[kde-community] Request to join the Kde incubator for GCompris

Jaroslaw Staniek staniek at kde.org
Thu Feb 13 20:59:03 UTC 2014

I of course welcome vital projects such as GCompris. GPL3 topic will
be hopefully resolved. Relicensing  to v2+ would be a solution, anyone
is then free to set GPL3+ for her copy.

Another question arises from the GNU copyright assignment [1]. This is
a precedence for me, correct me if I am wrong, but KDE has no code
that's assigned to the (USA) FSF. For example I can imagine the above
relicensing would require consent of FSF. It's unlike other KDE
projects I know.

This is like a hybrid, one leg in KDE, one leg in FSF so far and
really, a distraction or me. If this is mostly work from scratch, I
hope relicensing would be possible.

[1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-assign.html

On 13 February 2014 04:48, Bruno Coudoin <bruno.coudoin at gcompris.net> wrote:
> Hi,
> I am the creator and main developer of the educational software GCompris
> (http://gcompris.net). It is released under GPL V3+. It contains about 140
> activities for children 2 to 10 years old.
> I am sorry for the length of this email but in order to let you take an
> informed decision and for the future of our collaboration it is important
> that you get the full picture of the GCompris project.
> I started this project in 2000 and at that time selected Gtk+ for its
> graphical toolkit. It became a must in its category and is probably the most
> popular educational software with KdeEdu and TuxPaint.
> GCompris is available on GNU/Linux through the package manager of most
> distributions. I also distribute the binaries on Windows and MacOSX as a
> direct download on gcompris.net.
> It is important to mention that the Windows and MacOSX version are
> distributed as demo ware. These binaries have only a limited number of
> activities and the users are invited to buy an activation code through
> paypal. The activation system is very simplistic, it does not require a
> network connection and is included normally in our code. An average
> developer can understand the activation system and create valid codes. I
> have no way to know if a buyer use the code on one or more computer and I
> don't care. Even if the money I get through this is encouraging, it is not
> enough to work full time on it so I also have a day job. All the money is
> officially declared and I pay taxes to the French government (I live in
> Toulouse in France).
> This is an unusual practice for a free software, I took this decision to
> make sure schools, teachers, parents who choose the GNU/Linux path get an
> advantage over the ones staying on a proprietary platform. To my surprise,
> it has been very well received by users and by the free software developers.
> More than this, the duality of the project, commercial and community allows
> it to benefit from the best of both worlds. I won't explain you the
> advantage of a community behind a project. For the commercial part, to my
> surprise, I have numerous examples where GCompris was selected in a school
> _because_ they could buy it.
> As a community project, it was part of the Gnome community, and the Gtk+
> version will still be there until the Qt version is on par. We got numerous
> contributors coming from Gnome, especially the translation team who does an
> excellent job. We also managed individual contributors all over the years.
> Many come, create an activity and leave when their children does not use
> GCompris anymore. I usually integrate the contributions and handle the
> maintenance of this code. At some point in time there as been other
> commiters and it was working fine.
> I am also a GSoC mentor since 2011 under the Gnome umbrella. I really
> appreciated doing that. It helps the project, the community, the student and
> myself as I like to share my knowledge. For this year I registered GCompris
> as an independent organization since I expect to get students working on the
> new Qt Quick version. Of course, if we work together, I will propose next
> year GCompris under the Kde umbrella.
> Enough history, lets talk about our future.
> Nowadays, more and more users are requiring us a tablet version. By far,
> Gtk+ is not ready in this area . After reviewing different possibilities, I
> had HTML5 and Qt Quick on my short list. I made a test and ported a GCompris
> activity in HTML5 and a few one in Qt Quick to be sure to make a wise
> decision.
> I am happy to tell you that I have been more than surprised by the ease of
> development and the quality of the code I wrote in Qt Quick. Yes it does not
> run on the web but for GCompris there are many reasons to stay off the web
> anyway.
> So I have now published a beta version in Qt Quick and used it to announce
> the world that I bet the future of GCompris on it. It has been well received
> in the GCompris community. Of course it deceived the Gnome team and I am sad
> for them but I had to take this drastic decision to make sure GCompris stay
> relevant in the years to come.
> On the development side, after looking at creating a compatibility layer to
> run old GCompris activities on a new Qt Quick framework. It proved to be
> difficult and the the result would be ugly in term of code and in term of
> user experience. I decided to go the hard way and to make a full rewrite. We
> will reuse the graphic, sound, voices, data and of course the concept of
> each activity of the Gtk+ version to create the new one. I expect the port
> to last one or two years.
> So this is a brain new project with just a demonstrator of only 4 activities
> on 140. I think it is a good time frame for GCompris to join the Kde
> community for different reasons:
> - We need the best skills to create a solid framework
> - This is easier to jump on a new project and more interesting for a new
> contributor
> - Wehave no on line development tools to migrate
> I hope my request did raise your interest and I'll be please to answer your
> questions.
> Regards,
> Bruno.
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regards / pozdrawiam, Jaroslaw Staniek
 Kexi & Calligra & KDE | http://calligra.org/kexi | http://kde.org
 Qt for Tizen | http://qt-project.org/wiki/Tizen
 Qt Certified Specialist | http://www.linkedin.com/in/jstaniek

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