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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
  2. <html>
  3. <head>
  4. <title>TUX&amp;GNU@school - 8th edition</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>TUX&amp;GNU@school - 8th edition</h1>
  8. <p><i>Every two months the column <a href=
  9. "">
  10. TUX&amp;GNU@school [2]</a> reports about free software, a homepage
  11. on topic and an easy to implement idea. This month I talk about
  12. <a href="">GAMGI [3]</a>, a free material
  13. education program, about the projects <a href=
  14. "">Skolelinux [4]</a> and <a href=
  15. "">KDE Edutainment [5]</a> and about the idea
  16. "Something neat for KDE-Edu" ;-).</i></p>
  17. <p>Welcome to the 8th edition of TUX&amp;GNU@school. In the
  18. meantime I looked after the longstanding newsletter as I promised
  19. in the last edition. There you can subscribe and you receive the
  20. recent version of the column every two months. At the moment the
  21. <a href="">newsletter
  22. [6]</a> exists for five languages. Yes, you heard correctly, there
  23. is another language (<a href=
  24. "">Spanish
  25. [7]</a>) beneath the existing ones (<a href=
  26. "">German
  27. [8]</a>, <a href=
  28. "">English
  29. [9]</a>, <a href=
  30. "">French
  31. [10]</a> and <a href=
  32. "">Swedish
  33. [11]</a>). Thanks to Samuel Gimeno.</p>
  34. <h3>GAMGI - General Atomistic Modelling Graphic Interface</h3>
  35. <p>Some days ago Carlos Pereira sent me an Email in which he asked
  36. me if I couldn't present his program here. Of course I like to do
  37. things like that and would like to do it right now. The following
  38. description originates almost completely from Carlos himself who is
  39. also the lead author of <a href="">GAMGI
  40. [3]</a> at.</p>
  41. <p>GAMGI stands for General Atomistic Modelling Graphic Interface.
  42. The program is licensed under the <a href=
  43. "">GNU GPL [12]</a>
  44. and you can build, view and analyse atomic structures, such as
  45. molecules, crystals, glasses, liquids, etc. with it. GAMGI supports
  46. the 230 crystallographic space groups, and can be used for example
  47. to perform point symmetry and 3D Voronoi analysis. Furthermore
  48. GAMGI supports multiple windows, layers and lights and offers
  49. maximum control over even low-level objects as atoms, bonds and
  50. text objects.</p>
  51. <p>GAMGI comes with XHTML documentation that can be seen with a
  52. browser or the program itself. The program also comes with hundreds
  53. of files describing relevant molecules, clusters and cells. These
  54. are provided in GAMGI XML native format and be loaded
  55. out-of-the-box.</p>
  56. <p><img src="./img/gamgi-screenshot10_1b.png" alt=
  57. "Screenshot 1: GAMGI at work" width="705" height="519" border=
  58. "0" /></p>
  59. <h5>Screenshot 1: GAMGI at work</h5>
  60. <p>GAMGI is written in ANSI C and requires glib 1.2/gtk 1.2,
  61. gtkglarea 1.2, mesa and expat libraries, easily available in all
  62. Linux distributions. Meanwhile the program consists of the
  63. considerable amount of 150,000 lines of code. There are two
  64. <a href="">mailing lists
  65. [13]</a>, one for helping users and the other one to discuss the
  66. development itself. Andre Truter, a Software Engineer, is building
  67. packages for GAMGI. Currently there are <a href=
  68. "">packages for SuSE and
  69. Debian [14]</a>. Packages for other systems will be available on
  70. request.</p>
  71. <p>Further on Carlos writes in his mail that, although he has
  72. written GAMGI from zero and it is not a copy of any other program,
  73. he was certainly inspired by other programs as InsightII and
  74. Cerius2 during his PhD thesis. Sure he speaks about the many things
  75. still missing but the program is already quite useful and
  76. especially in the teaching area.</p>
  77. <p>When you have some questions or suggestions <a href=
  78. "">Carlos [15]</a> would
  79. surely be interested. But now to the first project of this edition
  80. that is to say to Skolelinux.</p>
  81. <h3>Skolelinux</h3>
  82. <p><a href="">Skolelinux [4]</a> involves
  83. a <a href="">Debian [16]</a> based
  84. distribution which is targeted at the use in schools. It was and is
  85. the goal of the distribution to offer everything configured with an
  86. easy and simple base installation. This because today a lot of
  87. teachers have to administrate the computer pool in their
  88. school.</p>
  89. <p>Many thanks go to Knut Yrvin, the Norwegian project leader, and
  90. Kurt Gramlich, the leader of the German Skolelinux project, for the
  91. replies to my questions. Perhaps some of you have already noticed
  92. that Skolelinux is a <a href="">project
  93. from the North of Europe [17]</a>, from Norway to be precise.
