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  4. <title>TUX&amp;GNU@school - 6th edition</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>TUX&amp;GNU@school - 6th edition</h1>
  8. <p><i>More or less regularly the column <a href=
  9. "">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  10. [2]</a> reports about free software, a homepage on topic and an
  11. easy to implement idea. This month I talk about <a href=
  12. "http.//">QCad [3]</a>, a free 2D-CAD program, about
  13. the homepage of <a href=
  14. ""> [4]</a>, and about the
  15. idea "Children make music".</i></p>
  16. <p>Welcome to the 6th edition. Meanwhile it's about one year since
  17. I published the first <a href=
  18. "">edition [5]</a>
  19. of TUX&amp;GNU@school, but this is even only the 6th one. But I
  20. wasn't able to report "every month" and that's the reason why I
  21. altered this in the introduction to "more or less regularly". But
  22. the attempt of reporting monthly should be sustained and when I'm
  23. able to respect a regular respectively monthly cycle' I'll realter
  24. the introduction. At this point I would like to refer to the new <a
  25. href=
  26. "">French
  27. [6]</a> translation of this column. Thank you for the whole work
  28. Anne-Marie Mahfouf, it's due to her we have another translation.
  29. Furthermore you will be able to subscribe to our new newsletter
  30. from now on. You find the place to subscribe and more information
  31. on our <a href=
  32. "">homepage
  33. [7]</a>. These are the news of ourselves but now I want to move to
  34. the this time's program introduction.</p>
  35. <h3>QCad, a free 2D-CAD program</h3>
  36. Up to now we introduced software for lower and middle grade at this
  37. place. Today a programm should be mentioned which would rather be
  38. more suitable for pupils and teachers of the upper grade.
  39. Furthermore <a href="">QCad [3]</a> would be
  40. surely interesting for technical colleges and engineer schools too.
  41. <br />
  42. <br />
  43. <p>I tested the version 1.4.7 of the March 24th, 2001 under <a
  44. href="">Debian GNU/Linux [8]</a> testing
  45. whereas the actual version number is 1.5.4. The author Andrew
  46. Mustun choose the GNU GPL as the license for his program. With
  47. Debian and Debian based distribution you can install the program
  48. with "apt-get install qcad". With rpm based distributions you
  49. either use the corresponding package manager or type on the command
  50. line: "rpm -i &lt;qcad-packagename.rpm". But before I begin with
  51. the actual introduction or inspection of the program I have to
  52. clarify that my skills and capabilities in the CAD business aren't
  53. good enough to become equitable to the quality and complexity of
  54. QCad. For that reason only a short and amateurish overview at this
  55. point. Everyone who wants to know more about it is referenced to
  56. the <a href="">homepage [3]</a> and the
  57. voluminous and <a href=
  58. ";product=qcad">
  59. multilingual documentation [9]</a>. The program also was translated
  60. into at least a dozen different languages. At the same time this
  61. is, beneath the setting of the unit of measurement, the first point
  62. which you can adapt to your needs at the first start of QCad.</p>
  63. <p><img src="./img/qcad.en.png" alt=
  64. "Screenshot 1: QCad User Interface" width="800" height="600"
  65. border="0" /></p>
  66. <h5>Screenshot 1: QCad User Interface</h5>
  67. <br />
  68. <br />
  69. <p>Thereafter you'll see the program's interface (see screenshot
  70. 1), divided into the menu and the symbol bar at the head, the
  71. function bar at left and the layer list and the library browser at
  72. right. If you click on a function symbol a string of subfunctions
  73. appear whereas when you click the right button or you push the
  74. &lt;ESC&gt; you go back to the previous functions group
  75. respectively the base functions. Part of the base functions are:
  76. Points, Lines, Arcs, Circles, Create Texts, Dimensions, Create
  77. hatchings, Measure, Tag and Edit. Very positive is that when you
  78. decided for a specific function in the middle of the bottom status
  79. bar appears a text which explains the effects of the left and right
  80. mouse buttons. Right of this text you see a short explanation of
  81. the chosen function. On the left side of the status bar you'll see,
  82. with to appropriate function, the absolute and relative coordinates
  83. of the mouse pointer position.</p>
  84. <p>When you know a little about the program and its features you
  85. can begin to construct your own delineations. You can choose
  86. prepackaged delineations und patterns out of the enclosed symbol
  87. and delineation library. It contains some ball bearings, screws and
  88. bicycle part drawings. What for a GNU/Linux program would QCad be
  89. if it missed the well-known penguin TUX (see screenshot 2).
