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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html>
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>TUX&amp;GNU@school - 5th edition</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <div>
  9. <h1>TUX&amp;GNU@school - 5th edition</h1>
  10. <p><i>Every month the column <a
  11. href="/activities/education/tgs/tgs.en.html">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  12. [2]</a> reports about free software, a homepage on the topic
  13. and an easy to implement idea. This month I talk about <a
  14. href="">Tuxpaint
  15. [3]</a>, a free painting program for children, about "<a
  16. href="">Debian [4]</a> at school" and
  17. about the idea "Easily understanding large numbers".</i></p>
  18. <p>Welcome to the 5th edition. As I promised last time, there
  19. are some news today. This is the first edition released under
  20. the roof of the <a href="/">Free
  21. Software Foundation Europe [5]</a> and the <a
  22. href="">GNU project[6]</a>. In this context
  23. TUX&amp;GNU@school will be released in different languages in
  24. the future but right now only in German and English. All
  25. earlier edition are in english available too (<a
  26. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool1.en.html">TGS 1
  27. [7]</a>, <a
  28. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool2.en.html">TGS 2
  29. [8]</a>, <a
  30. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool3.en.html">TGS 3
  31. [9]</a> and <a
  32. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool4.en.html">TGS 4
  33. [10]</a>). If there is anybody reading one of the older
  34. editions who want to implement an idea, go on. At this point I
  35. want to thank Christian Selig and Kristian Rink for their
  36. support with writing and translating. But we don't want to lose
  37. too much time, therefore I move on to the program introduction
  38. of this time.</p>
  39. <h3>Tuxpaint - Painting is fun</h3>
  40. <p><a href="">Tuxpaint
  41. [3]</a> is actually a free painting programm for children which
  42. is released under the <a
  43. href="">GNU GPL
  44. [11]</a>. I wrote "actually" because I heard of many adults who
  45. can't stop painting with tuxpaint ;-). I tested the version
  46. 0.91. of the 16.11.2001 under <a
  47. href="">Debian GNU/Linux [4]</a>
  48. testing/unstable. On Debian you can easily install the program
  49. with the following shell command: <tt>apt-get install
  50. tuxpaint</tt>. The version 0.9.2 is the most up to date one
  51. which is available in numerous languages. These are e.g.
  52. German, French, English, Danish, etc. to name only a few. You
  53. can find the full list on the <a
  54. href="">homepage
  55. of the project [12]</a>. What we surely should mention are the
  56. <a
  57. href="">ports[13]</a>
  58. to the common platforms, such as GNU/Linux, Windows, MacOS X
  59. and FreeBSD. As with all Free Software, the sourcecode is
  60. available, so there shouldn't be a bar to other ports.</p>
  61. <p>When you start Tuxpaint either over the console or by a
  62. click on the corresponding icon, Tux with a brush in his hand
  63. appears. After a click in the window or a few seconds of
  64. waiting a screen as shown in screenshot 1 comes up. The
  65. interface is divided into five sections. On the left there is
  66. the tool panel, containing different tool groups, as well as
  67. general functions such as <i>Print</i>, <i>Save</i> and
  68. <i>Quit</i>. For each tool group, there are different choices
  69. on the right. An example for this are the different painting
  70. sizes of the color brush. A further example is shown in
  71. screenshot 1, that is to say the really numerous stamps.