  94. "Skole" means "school" and what "Linux" means should be clear,
  95. isn't it ;-).</p>
  96. <p>The project came into being in June 2001 when Petter
  97. Reinholdtsen and Knut Yrvin talked at a summer party about the
  98. misery in school. Almost exclusively there was deployed proprietary
  99. software with user-unfriendly licences. This should be changed and
  100. today there are surely <a href=
  101. "">more
  102. than 200 schools [18]</a> in Norway alone which work with
  103. Skolelinux. Furthermore the project is capable of paying three
  104. people full time and in addition to this there are a number of
  105. volunteers doing short stints.</p>
  106. <p>Arisen as a Debian derivative in Norway last year Skolelinux
  107. merged more or less with the <a href=
  108. "">Debian subproject DebianEDU
  109. [19]</a>. Surely this was quite important for the circumstance that
  110. people from different countries were now interested in Skolelinux.
  111. And so we arrive at Kurt Gramlich and Skolelinux Germany, who
  112. adapted the school distribution to country specific situations. By
  113. the way this means not only translating it into the own language
  114. but also things as screen locking at school which is not necessary
  115. in every country.</p>
  116. <p><img src="./img/skole-icon-big.png" alt=
  117. "Screenshot 2: Skolelinux Logo" width="566" height="226" border=
  118. "0" /></p>
  119. <h5>Screenshot 2: Skolelinux Logo</h5>
  120. <p>In Norway the project can count on the support of the state and
  121. some firms. Additionally they are making a feasibility study about
  122. Skolelinux in schools of Oslo. Before I forget it, Skolelinux has
  123. now arrived at its frist stable version: <a href=
  124. "">Skolelinux
  125. Venus 1.0 [20]</a>. And we are getting thrilled about the coming
  126. version which will be based on Debian Sarge which includes more
  127. recent software.</p>
  128. <p>Further countries with Skolelinux offshoots are e.g. France,
  129. Greece and Uganda. Admittedly the German Skolelinux project seems
  130. to be the most active one beneath the original one in Skandinavia.
