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  4. <title>TUX&amp;GNU@school - 5th edition</title>
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  7. <div>
  8. <h1>TUX&amp;GNU@school - 5th edition</h1>
  9. <p><i>Every month the column <a
  10. href="">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  11. [2]</a> reports about free software, a homepage on the topic
  12. and an easy to implement idea. This month I talk about <a
  13. href="">Tuxpaint
  14. [3]</a>, a free painting program for children, about "<a
  15. href="">Debian [4]</a> at school" and
  16. about the idea "Easily understanding large numbers".</i></p>
  17. <p>Welcome to the 5th edition. As I promised last time, there
  18. are some news today. This is the first edition released under
  19. the roof of the <a href="">Free
  20. Software Foundation Europe [5]</a> and the <a
  21. href="">GNU project[6]</a>. In this context
  22. TUX&amp;GNU@school will be released in different languages in
  23. the future but right now only in German and English. All
  24. earlier edition are in english available too (<a
  25. href="">TGS 1
  26. [7]</a>, <a
  27. href="">TGS 2
  28. [8]</a>, <a
  29. href="">TGS 3
  30. [9]</a> and <a
  31. href="">TGS 4
  32. [10]</a>). If there is anybody reading one of the older
  33. editions who want to implement an idea, go on. At this point I
  34. want to thank Christian Selig and Kristian Rink for their
  35. support with writing and translating. But we don't want to lose
  36. too much time, therefore I move on to the program introduction
  37. of this time.</p>
  38. <h3>Tuxpaint - Painting is fun</h3>
  39. <p><a href="">Tuxpaint
  40. [3]</a> is actually a free painting programm for children which
  41. is released under the <a
  42. href="">GNU GPL
  43. [11]</a>. I wrote "actually" because I heard of many adults who
  44. can't stop painting with tuxpaint ;-). I tested the version
  45. 0.91. of the 16.11.2001 under <a
  46. href="">Debian GNU/Linux [4]</a>
  47. testing/unstable. On Debian you can easily install the program
  48. with the following shell command: <tt>apt-get install
  49. tuxpaint</tt>. The version 0.9.2 is the most up to date one
  50. which is available in numerous languages. These are e.g.
  51. German, French, English, Danish, etc. to name only a few. You
  52. can find the full list on the <a
  53. href="">homepage
  54. of the project [12]</a>. What we surely should mention are the
  55. <a
  56. href="">ports[13]</a>
  57. to the common platforms, such as GNU/Linux, Windows, MacOS X
  58. and FreeBSD. As with all Free Software, the sourcecode is
  59. available, so there shouldn't be a bar to other ports.</p>
  60. <p>When you start Tuxpaint either over the console or by a
  61. click on the corresponding icon, Tux with a brush in his hand
  62. appears. After a click in the window or a few seconds of
  63. waiting a screen as shown in screenshot 1 comes up. The
  64. interface is divided into five sections. On the left there is
  65. the tool panel, containing different tool groups, as well as
  66. general functions such as <i>Print</i>, <i>Save</i> and
  67. <i>Quit</i>. For each tool group, there are different choices
  68. on the right. An example for this are the different painting
  69. sizes of the color brush. A further example is shown in
  70. screenshot 1, that is to say the really numerous stamps.
