebianEDU is still quite young. It was founded by Raphael
Hertzog in September 6, 2002. According to the <a
href="">homepage [16]</a> the
main goal is to create the best GNU/Linux distribution for
schools and education. DebianEDU originated in the <a
French distribution with almost the same name [28]</a>
developed in France specifically for this task. The knowledge
and programs made for and with this work are intended to flow
into the project and they shall be pursued and completed. In
contrast to Debian Jr. they focus on software which could be
important at school or in education in general. Of course there
are several overlappings but by tight cooperation they avoid
doubled work. Here too they grapple with the production and
provision of meta packages which are already now rather
numerous <a
<p>The fourth and last Debian project I want to introduce here
is likewise still very young. The goal of <a
Desktop [17]</a> is it to make Debian GNU/Linux easier and more
attractive for desktop users. Its aims such as an easy
installation with integrated and automatic hardware detection
are on the to-do list, just as the provision of graphical
configuration tools like <a href="">Webmin
<p>Debian GNU/Linux is not only a manifold distribution, it is
also the groundwork of many more or less successful commercial
distributions. Beneath commercial derivatives like <a
href="">Libranet [31]</a>, <a
href="">Progeny [32]</a>, <a
href="">Xandros [33]</a> or <a
href="">Lindows [34]</a> which are
unfortunately frequently mixed with proprietary software there
are however free projects too which are built on the stable
foundation of Debian. The most important example of this kind
is <a href="">Knoppix [35]</a> at the
moment. Unfortunately even this distribution isn't entirely
free from proprietary software. Knoppix is a distribution
running completely from CD-ROM which isn't only useful for
demonstration purposes. But more infos about this below. In
contrast du vanilla Debian, you can worrilessly recommend <a
href="">Knoppix [35]</a> to absolute
GNU/Linux newbies too.</p>
<p>But now we're going on to the software idea of this
<h3>"Easily understanding large numbers"</h3>
<p>Something which is no problem for most of us, it's
especially pupils in the lower classes that still have to learn
it grindingly: Large numbers. What I mean with "Large numbers"
is not imperatively one million or larger but already 100, 1000
or then 10000. With numbers up to 100, it's mostly possible to
represent them with everyday and eidetic examples, forming a
base on which children can imagine the numbers in an abstract
form by and by. But then with numbers larger than 100 it
becomes more difficult to find examples, let alone to plot
them. Well in this range of numbers you begin to abstract the
numbers i.e. to separate them from concrete measures and
<p>Here in Switzerland, but probably not only here, in many
cases little wood or plastic cubes are used. These are approx.
1 x 1 x 1 cm large and ten of them in a line result in a
decadic row. Ten decadic rows side by side result in a one
hundred field and ten of these fields, one stacked on the
other, respectively side by side then result in a one thousand
cube respectively in a one thousand field. The largest still
useful applicable field is the ten thousend field which
consists of 100 one hundred fields aligned in a square. I hope
that the people who not already knew or saw these fields and
cubes can imagine them on the basis of my descriptions.</p>
Well but what and how shall you transform this into software ?
I would like to see that handily <a
href="">OpenGL [36]</a> or general 3D
programmers generate these fields and cubes three-dimensionally
and show them on screen. If children not only have to imagine
this numbers but also can see them on screen, it would be much
easier for them to calculate with large numbers. Perhaps they
can even enter numbers into the computer and it generates the
corresponding field and cube forms. On the other hand it would
be interesting to see calculuses in these forms. The pupils
then must calculate them with help of the 3D objects and
afterwards they could compare their result with the computer's
one. Well, it would be nice when <a
href="">I [1]</a> receive some
implementations until next time which I then could introduce in
TUX&amp;GNU@school 6 at the end of January 2003. There are no
limits for further going ideas except for the programmer's
<p>But now to the last section, the news.</p>
<h3>News and up to date program versions</h3>
<h4>BSI ships Knoppix at no cost:</h4>
<p>The German <a href="">"Bundesamt für
Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik" [37]</a> (Federal Office
for information technology security) ships <a
href="">Knoppix [35]</a> CD-ROMs. If you
send them a post-paid readdressed C5 envelope, the German BSI
will send you a GNU/Linux distribution running completely from
CD. You can find more information about this on their <a
page [38]</a>.</p>
<h4>FreeEduc - Knoppix for free education software</h4>
<p>Although some time has passed, I want to mention it here
once again. At the end of October 2002 the <a
href="">OFSET - Organisation for Free
Software in Education and Teaching [39]</a> released the first
version of <a
[40]</a>. It's a distribution based on <a
href="">Knoppix [35]</a> whose main
purpose is the demonstration of free educational software.