  131. These people, who are all volunteers, are working extremely fast
  132. and are represented with a booth at almost every Free Software
  133. event in the country. They are also very strong in <a href=
  134. "">documentation
  135. [21]</a> and they have with <a href=
  136. ""> [22]</a> their own
  137. homepage. In Gütersloh (Germany) they even run a small test centre
  138. where they develop and teach on a regular base.</p>
  139. <p>A few exemplary works of Skolelinux Germany are e.g. a possible
  140. integration of the <a href=
  141. "">learning management
  142. system ILIAS [23]</a> or <a href="">moodle
  143. [24]</a>, a Windows binding or the <a href=
  144. "">
  145. product concept catalogue for quality management [25]</a>. For the
  146. future there is enough to do not only in Germany what means that
  147. some of you can contribute confidently. Possible starting points
  148. are an even better documentation, the translation into your own
  149. national language or programming of simple education software. It
  150. would be especially interesting if you had some pedagogical
  151. knowledge.</p>
  152. <p>Addendum: At the this year's <a href=
  153. "">Systems in Munich (Germany) [26]</a>
  154. they received the <a href=
  155. "">Linux New Media
  156. Award [27]</a> in the category <i>Best Newcomer
  157. Distribution</i>.</p>
  158. <p>We are thrilled about what is happening in and with Skolelinux
  159. in the future and I will keep you informed. But now to the second
  160. project of this edition where Anne-Marie presents recent news about
  161. the KDE Edutainment project.</p>
  162. <h3>KDE-Edu in KDE 3.3</h3>
  163. <p>As you know, KDE 3.3 has been released by the end of August and
  164. the bug fix version 3.3.1 was released just a few days ago. There
  165. have been some changes in the <a href="">KDE-Edu
  166. [5]</a> applications.</p>
  167. <p>We have two new programs:</p>
  168. <ul class="noindent">
  169. <li><a href="">KWordQuiz [28]</a> is a
  170. replacement for FlashKard with a few more functionalities. It's a
  171. vocabulary learning program with flash card mode or multiple choice
  172. mode. Some nice feedback informs you about your score.</li>
  173. <li><a href="">KTurtle [29]</a> is a new
  174. Logo interpreter. It features an integrated Logo interpreter, full
  175. screen mode, a powerful editor to type your code and more. The Logo
  176. programming language is very easy and thus it can be used by young
  177. children. A unique quality of Logo is that the commands or
  178. instructions can be translated and KTurtle already has translations
  179. for ten languages.</li>
  180. <li style="list-style: none">KTurtle won the <a href=
  181. "">third prize
  182. [30]</a> in an educational programming contest by the <a href=
  183. "">Dutch
  184. Linux Programming magazine [31]</a> (only in Dutch).</li>
  185. </ul>
  186. <p><a href="">KHangman [32]</a> has been
  187. improved following a nice <a href=
  188. "">usability study
  189. [33]</a>. <a href="">KTouch [34]</a>
  190. (touch typing) and <a href="">KEduca
  191. [35]</a> (a test maker) have new maintainers. <a href=
  192. "">KStars [36]</a> is becoming one of the
  193. best astronomy program in GNU/Linux.</p>
  194. <p>For the future, we would like to build a mathematical program
  195. aimed to students aged 8 to 15 about areas, perimeters, numbers and
  196. such. A program about <a href=
  197. "">geography [37]</a> is also being
  198. developed, the main difficulty here is to make the maps (use free
  199. maps and adapt them). In all educational programs, the data is the
  200. most difficult part as it needs to be translated in the maximum of
  201. languages possible.</p>
  202. <p>Instead of the presentation of a special idea I want to refer to
  203. Anne-Marie's calling: create data for free education programs and
  204. send it to the KDE-Edu project.</p>