  71. Whenever it's possible to use a color with a certain function,
  72. the choice can be made in the second last row. Right beneath,
  73. Tux, the little penguin, sits around, always saying something
  74. about each action. Either he gives tips or he explains on what
  75. you are clicking or what an selected stamp is showing. And
  76. eventually the most important and largest part of the screen
  77. viz, the artist's canvas which is situated in the middle. As
  78. you can see in screenshot 1 I made already some art ;-).</p>
  79. <p><img src="./img/tuxpaint.en.png"
  80. alt="Screenshot 1: Tuxpaint in action" width="648" height="508"
  81. border="0" /></p>
  82. <h5>Screenshot 1: Tuxpaint in action</h5>
  83. <br />
  84. <br />
  85. <p>At the moment I have to brace up that I'm not painting and
  86. playing with Tuxpaint, but continuing this column. So as every
  87. good program for infants there is a sound for each action and
  88. for every click in Tuxpaint. For instance, when you use the
  89. rubber it sounds as if you really used one on your screen. This
  90. property is special with the stamps. The numbers for 0 to 9 are
  91. spoken in english and when you select the ghost stamp, it right
  92. then begins to ulutate. An the other hand when you select the
  93. moon landing vehicle, you can hear Neil Armstrong saying his
  94. famous first sentence. And there are a lot more of these
  95. special sounds for the stamps.</p>
  96. <p>As already mentioned the program is made for infants in the
  97. first place and therefore the <i>Open</i> dialog is made quite
  98. easy as you can see in screenshot 2. It's not necessary to
  99. click trough many directories till you find your picture and in
  100. any case you don't know what picture it is by means of the file
  101. name. In Tuxpaint the artist simply clicks on the <i>Open</i>
  102. button and then chooses the right picture in the window which
  103. appears where the canvas was before. You may also delete one of
  104. the pictures right here. By the way, under GNU/Linux all
  105. pictures are saved in a directory called
  106. <tt>.tuxpaint/saved</tt> which is always situated in the own
  107. home directory. The pictures are filed in the PNG format which
  108. is a free and standardised format. Even easier is printing. You
  109. have to simply click on <i>Print</i> and the picture gets
  110. printed, provided that mum or dad installed the printer
  111. correctly.</p>
  112. <p><img src="img/"
  113. alt="Screenshot 2: Tuxpaint opens new pictures" width="648"
  114. height="508" border="0" /></p>
  115. <h5>Screenshot 2: Tuxpaint opens new pictures</h5>
  116. <br />
  117. <br />
  118. <p>When you then accomplished it once to stop painting and you
  119. leave the program, of course Tux is pointing you out that you
  120. didn't save your picture yet and gives you right now the
  121. possibility to change this. I hope that all these who didn't
  122. know Tuxpaint yet now have a good mind to try it out. Tuxpaint
  123. is really a genial part of software that you can't keep back to
  124. your children. Therefore a large "thank you" to Bill Kendrick
  125. for his software masterpiece and we are all anxious to what you
  126. will create in the future.</p>
  127. <p>But now continues to the topic "Debian at school".</p>
  128. <h3>Debian at school</h3>
  129. <p>Originally I wanted to introduce only the project <a
  130. href="">"Debian Jr."
  131. [14]</a> at his place. But in the meantime it arises that
  132. further subprojects of Debian suitable to the topic came into
  133. being and that's why I want to try to introduce all the
  134. relevant projects. These are:</p>
  135. <ul>
  136. <li><a href="">Debian
  137. Jr. [14]</a> - "Debian for children from 1 to 99"</li>
  138. <li><a href="">DDTP [15]</a> - The
  139. Debian Description Translation Project</li>
  140. <li><a href="">DebianEDU
  141. [16]</a> - Debian as the best distribution for education</li>
  142. <li><a
  143. href="">Debian
  144. Desktop [17]</a> - Simplification for Debian on the
  145. desktop</li>
  146. </ul>
  147. But before I come to the single items it's perhaps useful to
  148. introduce Debian in the first instance. Debian is a project
  149. which, quite similar to Linux (the kernel) itself, is developed
  150. and supported by volunteers from all over the world. Surely the
  151. most well-known distribution of this group is Debian GNU/Linux
  152. which is available for <a href="">11
  153. hardware architectures [18]</a> until now. Furthermore there
  154. are projects with other kernels, such as <a
  155. href="">Debian GNU/Hurd
  156. [19]</a> and <a
  157. href="">Debian GNU/FreeBSD
  158. [20]</a> <a href="">(NetBSD)
  159. [21]</a>, plus other <a
  160. href="">subprojects [22]</a>. <br />
  161. <br />
  162. <p><a href="">Debian Jr.