  72. Whenever it's possible to use a color with a certain function,
  73. the choice can be made in the second last row. Right beneath,
  74. Tux, the little penguin, sits around, always saying something
  75. about each action. Either he gives tips or he explains on what
  76. you are clicking or what an selected stamp is showing. And
  77. eventually the most important and largest part of the screen
  78. viz, the artist's canvas which is situated in the middle. As
  79. you can see in screenshot 1 I made already some art ;-).</p>
  80. <p><img src="./img/tuxpaint.en.png"
  81. alt="Screenshot 1: Tuxpaint in action" width="648" height="508"
  82. border="0" /></p>
  83. <h5>Screenshot 1: Tuxpaint in action</h5>
  84. <br />
  85. <br />
  86. <p>At the moment I have to brace up that I'm not painting and
  87. playing with Tuxpaint, but continuing this column. So as every
  88. good program for infants there is a sound for each action and
  89. for every click in Tuxpaint. For instance, when you use the
  90. rubber it sounds as if you really used one on your screen. This
  91. property is special with the stamps. The numbers for 0 to 9 are
  92. spoken in english and when you select the ghost stamp, it right
  93. then begins to ulutate. An the other hand when you select the
  94. moon landing vehicle, you can hear Neil Armstrong saying his
  95. famous first sentence. And there are a lot more of these
  96. special sounds for the stamps.</p>
  97. <p>As already mentioned the program is made for infants in the
  98. first place and therefore the <i>Open</i> dialog is made quite
  99. easy as you can see in screenshot 2. It's not necessary to
  100. click trough many directories till you find your picture and in
  101. any case you don't know what picture it is by means of the file
  102. name. In Tuxpaint the artist simply clicks on the <i>Open</i>
  103. button and then chooses the right picture in the window which
  104. appears where the canvas was before. You may also delete one of
  105. the pictures right here. By the way, under GNU/Linux all
  106. pictures are saved in a directory called
  107. <tt>.tuxpaint/saved</tt> which is always situated in the own
  108. home directory. The pictures are filed in the PNG format which
  109. is a free and standardised format. Even easier is printing. You
  110. have to simply click on <i>Print</i> and the picture gets
  111. printed, provided that mum or dad installed the printer
  112. correctly.</p>
  113. <p><img src="img/"
  114. alt="Screenshot 2: Tuxpaint opens new pictures" width="648"
  115. height="508" border="0" /></p>
  116. <h5>Screenshot 2: Tuxpaint opens new pictures</h5>
  117. <br />
  118. <br />
  119. <p>When you then accomplished it once to stop painting and you
  120. leave the program, of course Tux is pointing you out that you
  121. didn't save your picture yet and gives you right now the
  122. possibility to change this. I hope that all these who didn't
  123. know Tuxpaint yet now have a good mind to try it out. Tuxpaint
  124. is really a genial part of software that you can't keep back to
  125. your children. Therefore a large "thank you" to Bill Kendrick
  126. for his software masterpiece and we are all anxious to what you
  127. will create in the future.</p>
  128. <p>But now continues to the topic "Debian at school".</p>
  129. <h3>Debian at school</h3>
  130. <p>Originally I wanted to introduce only the project <a
  131. href="">"Debian Jr."
  132. [14]</a> at his place. But in the meantime it arises that
  133. further subprojects of Debian suitable to the topic came into
  134. being and that's why I want to try to introduce all the
  135. relevant projects. These are:</p>
  136. <ul>
  137. <li><a href="">Debian
  138. Jr. [14]</a> - "Debian for children from 1 to 99"</li>
  139. <li><a href="">DDTP [15]</a> - The
  140. Debian Description Translation Project</li>
  141. <li><a href="">DebianEDU
  142. [16]</a> - Debian as the best distribution for education</li>
  143. <li><a
  144. href="">Debian
  145. Desktop [17]</a> - Simplification for Debian on the
  146. desktop</li>
  147. </ul>
  148. But before I come to the single items it's perhaps useful to
  149. introduce Debian in the first instance. Debian is a project
  150. which, quite similar to Linux (the kernel) itself, is developed
  151. and supported by volunteers from all over the world. Surely the
  152. most well-known distribution of this group is Debian GNU/Linux
  153. which is available for <a href="">11
  154. hardware architectures [18]</a> until now. Furthermore there
  155. are projects with other kernels, such as <a
  156. href="">Debian GNU/Hurd
  157. [19]</a> and <a
  158. href="">Debian GNU/FreeBSD
  159. [20]</a> <a href="">(NetBSD)
  160. [21]</a>, plus other <a
  161. href="">subprojects [22]</a>. <br />
  162. <br />
  163. <p><a href="">Debian Jr.