  205. <p>And at the end follows the news.</p>
  206. <h3>News and up to date program versions</h3>
  207. <h4>KEduca icons contest <i>(<a href=
  208. ""></a> - <a href=
  209. "">04.10.2004</a>)</i></h4>
  210. <p><a href="">KEduca [35]</a> has found a
  211. new maintainer, Henrique Pinto. Henrique started to work quickly on
  212. KEduca and made it a KPart (that means you can open keduca files
  213. embedded in Konqueror for example). He also coded compression of
  214. the test file so the pupils cannot read it. Now KEduca needs new
  215. icons, you can find all the details on the <a href=
  216. "">KEduca-icons [38]</a> page or
  217. on the <a href=
  218. ";PHPSESSID=44c65d6116923732fbc4ab484d6ba923">
  219. KDE-Look website [39]</a>. So if you are an artist, this is a great
  220. way to contribute!</p>
  221. <h4>Asking For Maintainers <i>(<a href=
  222. ""></a> - <a href=
  223. "">24.09.2004</a>)</i></h4>
  224. <p><a href="">KEduca [35]</a>, <a href=
  225. "">KMessedWords [40]</a> and
  226. <a href="">KVocTrain [41]</a> are
  227. looking for new maintainers. What does that mean? KMessedWords GUI
  228. should be re-arranged and the main thing to do is to i18n the
  229. dictionary so that all KDE languages can be used. A possible
  230. feature is also to cut the words in syllables. Using KHangMan data
  231. files (with hints when available) could also be done. This is not
  232. too demanding and could be possible for a beginner. For KEduca, the
  233. main feature would be to encrypt the xml file so that pupils cannot
  234. read the answers. Porting to current kdelibs would also be
  235. required. KVocTrain requires more work and a complete rewrite
  236. should be done as the code is really very old. Anyone interested
  237. should come forward on the <a href=
  238. "">kde-edu mailinglist
  239. [42]</a>. Be assured you'll get plenty of help and you'll share
  240. great fun with the KDE community!</p>
  241. <h4>Working on improving documentation <i>(<a href=
  242. ""></a> - <a href=
  243. "">23.08.2004</a>)</i></h4>
  244. <p>The <a href="">aKademy KDE World
  245. Summit [43]</a> has started and, while no KDE-Edu people are
  246. present, Anne-Marie is working with some people there. An IRC
  247. meeting has been done today with Phil and Lauri from the KDE
  248. documentation team. Several ideas has been discussed: having a
  249. kid-oriented doc, having Quick Start pages for each program,
  250. writing a new template for edu docs... We also try to go through
  251. each Handbook and see what could be improved. Thanks a lot to the
  252. Documentation team people who demonstrate how team work makes KDE
  253. better! See this <a href="">page [44]</a> to
  254. know how to better write your documentation.</p>
  255. <h4>Usability Study for KHangMan <i>(<a href=
  256. ""></a> - <a href=
  257. "">23.08.2004</a>)</i></h4>
  258. <p>Celeste Paul wrote a very complete <a href=
  259. "">usability study
  260. [33]</a> for <a href="">KHangMan
  261. [32]</a>. Her suggestions will be applied and you can follow
  262. progress on that on <a href=
  263. "">the KHangMan usability
  264. page [45]</a>. Thanks to Celeste for this amazing work!</p>
  265. <h4>KWordQuiz in KDE-Edu <i>(<a href=
  266. ""></a> - <a href=
  267. "">14.05.2004</a>)</i></h4>
  268. <p><a href="">KWordQuiz [28]</a> joined
  269. the kdeedu module and replaced <a href=
  270. "">FlashKard [46]</a>. KWordQuiz will
  271. allow you to study your vocabulary words (WordQuiz and kvtml
  272. formats supported) and keep all FlashKard functionalities. In
  273. addition, the Quiz mode is great and the Editing mode very
  274. powerful. <a href="">LinuxMagazine
  275. [47]</a> wrote two pages about KWordQuiz in Issue 41 and kindly put
  276. <a href="">the
  277. article online [48]</a>, thanks a lot!.</p>
  278. <h4>Developers news: KNewStuff documentation <i>(<a href=