  163. [14]</a>, as the title already says, want to make the Debian
  164. distribution easier and more attractive for children. Thereby
  165. the primary target group are children up to eight years. When
  166. once the distribution is adapted optimally for children of this
  167. age they want to repeat the same thing for children between 8
  168. and 12. The subproject provides numerous <a
  169. href="">Meta packages
  170. [23]</a> which are packages containing thematically sorted
  171. programs. Furthermore they want to provide means for parents
  172. and administrators too to customise the system to the new
  173. target group's needs. Of course as usual with Free Software
  174. Debian Jr. cooperates with related projects, such as, for
  175. example, the <a href="">SEUL/edu
  176. project[25]</a> which has been introduced in the <a
  177. href="">4th
  178. edition [24]</a>. What's just as important for the young debian
  179. users is the adaption to their mother tongue. This is a goal
  180. for Debian Jr. too, but right for this there is another special
  181. subproject: <a href="">DDTP [15]</a>.</p>
  182. <p><img src="img/debian.en.png"
  183. alt="Screenshot 3: The homepage of Debian" width="800"
  184. height="600" border="0" /></p>
  185. <h5>Screenshot 3: The homepage of Debian</h5>
  186. <br />
  187. <br />
  188. <p>The <a href="">DDTP - Debian
  189. Description Translation Project's [15]</a> original goal was
  190. the translation of all package descriptions into all languages
  191. spoken on this planet. In the unstable version of Debian there
  192. are meanwhile more than 10000 packages, which means a lot of
  193. work. And even though, if I remember correctly for some
  194. languages already all packages descriptions are translated. As
  195. already indicated above DDTP currently limits not only to
  196. package descriptions but translates also texts of debian-own
  197. configuration tool debconf and will probably also help or do
  198. the translation of the new <a
  199. href="">"debian-installer"
  200. [26]</a>. By the way it's very easy to help with the
  201. translations, you need only an email client and the very good
  202. written <a
  203. href="">instructions
  204. [27]</a> of Michael Bramer, the project founder.</p>
  205. <p>DebianEDU is still quite young. It was founded by Raphael
  206. Hertzog in September 6, 2002. According to the <a
  207. href="">homepage [16]</a> the
  208. main goal is to create the best GNU/Linux distribution for
  209. schools and education. DebianEDU originated in the <a
  210. href="">
  211. French distribution with almost the same name [28]</a>
  212. developed in France specifically for this task. The knowledge
  213. and programs made for and with this work are intended to flow
  214. into the project and they shall be pursued and completed. In
  215. contrast to Debian Jr. they focus on software which could be
  216. important at school or in education in general. Of course there
  217. are several overlappings but by tight cooperation they avoid
  218. doubled work. Here too they grapple with the production and
  219. provision of meta packages which are already now rather
  220. numerous <a
  221. href="">[29]</a>.</p>
  222. <p>The fourth and last Debian project I want to introduce here
  223. is likewise still very young. The goal of <a
  224. href="">Debian
  225. Desktop [17]</a> is it to make Debian GNU/Linux easier and more
  226. attractive for desktop users. Its aims such as an easy
  227. installation with integrated and automatic hardware detection
  228. are on the to-do list, just as the provision of graphical
  229. configuration tools like <a href="">Webmin
  230. [30]</a>.</p>
  231. <p>Debian GNU/Linux is not only a manifold distribution, it is
  232. also the groundwork of many more or less successful commercial
  233. distributions. Beneath commercial derivatives like <a
  234. href="">Libranet [31]</a>, <a
  235. href="">Progeny [32]</a>, <a
  236. href="">Xandros [33]</a> or <a
  237. href="">Lindows [34]</a> which are
  238. unfortunately frequently mixed with proprietary software there
  239. are however free projects too which are built on the stable
  240. foundation of Debian. The most important example of this kind
  241. is <a href="">Knoppix [35]</a> at the
  242. moment. Unfortunately even this distribution isn't entirely
  243. free from proprietary software. Knoppix is a distribution
  244. running completely from CD-ROM which isn't only useful for
  245. demonstration purposes. But more infos about this below. In
  246. contrast du vanilla Debian, you can worrilessly recommend <a
  247. href="">Knoppix [35]</a> to absolute
  248. GNU/Linux newbies too.</p>
  249. <p>But now we're going on to the software idea of this
  250. edition.</p>
  251. <h3>"Easily understanding large numbers"</h3>
  252. <p>Something which is no problem for most of us, it's
  253. especially pupils in the lower classes that still have to learn
  254. it grindingly: Large numbers. What I mean with "Large numbers"
  255. is not imperatively one million or larger but already 100, 1000
  256. or then 10000. With numbers up to 100, it's mostly possible to
  257. represent them with everyday and eidetic examples, forming a
  258. base on which children can imagine the numbers in an abstract
  259. form by and by. But then with numbers larger than 100 it
  260. becomes more difficult to find examples, let alone to plot
  261. them. Well in this range of numbers you begin to abstract the
  262. numbers i.e. to separate them from concrete measures and
  263. values.</p>
  264. <p>Here in Switzerland, but probably not only here, in many
  265. cases little wood or plastic cubes are used. These are approx.