  164. [14]</a>, as the title already says, want to make the Debian
  165. distribution easier and more attractive for children. Thereby
  166. the primary target group are children up to eight years. When
  167. once the distribution is adapted optimally for children of this
  168. age they want to repeat the same thing for children between 8
  169. and 12. The subproject provides numerous <a
  170. href="">Meta packages
  171. [23]</a> which are packages containing thematically sorted
  172. programs. Furthermore they want to provide means for parents
  173. and administrators too to customise the system to the new
  174. target group's needs. Of course as usual with Free Software
  175. Debian Jr. cooperates with related projects, such as, for
  176. example, the <a href="">SEUL/edu
  177. project[25]</a> which has been introduced in the <a
  178. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool4.en.html">4th
  179. edition [24]</a>. What's just as important for the young debian
  180. users is the adaption to their mother tongue. This is a goal
  181. for Debian Jr. too, but right for this there is another special
  182. subproject: <a href="">DDTP [15]</a>.</p>
  183. <p><img src="img/debian.en.png"
  184. alt="Screenshot 3: The homepage of Debian" width="800"
  185. height="600" border="0" /></p>
  186. <h5>Screenshot 3: The homepage of Debian</h5>
  187. <br />
  188. <br />
  189. <p>The <a href="">DDTP - Debian
  190. Description Translation Project's [15]</a> original goal was
  191. the translation of all package descriptions into all languages
  192. spoken on this planet. In the unstable version of Debian there
  193. are meanwhile more than 10000 packages, which means a lot of
  194. work. And even though, if I remember correctly for some
  195. languages already all packages descriptions are translated. As
  196. already indicated above DDTP currently limits not only to
  197. package descriptions but translates also texts of debian-own
  198. configuration tool debconf and will probably also help or do
  199. the translation of the new <a
  200. href="">"debian-installer"
  201. [26]</a>. By the way it's very easy to help with the
  202. translations, you need only an email client and the very good
  203. written <a
  204. href="">instructions
  205. [27]</a> of Michael Bramer, the project founder.</p>
  206. <p>DebianEDU is still quite young. It was founded by Raphael
  207. Hertzog in September 6, 2002. According to the <a
  208. href="">homepage [16]</a> the
  209. main goal is to create the best GNU/Linux distribution for
  210. schools and education. DebianEDU originated in the <a
  211. href="">
  212. French distribution with almost the same name [28]</a>
  213. developed in France specifically for this task. The knowledge
  214. and programs made for and with this work are intended to flow
  215. into the project and they shall be pursued and completed. In
  216. contrast to Debian Jr. they focus on software which could be
  217. important at school or in education in general. Of course there
  218. are several overlappings but by tight cooperation they avoid
  219. doubled work. Here too they grapple with the production and
  220. provision of meta packages which are already now rather
  221. numerous <a
  222. href="">[29]</a>.</p>
  223. <p>The fourth and last Debian project I want to introduce here
  224. is likewise still very young. The goal of <a
  225. href="">Debian
  226. Desktop [17]</a> is it to make Debian GNU/Linux easier and more
  227. attractive for desktop users. Its aims such as an easy
  228. installation with integrated and automatic hardware detection
  229. are on the to-do list, just as the provision of graphical
  230. configuration tools like <a href="">Webmin
  231. [30]</a>.</p>
  232. <p>Debian GNU/Linux is not only a manifold distribution, it is
  233. also the groundwork of many more or less successful commercial
  234. distributions. Beneath commercial derivatives like <a
  235. href="">Libranet [31]</a>, <a
  236. href="">Progeny [32]</a>, <a
  237. href="">Xandros [33]</a> or <a
  238. href="">Lindows [34]</a> which are
  239. unfortunately frequently mixed with proprietary software there
  240. are however free projects too which are built on the stable
  241. foundation of Debian. The most important example of this kind
  242. is <a href="">Knoppix [35]</a> at the
  243. moment. Unfortunately even this distribution isn't entirely
  244. free from proprietary software. Knoppix is a distribution
  245. running completely from CD-ROM which isn't only useful for
  246. demonstration purposes. But more infos about this below. In
  247. contrast du vanilla Debian, you can worrilessly recommend <a
  248. href="">Knoppix [35]</a> to absolute
  249. GNU/Linux newbies too.</p>
  250. <p>But now we're going on to the software idea of this
  251. edition.</p>
  252. <h3>"Easily understanding large numbers"</h3>
  253. <p>Something which is no problem for most of us, it's
  254. especially pupils in the lower classes that still have to learn
  255. it grindingly: Large numbers. What I mean with "Large numbers"
  256. is not imperatively one million or larger but already 100, 1000
  257. or then 10000. With numbers up to 100, it's mostly possible to
  258. represent them with everyday and eidetic examples, forming a
  259. base on which children can imagine the numbers in an abstract
  260. form by and by. But then with numbers larger than 100 it
  261. becomes more difficult to find examples, let alone to plot
  262. them. Well in this range of numbers you begin to abstract the
  263. numbers i.e. to separate them from concrete measures and
  264. values.</p>
  265. <p>Here in Switzerland, but probably not only here, in many
  266. cases little wood or plastic cubes are used. These are approx.