Similar to Knoppix all of Freeduc's software runs directly from
CD and you don't need to install anything. Thanks to the very
good automatic hardware detection you don't need to configure
anything yourself too. On one of the next days or weeks they
want to release the version 1.2 and I think we can eagerly look
forward to it.</p>
<h4>Up to date program versions</h4>
<li><a href="">KTouch</a> 1.0 - Type
writing course under KDE 3.0.5 (<a
<li><a href="">GCompris</a>
1.2.1 - Education plattform with different boards (<a
<li><a href="">KGeo</a> 1.0.2 -
Geometry program under KDE 3.0.5 (<a
href="">Ghemical</a> 1.0 -
Chemistry program for modelling and computing molecules (<a
<li><a href="">Tuxpaint</a> 0.9.2 -
Painting programm for children and for those who stayed
children (<a
<br />
<br />
<p>Well, this was the fifth edition of TGS. But before I say
good bye for this time there are still some questions left:
After the last publication of TUX&amp;GNU@school someone on <a
href=""> [41]</a> asked if
it would be possible to receive the new edition by newsletter
too. Because I don't think the idea is bad I want to ask now
whether there is interest in general for such a version ? For
this all persons who are interesting in a newsletter version
should send <a href="">me [1]</a> an email
till the next edition, please. Of course as ever I'm interested
in questions, criticism, comments and hints which should be
sent to the same location.</p>
<p>But now that's really the end of this time. Good luck and a
happy new year is the last I want to say.</p>
<p>[1] <a href="">Criticism, questions,
comments, ideas and more please to:</a><br />
[2] <a
homepage of TUX&amp;GNU@school:</a><br />
[3] <a href="">The
homepage of Tuxpaint:</a><br />
[4] <a href="">The homepage of Debian:</a><br />
[5] <a href="/">The homepage of the
Free Software Foundation Europe:</a><br />
[6] <a href="">The homepage of the GNU
project:</a><br />
[7] <a
1 in english</a><br />
[8] <a
2 in english</a><br />
[9] <a
3 in english</a><br />
[10] <a
4 in english</a><br />
[11] <a
href="">GNU GPL
- General Public License</a><br />
[12] <a
languages of Tuxpaint</a><br />
[13] <a
of Tuxpaint</a><br />
[14] <a href="">The
homepage of Debian Jr.:</a><br />
[15] <a href="">The homepage of the
Debian Description Translation Project - DDTP:</a><br />
[16] <a href="">The homepage
of DebianEDU:</a><br />
[17] <a href="">The
homepage of Debian Desktop:</a><br />
[18] <a href="">Available ports of
Debian GNU/Linux</a><br />
[19] <a href="">The homepage
of Debian GNU/Hurd</a><br />
[20] <a href="">The
homepage of Debian GNU/FreeBSD</a><br />
[21] <a href="">The homepage
of Debian GNU/NetBSD</a><br />
[22] <a href="">Subprojects of
Debian</a><br />
[23] <a href="">Meta
packages of Debian Jr.</a><br />
[24] <a
in TUX&amp;GNU@school - 4th edition</a><br />
[25] <a href="">The homepage of
SEUL/edu:</a><br />
[26] <a href="">The
homepage of the new debian-installer</a><br />
[27] <a
for contributing to the DDTP</a><br />
[28] <a
The homepage of DebianEDUC</a><br />
[29] <a href="">Meta packages
of DebianEDU</a><br />
[30] <a href="">The homepage of Webmin:</a><br />
[31] <a href="">The homepage of
Libranet:</a><br />
[32] <a href="">The homepage of Progeny:</a><br />
[33] <a href="">The homepage of Xandros:</a><br />
[34] <a href="">The homepage of Lindows:</a><br />
[35] <a href="">The homepage of Knoppix:</a><br />
[36] <a href="">The homepage of OpenGL:</a><br />
[37] <a href="">The homepage of the German
"Bundesamtes für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik - BSI"
(Federal Office for information technology security):</a><br />
[38] <a
href="">Page of
Knoppix on the homepage of the BSI</a><br />
[39] <a href="">The homepage of the OFSET
- Organisation for Free Software in Education and Teaching:</a><br />
[40] <a
homepage of the Freeduc distribution</a><br />
[41] <a href=""> German
News about GNU/Linux and Free Software</a><br />
<h4>About the author:</h4>
<p>Mario Fux finished 1999 the PrimarlehrerInnenseminar in Brig
after he made up mathematical and natural scientifical matura.
In a body with two colleagues he founded the <a
href="">"ALIS - Arbeitsgruppe Linux an
Schulen"</a> (Swiss work group for linux at school). Meanwhile
he studies at the <a href="">Swiss Federal
Institut of Technology Zurich</a> <a
href="">informations technology and
electrical engineering</a>. And if he once doesn't spend his
time in front of the PC, he sits at his nature pond in the <a
<p align="center"><i>This document is distributed under the
terms of the <a
Free Documentation License</a>.</i></p>
<p align="center"><i>Copyright (c) 2002 Mario Fux. Permission
is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version
1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software
Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts,
and no Back-Cover Texts.<br />
A copy of the license can be found at <a
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