  266. 1 x 1 x 1 cm large and ten of them in a line result in a
  267. decadic row. Ten decadic rows side by side result in a one
  268. hundred field and ten of these fields, one stacked on the
  269. other, respectively side by side then result in a one thousand
  270. cube respectively in a one thousand field. The largest still
  271. useful applicable field is the ten thousend field which
  272. consists of 100 one hundred fields aligned in a square. I hope
  273. that the people who not already knew or saw these fields and
  274. cubes can imagine them on the basis of my descriptions.</p>
  275. Well but what and how shall you transform this into software ?
  276. I would like to see that handily <a
  277. href="">OpenGL [36]</a> or general 3D
  278. programmers generate these fields and cubes three-dimensionally
  279. and show them on screen. If children not only have to imagine
  280. this numbers but also can see them on screen, it would be much
  281. easier for them to calculate with large numbers. Perhaps they
  282. can even enter numbers into the computer and it generates the
  283. corresponding field and cube forms. On the other hand it would
  284. be interesting to see calculuses in these forms. The pupils
  285. then must calculate them with help of the 3D objects and
  286. afterwards they could compare their result with the computer's
  287. one. Well, it would be nice when <a
  288. href="">I [1]</a> receive some
  289. implementations until next time which I then could introduce in
  290. TUX&amp;GNU@school 6 at the end of January 2003. There are no
  291. limits for further going ideas except for the programmer's
  292. skills.
  293. <p>But now to the last section, the news.</p>
  294. <h3>News and up to date program versions</h3>
  295. <h4>BSI ships Knoppix at no cost:</h4>
  296. <p>The German <a href="">"Bundesamt für
  297. Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik" [37]</a> (Federal Office
  298. for information technology security) ships <a
  299. href="">Knoppix [35]</a> CD-ROMs. If you
  300. send them a post-paid readdressed C5 envelope, the German BSI
  301. will send you a GNU/Linux distribution running completely from
  302. CD. You can find more information about this on their <a
  303. href="">Knoppix
  304. page [38]</a>.</p>
  305. <h4>FreeEduc - Knoppix for free education software</h4>
  306. <p>Although some time has passed, I want to mention it here
  307. once again. At the end of October 2002 the <a
  308. href="">OFSET - Organisation for Free
  309. Software in Education and Teaching [39]</a> released the first
  310. version of <a
  311. href="">Freeduc
  312. [40]</a>. It's a distribution based on <a
  313. href="">Knoppix [35]</a> whose main
  314. purpose is the demonstration of free educational software.
  315. Similar to Knoppix all of Freeduc's software runs directly from
  316. CD and you don't need to install anything. Thanks to the very
  317. good automatic hardware detection you don't need to configure
  318. anything yourself too. On one of the next days or weeks they
  319. want to release the version 1.2 and I think we can eagerly look
  320. forward to it.</p>
  321. <h4>Up to date program versions</h4>
  322. <ul>
  323. <li><a href="">KTouch</a> 1.0 - Type
  324. writing course under KDE 3.0.5 (<a
  325. href="">TGS
  326. 1</a>)</li>
  327. <li><a href="">GCompris</a>
  328. 1.2.1 - Education plattform with different boards (<a
  329. href="">TGS
  330. 2</a>)</li>
  331. <li><a href="">KGeo</a> 1.0.2 -
  332. Geometry program under KDE 3.0.5 (<a
  333. href="">TGS
  334. 3</a>)</li>
  335. <li><a
  336. href="">Ghemical</a> 1.0 -
  337. Chemistry program for modelling and computing molecules (<a
  338. href="">TGS
  339. 4</a>)</li>
  340. <li><a href="">Tuxpaint</a> 0.9.2 -
  341. Painting programm for children and for those who stayed
  342. children (<a
  343. href="">TGS
  344. 5</a>)</li>
  345. </ul>
  346. <br />
  347. <br />
  348. <p>Well, this was the fifth edition of TGS. But before I say
  349. good bye for this time there are still some questions left:
  350. After the last publication of TUX&amp;GNU@school someone on <a
  351. href=""> [41]</a> asked if
  352. it would be possible to receive the new edition by newsletter
  353. too. Because I don't think the idea is bad I want to ask now
  354. whether there is interest in general for such a version ? For
  355. this all persons who are interesting in a newsletter version
  356. should send <a href="">me [1]</a> an email
  357. till the next edition, please. Of course as ever I'm interested
  358. in questions, criticism, comments and hints which should be
  359. sent to the same location.</p>
  360. <p>But now that's really the end of this time. Good luck and a
  361. happy new year is the last I want to say.</p>
  362. <h3>Links:</h3>