  267. 1 x 1 x 1 cm large and ten of them in a line result in a
  268. decadic row. Ten decadic rows side by side result in a one
  269. hundred field and ten of these fields, one stacked on the
  270. other, respectively side by side then result in a one thousand
  271. cube respectively in a one thousand field. The largest still
  272. useful applicable field is the ten thousend field which
  273. consists of 100 one hundred fields aligned in a square. I hope
  274. that the people who not already knew or saw these fields and
  275. cubes can imagine them on the basis of my descriptions.</p>
  276. Well but what and how shall you transform this into software ?
  277. I would like to see that handily <a
  278. href="">OpenGL [36]</a> or general 3D
  279. programmers generate these fields and cubes three-dimensionally
  280. and show them on screen. If children not only have to imagine
  281. this numbers but also can see them on screen, it would be much
  282. easier for them to calculate with large numbers. Perhaps they
  283. can even enter numbers into the computer and it generates the
  284. corresponding field and cube forms. On the other hand it would
  285. be interesting to see calculuses in these forms. The pupils
  286. then must calculate them with help of the 3D objects and
  287. afterwards they could compare their result with the computer's
  288. one. Well, it would be nice when <a
  289. href="">I [1]</a> receive some
  290. implementations until next time which I then could introduce in
  291. TUX&amp;GNU@school 6 at the end of January 2003. There are no
  292. limits for further going ideas except for the programmer's
  293. skills.
  294. <p>But now to the last section, the news.</p>
  295. <h3>News and up to date program versions</h3>
  296. <h4>BSI ships Knoppix at no cost:</h4>
  297. <p>The German <a href="">"Bundesamt für
  298. Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik" [37]</a> (Federal Office
  299. for information technology security) ships <a
  300. href="">Knoppix [35]</a> CD-ROMs. If you
  301. send them a post-paid readdressed C5 envelope, the German BSI
  302. will send you a GNU/Linux distribution running completely from
  303. CD. You can find more information about this on their <a
  304. href="">Knoppix
  305. page [38]</a>.</p>
  306. <h4>FreeEduc - Knoppix for free education software</h4>
  307. <p>Although some time has passed, I want to mention it here
  308. once again. At the end of October 2002 the <a
  309. href="">OFSET - Organisation for Free
  310. Software in Education and Teaching [39]</a> released the first
  311. version of <a
  312. href="">Freeduc
  313. [40]</a>. It's a distribution based on <a
  314. href="">Knoppix [35]</a> whose main
  315. purpose is the demonstration of free educational software.
  316. Similar to Knoppix all of Freeduc's software runs directly from
  317. CD and you don't need to install anything. Thanks to the very
  318. good automatic hardware detection you don't need to configure
  319. anything yourself too. On one of the next days or weeks they
  320. want to release the version 1.2 and I think we can eagerly look
  321. forward to it.</p>
  322. <h4>Up to date program versions</h4>
  323. <ul>
  324. <li><a href="">KTouch</a> 1.0 - Type
  325. writing course under KDE 3.0.5 (<a
  326. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool1.en.html">TGS
  327. 1</a>)</li>
  328. <li><a href="">GCompris</a>
  329. 1.2.1 - Education plattform with different boards (<a
  330. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool2.en.html">TGS
  331. 2</a>)</li>
  332. <li><a href="">KGeo</a> 1.0.2 -
  333. Geometry program under KDE 3.0.5 (<a
  334. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool3.en.html">TGS
  335. 3</a>)</li>
  336. <li><a
  337. href="">Ghemical</a> 1.0 -
  338. Chemistry program for modelling and computing molecules (<a
  339. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool4.en.html">TGS
  340. 4</a>)</li>
  341. <li><a href="">Tuxpaint</a> 0.9.2 -
  342. Painting programm for children and for those who stayed
  343. children (<a
  344. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool5.en.html">TGS
  345. 5</a>)</li>
  346. </ul>
  347. <br />
  348. <br />
  349. <p>Well, this was the fifth edition of TGS. But before I say
  350. good bye for this time there are still some questions left:
  351. After the last publication of TUX&amp;GNU@school someone on <a
  352. href=""> [41]</a> asked if
  353. it would be possible to receive the new edition by newsletter
  354. too. Because I don't think the idea is bad I want to ask now
  355. whether there is interest in general for such a version ? For
  356. this all persons who are interesting in a newsletter version
  357. should send <a href="">me [1]</a> an email
  358. till the next edition, please. Of course as ever I'm interested
  359. in questions, criticism, comments and hints which should be
  360. sent to the same location.</p>
  361. <p>But now that's really the end of this time. Good luck and a
  362. happy new year is the last I want to say.</p>
  363. <h3>Links:</h3>