  279. ""></a> - <a href=
  280. "">
  281. 15.04.2004</a>)</i></h4>
  282. <p>The KNewStuff library is now in kdelibs therefore available for
  283. applications that need it. KLettres in cvs HEAD and KHangMan
  284. (make_it_cool branch) are successfully using it. This library
  285. allows the program to get and install in a few mouse clicks new
  286. data from a website. A HowTo is available in <a href=
  287. "">the developer
  288. section of this website [49]</a> to help you with using this new
  289. library.</p>
  290. <h4>KTouch needs feedback <i>(<a href=
  291. ""></a> - <a href=
  292. "">05.04.2004</a>)</i></h4>
  293. <p>Andreas, the current <a href="">KTouch
  294. [50]</a> co-maintainer, will start a new version of KTouch. He has
  295. designed a new <a href=
  296. "">concept
  297. [51]</a> and would like feedback on it. Please stay in touch with
  298. him and send <a href=
  299. "mailto:ghorwin%20AT%20users%20DOT%20sourceforge%20DOT%20net">him
  300. [52]</a> all your requests and features wishes.</p>
  301. <h4>Up to date program versions</h4>
  302. <ul>
  303. <li><a href="">KTouch</a> 1.3 - Type
  304. writing course under KDE 3.3.2 (<a href=
  305. "">
  306. TGS 1</a>)</li>
  307. <li><a href="">GCompris</a> 6.4 -
  308. Education plattform with different boards (<a href=
  309. "">
  310. TGS 2</a>)</li>
  311. <li><a href="">KGeo</a> 1.0.2 (<a href=
  312. "">
  313. TGS 3</a>) --- <i>Substituted by <a href=
  314. "">Kig</a> 0.6.1 - Geometry program under
  315. KDE 3.3.2</i></li>
  316. <li><a href="">Ghemical</a> 1.01
  317. - Chemistry program for modelling and computing molecules (<a href=
  318. "">
  319. TGS 4</a>)</li>
  320. <li><a href="">Tuxpaint</a>
  321. 0.9.14 - Painting program for children and for those who stayed
  322. children (<a href=
  323. "">
  324. TGS 5</a>)</li>
  325. <li><a href="">QCad</a> 2.0.2 - 2D-CAD program
  326. (<a href=
  327. "">
  328. TGS 6</a>)</li>
  329. <li><a href="">Kalzium</a> 0.9.3 -
  330. Chemistry programm under KDE 3.3.2 (<a href=
  331. "">
  332. TGS 7</a>)</li>
  333. <li><a href="">GAMGI</a> 0.10.6 - General
  334. Atomistic Modelling Graphic Interface (<a href=
  335. "">
  336. TGS 8</a>)</li>
  337. </ul>
  338. <p>Ok, that's it once more. We'll see next year.</p>
  339. <h3>Links:</h3>
  340. <p>[1] <a href="">Criticism, questions,
  341. comments, ideas and more please to:</a><br />
  342. [2] <a href="">The
  343. homepage of TUX&amp;GNU@school:
  344.</a><br />
  345. [3] <a href="">The homepage of GAMGI:
  346.</a><br />
  347. [4] <a href="">The homepage of Skolelinux:
  348.</a><br />
  349. [5] <a href="">The homepage of the KDE-edu
  350. project:</a><br />
  351. [6] <a href="">The
  352. newsletter of TUX&amp;GNU@school</a><br />
  353. [7] <a href=
  354. "">The
  355. Spanish homepage of TUX&amp;GNU@school</a><br />
  356. [8] <a href=
  357. "">The
  358. German homepage of TUX&amp;GNU@school</a><br />
  359. [9] <a href=
  360. "">The
  361. English homepage of TUX&amp;GNU@school</a><br />
  362. [10] <a href=
  363. "">The
  364. French homepage of TUX&amp;GNU@school</a><br />
  365. [11] <a href=
  366. "">The
  367. Swedish homepage of TUX&amp;GNU@school</a><br />
  368. [12] <a href="">GNU
  369. GPL - General Public License</a><br />
  370. [13] <a href="">The
  371. mailinglists of GAMGI</a><br />
  372. [14] <a href="">GAMGI
  373. packages for SuSE and Debian</a><br />
  374. [15] <a href=
  375. "mailto:carlos%20AT%20pehoe%20DOT%20civil%20DOT%20ist%20DOT%20utl%20DOT%20pt">
  376. Carlos Pereiras email address</a><br />
  377. [16] <a href="">The homepage of Debian:
  378.</a><br />
  379. [17] <a href="">The Norwegian homepage of
  380. the Skolelinux project:</a><br />
  381. [18] <a href=
  382. "">Schools
  383. which deploy Skolelinux</a><br />
  384. [19] <a href="">The homepage of
  385. the Debian subproject DebianEDU</a><br />
  386. [20] <a href=
  387. "">Download of