  90. Furthermore it contains some form submittals. The symbol bar under
  91. the actual menu encloses mainly buttons for file functions (Open,
  92. Save, etc.), different zoom possibilities, the mandatory Undo and
  93. Redo buttons as well as a few functions for the presentations of
  94. the lines or the worksheet ifself.</p>
  95. <p><img src="./img/qcad-tux.en.png" alt=
  96. "Screenshot 2: QCad with a Tux delineation" width="800" height=
  97. "600" border="0" /></p>
  98. <h5>Screenshot 2: QCad with a Tux delineation</h5>
  99. <br />
  100. <br />
  101. <p>When the mechanical engineer in spe finished her first layout
  102. she can save it in the formats: Drawing Exchange (*.cxf), EPS
  103. (*.eps) or Font (*.cxf). QCad can, in addition to said file formats
  104. (except EPS), open and edit the Microstation (*.dgn) and HPGL
  105. (*.plt *.hpgl *.inc) formats. You might get the impression that the
  106. software is be "only" useful in technical jobs and schools whereas
  107. it needs maybe only a brave teacher who grapples with QCad and
  108. tries to use it in his geometry lessons.</p>
  109. <p>As far as the introduction of the 2D-CAD software QCad. What's
  110. left are only two things for the conclusion: Firstly, QCad was
  111. ported on several platforms it consequently don't runs only on the
  112. (mostly) homelike ix86 machine. And secondly, thanks a lot to
  113. Mustun and his <a href=
  114. ";product=qcad">numerous
  115. helpers [10]</a> for this wonderful piece of software.</p>
  116. <p>But now continues to the homepage of this edition.</p>
  117. <h3> - Working together to unleash the power of open
  118. source tools in education</h3>
  119. <p>This time I would like to present the organisation resp. the <a
  120. href="">website [4]</a>.
  121. But because at the moment it's only available in English this
  122. introduction shall happen based on its structure. Hence it's
  123. divided in the following seven sections: <i>Home</i>, <i>What is
  124. Schoolforge</i>, <i>Schoolforge Members</i>, <i>News Resources</i>,
  125. <i>Software Resources</i>, <i>Other Resources</i> und <i>Mailing
  126. Lists and Chat</i>. But before I begin the actual presentation I'm
  127. used to remark that a participation with Schoolforge mandatory
  128. requires that you resp. the contact person to Schoolforge can read
  129. and write in English at least to some extent.</p>
  130. <p>On the <a href="">front-side
  131. [4]</a>(see Screenshot 3) you'll not find that much but enough to
  132. get an overview. On the upper border as on all the following sides
  133. you see the logo of Schoolforge. Thereunder left you see the
  134. obgligatory navigation bar mit the seven ahead called items and
  135. thereof right the virtual content of the correspondent site. On the
  136. first page this is a short introduction to Schoolforge followed by
  137. the up to date news. Owns a site even more navigation items are
  138. these likewise under the normal navigation bar. By the way
  139. Schoolforge exists already since the 8th january 2002 which means
  140. it's soon one and a half years old.</p>
  141. <p><img src="./img/schoolforge.en.png" alt=
  142. "Screenshot 3: Homepage of" width="800" height=
  143. "600" border="0" /></p>
  144. <h5>Screenshot 3: Homepage of</h5>
  145. <br />
  146. <br />
  147. <p>If you are the first time on you're surely
  148. interested in the item "What is Schoolforge" which means nothing
  149. else than, guessed right: <a href=
  150. "">"What is Schoolforge"
  151. [11]</a>. At this place they indicate that Schoolforge is no new
  152. organisation but quasi a umbrella organisation or a communication
  153. channel for different groupings with the mutual goal to patronize
  154. open ressources at school. Therefore the primary objective is not
  155. only free software. For a future membership it's surely important
  156. to know that you can't participate as a single person. Only
  157. organisations can become a member. But they elect a contact person
  158. who represents the vote for the corresponding organisation.