  363. <p>[1] <a href="">Criticism, questions,
  364. comments, ideas and more please to:</a><br />
  365. [2] <a
  366. href="">The
  367. homepage of TUX&amp;GNU@school:
  368.</a><br />
  369. [3] <a href="">The
  370. homepage of Tuxpaint:
  371.</a><br />
  372. [4] <a href="">The homepage of Debian:
  373.</a><br />
  374. [5] <a href="">The homepage of the
  375. Free Software Foundation Europe:</a><br />
  376. [6] <a href="">The homepage of the GNU
  377. project:</a><br />
  378. [7] <a
  379. href="">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  380. 1 in english</a><br />
  381. [8] <a
  382. href="">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  383. 2 in english</a><br />
  384. [9] <a
  385. href="">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  386. 3 in english</a><br />
  387. [10] <a
  388. href="">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  389. 4 in english</a><br />
  390. [11] <a
  391. href="">GNU GPL
  392. - General Public License</a><br />
  393. [12] <a
  394. href="">Supported
  395. languages of Tuxpaint</a><br />
  396. [13] <a
  397. href="">Ports
  398. of Tuxpaint</a><br />
  399. [14] <a href="">The
  400. homepage of Debian Jr.:
  401.</a><br />
  402. [15] <a href="">The homepage of the
  403. Debian Description Translation Project - DDTP:
  404.</a><br />
  405. [16] <a href="">The homepage
  406. of DebianEDU:</a><br />
  407. [17] <a href="">The
  408. homepage of Debian Desktop:
  409.</a><br />
  410. [18] <a href="">Available ports of
  411. Debian GNU/Linux</a><br />
  412. [19] <a href="">The homepage
  413. of Debian GNU/Hurd</a><br />
  414. [20] <a href="">The
  415. homepage of Debian GNU/FreeBSD</a><br />
  416. [21] <a href="">The homepage
  417. of Debian GNU/NetBSD</a><br />
  418. [22] <a href="">Subprojects of
  419. Debian</a><br />
  420. [23] <a href="">Meta
  421. packages of Debian Jr.</a><br />
  422. [24] <a
  423. href="">SEUL/edu
  424. in TUX&amp;GNU@school - 4th edition</a><br />
  425. [25] <a href="">The homepage of
  426. SEUL/edu:</a><br />
  427. [26] <a href="">The
  428. homepage of the new debian-installer</a><br />
  429. [27] <a
  430. href="">Instructions
  431. for contributing to the DDTP</a><br />
  432. [28] <a
  433. href="">
  434. The homepage of DebianEDUC</a><br />
  435. [29] <a href="">Meta packages
  436. of DebianEDU</a><br />
  437. [30] <a href="">The homepage of Webmin:
  438.</a><br />
  439. [31] <a href="">The homepage of
  440. Libranet:</a><br />
  441. [32] <a href="">The homepage of Progeny:
  442.</a><br />
  443. [33] <a href="">The homepage of Xandros:
  444.</a><br />
  445. [34] <a href="">The homepage of Lindows:
  446.</a><br />
  447. [35] <a href="">The homepage of Knoppix:
  448.</a><br />
  449. [36] <a href="">The homepage of OpenGL:
  450.</a><br />
  451. [37] <a href="">The homepage of the German
  452. "Bundesamtes für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik - BSI"
  453. (Federal Office for information technology security):
  454.</a><br />
  455. [38] <a
  456. href="">Page of
  457. Knoppix on the homepage of the BSI</a><br />
  458. [39] <a href="">The homepage of the OFSET
  459. - Organisation for Free Software in Education and Teaching:
  460.</a><br />
  461. [40] <a
  462. href="">The
  463. homepage of the Freeduc distribution</a><br />
  464. [41] <a href=""> German
  465. News about GNU/Linux and Free Software</a><br />
  466. </p>
  467. <h4>About the author:</h4>
  468. <p>Mario Fux finished 1999 the PrimarlehrerInnenseminar in Brig
  469. after he made up mathematical and natural scientifical matura.
  470. In a body with two colleagues he founded the <a
  471. href="">"ALIS - Arbeitsgruppe Linux an
  472. Schulen"</a> (Swiss work group for linux at school). Meanwhile
  473. he studies at the <a href="">Swiss Federal
  474. Institut of Technology Zurich</a> <a
  475. href="">informations technology and
  476. electrical engineering</a>. And if he once doesn't spend his
  477. time in front of the PC, he sits at his nature pond in the <a
  478. href="">mountains</a>.</p>
  479. <p align="center"><i>This document is distributed under the
  480. terms of the <a
  481. href="">GNU
  482. Free Documentation License</a>.</i></p>
  483. <p align="center"><i>Copyright (c) 2002 Mario Fux. Permission
  484. is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
  485. under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version
  486. 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software
  487. Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts,
  488. and no Back-Cover Texts.<br />
  489. A copy of the license can be found at <a
  490. href=""></a>.</i></p>
  491. </div>
  492. </body>
  493. <timestamp>$Date$ $Author$</timestamp>
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