  388. Skolelinux Venus 1.0</a><br />
  389. [21] <a href=
  390. "">Documentation for
  391. Skolelinux</a><br />
  392. [22] <a href="">The German homepage of the
  393. Skolelinux project:</a><br />
  394. [23] <a href="">The
  395. homepage of the learning management system ILIAS</a><br />
  396. [24] <a href="">The homepage of the learning
  397. management system moodle:</a><br />
  398. [25] <a href=
  399. "">
  400. Skolelinux product concept catalogue for quality
  401. management</a><br />
  402. [26] <a href="">The homepage of the
  403. Systems in Munich (Germany)</a><br />
  404. [27] <a href=
  405. "">Linux New Media
  406. Awards 2004</a><br />
  407. [28] <a href="">The homepage of
  408. KWordQuiz:</a><br />
  409. [29] <a href="">The homepage of KTurtle:
  410.</a><br />
  411. [30] <a href=
  412. "">Third price
  413. for KTurtle</a><br />
  414. [31] <a href=
  415. "">Dutch
  416. Linux Programming magazine</a><br />
  417. [32] <a href="">The homepage of
  418. KHangman:</a><br />
  419. [33] <a href="">Usability
  420. study of KHangman</a><br />
  421. [34] <a href="">The homepage of KTouch:
  422.</a><br />
  423. [35] <a href="">The homepage of KEduca:
  424.</a><br />
  425. [36] <a href="">The homepage of KStars:
  426.</a><br />
  427. [37] <a href="">The homepage of
  428. KGeography:</a><br />
  429. [38] <a href=
  430. "">KEduca-Icons</a><br />
  431. [39] <a href=
  432. ";PHPSESSID=44c65d6116923732fbc4ab484d6ba923">
  433. KEduca-Icons on</a><br />
  434. [40] <a href="">The homepage of
  435. KMessedWords:</a><br />
  436. [41] <a href="">The homepage of
  437. KVocTrain:</a><br />
  438. [42] <a href="">The
  439. mailinglists of the KDE-edu project</a><br />
  440. [43] <a href="">The homepage of the
  441. aKadamy KDE World Summit</a><br />
  442. [44] <a href="">Documentation pages of the
  443. KDE-edu project:</a><br />
  444. [45] <a href="">KHangman
  445. usability page</a><br />
  446. [46] <a href="">The homepage of
  447. FlashKard:</a><br />
  448. [47] <a href="">The homepage of the
  449. Linux-Magazine:</a><br />
  450. [48] <a href=
  451. "">Linux-Magazine
  452. article of KWordQuiz (pdf)</a><br />
  453. [49] <a href=
  454. "">Developer pages of
  455. the KDE-edu project</a><br />
  456. [50] <a href="">Sourceforge homepage
  457. of KTouch:</a><br />
  458. [51] <a href=
  459. "">New
  460. concept for KTouch (txt)</a><br />
  461. [52] <a href=
  462. "mailto:ghorwin%20AT%20users%20DOT%20sourceforge%20DOT%20net">Email
  463. address of the KTouch co-maintainer Andreas</a><br /></p>
  464. <h4>About the author:</h4>
  465. <p>Mario Fux finished 1999 the PrimarlehrerInnenseminar in Brig,
  466. after which he then caught up on the mathematical and natural
  467. scientifical matura. Currently he studies at the <a href=
  468. "">university of Zurich</a> in the main subject
  469. <a href="">education (pedagogy)</a> and
  470. <a href="">computer sciences</a> as the
  471. subsidiary subject. Together with two colleagues he founded the
  472. <a href="">"ALIS - Arbeitsgruppe Linux an
  473. Schulen"</a> (Swiss work group for linux at school). And if he is
  474. not spending his time in front of the PC, he sits at his nature
  475. pond in the <a href="">mountains</a>.</p>
  476. <p align="center"><i>This document is distributed under the terms
  477. of the <a href=
  478. "">GNU Free
  479. Documentation License</a>.</i></p>
  480. <p align="center"><i>Copyright (c) 2002 Mario Fux. Permission is
  481. granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the
  482. terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any
  483. later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
  484. Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
  485. Texts.<br />
  486. A copy of the license can be found at <a href=
  487. ""></a>.</i></p>
  488. </body>
  489. <timestamp>$Date$ $Author$</timestamp>
  490. </html>