  159. Generally Schoolforge tries to yoke forces, to avoid duplicative
  160. work and to ameliorate the communication between the single
  161. arrangements in groups. Another reference under this item are the
  162. <a href="">"Schoolforge
  163. Operating Procedures" [12]</a> on the one hand which specifies what
  164. you have to do and leave as a member and on the other hand the item
  165. <a href="">"Becoming a
  166. Member" [13]</a>. There is a short description where and what you
  167. have to do to become a member.</p>
  168. <p>At this place I would like to show a bit more detailed interest
  169. in the "Schoolforge Operating Procedures". The membership with
  170. Schoolforge means primary a meliorated communication whereas the
  171. mailing lists are the central start-up. On the other hand
  172. Schoolforge is used to be a uniform face to the outside. All
  173. members should place links and references on their homepages as a
  174. return service. Beneath this relatively little sanction the single
  175. members own a little more responsibility. The corresponding contact
  176. person resp. the whole group should actively collaborate i.e. to
  177. post something on the mailing lists from time to time. Each and
  178. every month they elect a new vote counter which is responsible for
  179. the correct interpretation. Additionally another member of
  180. Schoolforge is responsible for the website and its
  181. maintenance. The last item I want to mention here is fact that new
  182. ideas and projects should preferably be made public and discussed
  183. here to avoid duplicated work and if applicable to build on already
  184. available knowledge.</p>
  185. <p>When you follow the third link in the navigation bar you arrive
  186. at a site where all <a href=
  187. "">members in alphabetical
  188. order [14]</a> are listed. At the top you'll also find a link which
  189. directs you to a somehow more <a href=
  190. "">detailed list of members
  191. [15]</a>. Currently these are more than 140 organisations. On the
  192. page of the <a href="">"News
  193. Resources" [16]</a>are links to websites which regularly offer news
  194. on topic. Some of them are e.g. <a href=
  195. ""> [17]</a> as a
  196. little journal, <a href="">
  197. [18]</a> who publishes a <a href=
  198. "">report [19]</a> every two
  199. weeks or as well as <a href=
  200. "">schoolforge own mailing
  201. lists [20]</a>. The <a href=
  202. "">"Software Resources"
  203. [21]</a> too contain mostly links to corresponding projects whereas
  204. I would like to mention to following ones in extracts: the <a href=
  205. "">application index [22]</a> of <a href=
  206. "">SEUL/edu [17]</a>, the <a href=
  207. "">Debian [7]</a> subproject <a href=
  208. "">"Debian Jr." [23]</a> and
  209. the <a href="">KDE Edutainment project [24]</a>
  210. whose contact person to Schoolforge is responsible for the <a href=
  211. "">French
  212. translation of "TUX&amp;GNU@school" [6]</a> by the way. On the left
  213. of the page for the "Software Resources" there is still a topical
  214. listing of the newest entries to the application database of
  215. SEUL/edu.</p>
  216. <p>Still some links to further interesting and helpful website on
  217. topic are on the second last item under <a href=
  218. "">"Other Resources" [25]</a>.