  364. <p>[1] <a href="">Criticism, questions,
  365. comments, ideas and more please to:</a><br />
  366. [2] <a
  367. href="/activities/education/tgs/tgs.en.html">The
  368. homepage of TUX&amp;GNU@school:
  369.</a><br />
  370. [3] <a href="">The
  371. homepage of Tuxpaint:
  372.</a><br />
  373. [4] <a href="">The homepage of Debian:
  374.</a><br />
  375. [5] <a href="/">The homepage of the
  376. Free Software Foundation Europe:</a><br />
  377. [6] <a href="">The homepage of the GNU
  378. project:</a><br />
  379. [7] <a
  380. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool1.en.html">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  381. 1 in english</a><br />
  382. [8] <a
  383. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool2.en.html">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  384. 2 in english</a><br />
  385. [9] <a
  386. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool3.en.html">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  387. 3 in english</a><br />
  388. [10] <a
  389. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool4.en.html">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  390. 4 in english</a><br />
  391. [11] <a
  392. href="">GNU GPL
  393. - General Public License</a><br />
  394. [12] <a
  395. href="">Supported
  396. languages of Tuxpaint</a><br />
  397. [13] <a
  398. href="">Ports
  399. of Tuxpaint</a><br />
  400. [14] <a href="">The
  401. homepage of Debian Jr.:
  402.</a><br />
  403. [15] <a href="">The homepage of the
  404. Debian Description Translation Project - DDTP:
  405.</a><br />
  406. [16] <a href="">The homepage
  407. of DebianEDU:</a><br />
  408. [17] <a href="">The
  409. homepage of Debian Desktop:
  410.</a><br />
  411. [18] <a href="">Available ports of
  412. Debian GNU/Linux</a><br />
  413. [19] <a href="">The homepage
  414. of Debian GNU/Hurd</a><br />
  415. [20] <a href="">The
  416. homepage of Debian GNU/FreeBSD</a><br />
  417. [21] <a href="">The homepage
  418. of Debian GNU/NetBSD</a><br />
  419. [22] <a href="">Subprojects of
  420. Debian</a><br />
  421. [23] <a href="">Meta
  422. packages of Debian Jr.</a><br />
  423. [24] <a
  424. href="/activities/education/tgs/tagatschool4.en.html">SEUL/edu
  425. in TUX&amp;GNU@school - 4th edition</a><br />
  426. [25] <a href="">The homepage of
  427. SEUL/edu:</a><br />
  428. [26] <a href="">The
  429. homepage of the new debian-installer</a><br />
  430. [27] <a
  431. href="">Instructions
  432. for contributing to the DDTP</a><br />
  433. [28] <a
  434. href="">
  435. The homepage of DebianEDUC</a><br />
  436. [29] <a href="">Meta packages
  437. of DebianEDU</a><br />
  438. [30] <a href="">The homepage of Webmin:
  439.</a><br />
  440. [31] <a href="">The homepage of
  441. Libranet:</a><br />
  442. [32] <a href="">The homepage of Progeny:
  443.</a><br />
  444. [33] <a href="">The homepage of Xandros:
  445.</a><br />
  446. [34] <a href="">The homepage of Lindows:
  447.</a><br />
  448. [35] <a href="">The homepage of Knoppix:
  449.</a><br />
  450. [36] <a href="">The homepage of OpenGL:
  451.</a><br />
  452. [37] <a href="">The homepage of the German
  453. "Bundesamtes für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik - BSI"
  454. (Federal Office for information technology security):
  455.</a><br />
  456. [38] <a
  457. href="">Page of
  458. Knoppix on the homepage of the BSI</a><br />
  459. [39] <a href="">The homepage of the OFSET
  460. - Organisation for Free Software in Education and Teaching:
  461.</a><br />
  462. [40] <a
  463. href="">The
  464. homepage of the Freeduc distribution</a><br />
  465. [41] <a href=""> German
  466. News about GNU/Linux and Free Software</a><br />
  467. </p>
  468. <h4>About the author:</h4>
  469. <p>Mario Fux finished 1999 the PrimarlehrerInnenseminar in Brig
  470. after he made up mathematical and natural scientifical matura.
  471. In a body with two colleagues he founded the <a
  472. href="">"ALIS - Arbeitsgruppe Linux an
  473. Schulen"</a> (Swiss work group for linux at school). Meanwhile
  474. he studies at the <a href="">Swiss Federal
  475. Institut of Technology Zurich</a> <a
  476. href="">informations technology and
  477. electrical engineering</a>. And if he once doesn't spend his
  478. time in front of the PC, he sits at his nature pond in the <a
  479. href="">mountains</a>.</p>
  480. <p align="center"><i>This document is distributed under the
  481. terms of the <a
  482. href="">GNU
  483. Free Documentation License</a>.</i></p>
  484. <p align="center"><i>Copyright (c) 2002 Mario Fux. Permission
  485. is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
  486. under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version
  487. 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software
  488. Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts,
  489. and no Back-Cover Texts.<br />
  490. A copy of the license can be found at <a
  491. href=""></a>.</i></p>
  492. </div>
  493. </body>
  494. </html>
  495. <!--
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