  219. Inherent are the <a href=
  220. "">database with success
  221. stories resp. case studies of Linux at school [26]</a>, a <a href=
  222. "">link collection on topic [27]</a> and an
  223. <a href="">open database of Needs,
  224. Problems and Opportunities (NPO) in usage of technology in
  225. education [28]</a>. And finally on the last item you can find <a
  226. href="">information to the
  227. mailing lists [20]</a> whereas there is a link to the online
  228. archive too. Furthermore there is specified how, when and where
  229. it's possible to meet people on the IRC.</p>
  230. <p>Well this was a short presentation of Schoolforge an IMHO (in my
  231. humble opinion) very useful organisation on topic "GNU/Linux at
  232. school" but now proceed to the idea of this edition.</p>
  233. <h3>"Children make music"</h3>
  234. <p>Until now at this place I introduced a little idea which could
  235. be implemented by a clever programmer in zero time. But at the
  236. moment I'm not sure if this is still of interest because I didn't
  237. receive any implementations for the last few ideas. Were the ideas
  238. too banal, too difficult, wasn't it interesting or what do you
  239. think about it ? Please send me your opinions and ideas about this
  240. to <a href="">[1]</a>. But even more
  241. interesting and important for me would be if the ideas and wishes
  242. were right out of the practice, i.e. from teachers, tutors and
  243. instructors who teach themselves and know what they miss.</p>
  244. But nonetheless here is this edition's idea which came to me when I
  245. played with <a href=
  246. "">Tuxpaint [29]</a> <a
  247. href="">[30]</a>.
  248. Surely all of you who already tried out Tuxpaint know that some
  249. stamps have sounds and noises associated with them. When you now
  250. click more than one time on the corresponding symbol and in a
  251. moment include several other stamps from time to time an
  252. interesting tone pattern appears. It would surely be quite simple
  253. to write out of this idea a short program that contains several
  254. buttons. These buttons would be underlied by different sounds and
  255. noises on which you could click on the top of one's bent. A
  256. recording function would round off this idea and give the Mozarts
  257. and Beethovens of tomorrow another useful tool. <br />
  258. <br />
  259. <p>I'd be glad to hear some noises come out of this corner and
  260. going on now to the news of this edition.</p>
  261. <h3>News and up to date program versions</h3>
  262. <h4>FREEDUC published in version 1.3</h4>
  263. <p>A few weeks ago the version 1.3 of <a href=
  264. "">FREEDUC
  265. [31]</a> was released. FREEDUC is a Distribution based on the
  266. well-known <a href="">Knoppix [32]</a> whose
  267. main purpose is the demonstration of free educational software.
  268. Which software exactly you'll find on it is written <a href=
  269. "">here
  270. [33]</a> (Attention: *.txt.gz file).</p>
  271. <h4>Linux certificates for Austrian pupils</h4>
  272. <p>Since the first <a href=
  273. "">publication [34]</a>
  274. already some time went by but even though I would like to mention
  275. it here once more. At Austrion schools now it seems to be possible
  276. to make resp. receive a GNU/Linux certification.</p>
  277. <h4> launched</h4>
  278. <p>Some weeks ago the German <a href="">BSI -
  279. Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechologie
  280. [35]</a> (Federal Office for information technology security)
  281. launched a new <a href="">information
  282. site [36]</a> <i>(German only)</i> for their citizens. The
  283. information you can find there don't belong directly to free
  284. software and GNU/Linux but are nonetheless very interesting and
  285. easy to understand. They explain you common terms as "internet" and
  286. his functionality but on the other hand they show an interest in
  287. security aspects too. At this place I would like to reference to
  288. the IMHO ingenious simple explanation of the internet from the
  289. "Sachgeschichten" (stories about how things work) of the German <a
  290. href="">"Sendung mit der Maus"
  291. [37]</a> (telecast for children in the German tv). You can download
  292. this short and quite easy comprehensible movie <a href=
  293. "">here
  294. [38]</a>.</p>
  295. <h4>GCompris with new major release</h4>
  296. <p>Foremost a few weeks ago Bruno Coudoin released version 3.0
  297. followed by GCompris 3.1 some days ago. The most important changes
  298. are the bypassing of error of the gnome-canvas library which wasn't
  299. remedied until then and the possibility to write new boards in
  300. python. Furthermore there are some new boards as with each new
  301. version of course. You can find the exact details on the Homepage
  302. of <a href="">GCompris [39]</a>. Right
  303. here I wouldn't like to omit to congratulate Bruno to his <a href=
  304. "">success
  305. [40]</a> at the <a href=
  306. ""> [41]</a>. Go
  307. on.</p>
  308. <h4>KTouch with new version</h4>
  309. <p>KTouch is available in a new version too since a few weeks that
  310. is to say 1.3. You can extract the exact changes and features on
  311. the <a href="">homepage [42]</a>.</p>
  312. <h4>SkoleLinux as prerelease38</h4>
  313. <p><a href="">SkoleLinux [43]</a> is a
  314. Debian based distribution from norway which is specifically made
  315. for education purposes. Meanwhile there is also a <a href=
  316. "">German homepage [44]</a> and a German
  317. team which adapts the distribution to the local conditions.
  318. Unfortunately there is no stable release till now of this promising
  319. distribution. Nonetheless they released the preversion pre38 for
  320. testing some weeks ago. By the way SkoleLinux the first
  321. distribution I know that productively uses the new <a href=
  322. "">Debian-Installer
  323. [45]</a>.</p>
  324. <h4>Up to date program versions</h4>
  325. <ul>
  326. <li><a href="">KTouch</a> 1.3 - Type
  327. writing course under KDE 3.1.2 (<a href=
  328. "">TGS 1</a>)</li>
  329. <li><a href="">GCompris</a> 3.1 -
  330. Education plattform with different boards (<a href=
  331. "">TGS 2</a>)</li>
  332. <li><a href="">KGeo</a> 1.0.2 - Geometry
  333. program under KDE 3.1.2 (<a href=
  334. "">TGS 3</a>)</li>
  335. <li><a href="">Ghemical</a> 1.0
  336. - Chemistry program for modelling and computing molecules (<a href=
  337. "">TGS 4</a>)</li>
  338. <li><a href="">Tuxpaint</a> 0.9.11 -
  339. Painting programm for children and for those who stayed children
  340. (<a href="">TGS
  341. 5</a>)</li>
  342. <li><a href="">QCad</a> 1.5.4 - 2D-CAD program
  343. (<a href="">TGS
  344. 6</a>)</li>
  345. </ul>
  346. <br />
  347. <br />
  348. <p>And at the end and before I'll forget it: This is the first
  349. version of TUX&amp;GNU@school which is also available as OGG
  350. Vorbis, Wave and MP3 <a href=
  351. "">[7]</a> ;-) Go
  352. and listen to it. Bye and till the next time ...</p>
  353. <h3>Links:</h3>
  354. <p>[1] <a href="">Criticism, questions,
  355. comments, ideas and more please to:</a><br />
  356. [2] <a href="">The
  357. homepage of TUX&amp;GNU@school:
  358.</a><br />
  359. [3] <a href="">The homepage of QCad:
  360.</a><br />
  361. [4] <a href="">The homepage of
  362.</a><br />
  363. [5] <a href=
  364. "">First edition of
  365. TUX&amp;GNU@school</a><br />
  366. [6] <a href=
  367. "">TUX&amp;GNU@school
  368. in French</a><br />
  369. [7] <a href=
  370. "">Subscribe
  371. possibility for the TUX&amp;GNU@school newsletter</a><br />
  372. [8] <a href="">The homepage of Debian:
  373.</a><br />
  374. [9] <a href=
  375. ";product=qcad">
  376. Multilingual documentation of QCad</a><br />
  377. [10] <a href=
  378. ";product=qcad">Developer
  379. list of QCad</a><br />
  380. [11] <a href="">
  381. -&gt; "What is Schoolforge"</a><br />
  382. [12] <a href=
  383. ""> -&gt;
  384. "Schoolforge Operating Procedures"</a><br />
  385. [13] <a href=
  386. ""> -&gt;
  387. "Becoming a member"</a><br />
  388. [14] <a href=
  389. ""> -&gt;
  390. "Schoolforge members" (alphabetical order)</a><br />
  391. [15] <a href="">More
  392. detailed list of the Schoolforge members</a><br />
  393. [16] <a href="">
  394. -&gt; "News Resources"</a><br />
  395. [17] <a href="">
  396. - News for OpenSource at school and in education</a><br />
  397. [18] <a href="">The homepage of SEUL/edu:
  398.</a><br />
  399. [19] <a href="">Reports from
  400. SEUL/edu</a><br />
  401. [20] <a href=
  402. ""> -&gt;
  403. "Mailing lists and chat"</a><br />
  404. [21] <a href=
  405. ""> -&gt;
  406. "Software Resources"</a><br />
  407. [22] <a href="">The application index of
  408. SEUL/edu</a><br />
  409. [23] <a href="">The homepage
  410. of the Debian subproject "Debian Jr."</a><br />
  411. [24] <a href="">The homepage of the KDE
  412. Edutainment project:</a><br />
  413. [25] <a href=
  414. ""> -&gt; "Other
  415. Resources"</a><br />
  416. [26] <a href="">A database of
  417. SEUL/edu with success stories resp. case studies about Linux at
  418. school</a><br />
  419. [27] <a href="">A link collection of
  420. SEUL/edu</a><br />
  421. [28] <a href="">An open database of
  422. Needs, Problems and Opportunities (NPO) in usage of technology in
  423. education</a><br />
  424. [29] <a href="">The
  425. homepage of Tuxpaint:</a><br />
  426. [30] <a href=
  427. "">The fifth
  428. edition of TUX&amp;GNU@school</a><br />
  429. [31] <a href=
  430. "">The homepage
  431. of FREEDUC</a><br />
  432. [32] <a href="">The homepage of Knoppix:
  433.</a><br />
  434. [33] <a href=
  435. "">The package
  436. list of FREEDUC</a><br />
  437. [34] <a href=
  438. "">"Linux certificates
  439. for Austrian pubpils" on</a><br />
  440. [35] <a href="">The homepage of the German
  441. "Bundesamtes für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik - BSI"
  442. (Federal Office for information technology security):
  443.</a><br />
  444. [36] <a href="">New information
  445. website of the BSI:</a><br />
  446. [37] <a href="">The homepage of
  447. the German telecast "Sendung mit der Maus":
  448.</a><br />
  449. [38] <a href=
  450. "">Download link to
  451. the Sachgeschichten-Video "Internet"</a><br />
  452. [39] <a href="">The homepage of
  453. GCompris:</a><br />
  454. [40] <a href=
  455. "">GCompris on
  456.</a><br />
  457. [41] <a href="">
  458. (French)</a><br />
  459. [42] <a href="">The homepage of KTouch:
  460.</a><br />
  461. [43] <a href="">The homepage of
  462. SkoleLinux:</a><br />
  463. [44] <a href="">The German homepage of
  464. SkoleLinux:</a><br />
  465. [45] <a href=
  466. "">One
  467. homepage of the new Debian-Installer</a><br />
  468. </p>
  469. <h4>About the author:</h4>
  470. <p>Mario Fux finished 1999 the PrimarlehrerInnenseminar in Brig
  471. after he made up mathematical and natural scientifical matura. In a
  472. body with two colleagues he founded the <a href=
  473. "">"ALIS - Arbeitsgruppe Linux an Schulen"</a>
  474. (Swiss work group for linux at school). And if he once doesn't
  475. spend his time in front of the PC, he sits at his nature pond in
  476. the <a href="">mountains</a>.</p>
  477. <p align="center"><i>This document is distributed under the terms
  478. of the <a href=
  479. "">GNU Free
  480. Documentation License</a>.</i></p>
  481. <p align="center"><i>Copyright (c) 2002 Mario Fux. Permission is
  482. granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the
  483. terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any
  484. later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
  485. Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
  486. Texts.<br />
  487. A copy of the license can be found at <a href=
  488. ""></a>.</i></p>
  489. </body>
  490. <timestamp>$Date$ $Author$</timestamp>
  491. </html>