[kde-edu]: Re: [kde-edu] New Maths App

M2George m2george at mweb.co.za
Tue Jun 22 15:57:46 CEST 2004

Hello all.

> From: "Surabaja Johnny" <surabaja at myrealbox.com>
>  I propose the name "Kalikantus". Calycanthus is a fragrant flower, the
petals being the plug-in modules. Following on your initial ideas...

It starts with a K so it's good.

> 1)  Has XML already been used for academic course definition?

Don't know, but http://www.smilgen.org/ is based on XML( or is a subset of)
and it is widely and successfully used in streaming educational content. I'm
feverishly learning as fast as I can to see if it will work.

> 2) a multiuser (login/password) application would be great for schools
with limited computer resources.

Yes, also to enable session restarts and to track progress.

> 3) in order to make the app really useful...>

Valid ideas, but we must try to keep this under control. We can use KOffice
Kparts to implement some of the same functionality you mention( i.e. KSpread
for db, Kwrite for notes), that way we won't need to re-write any big code,
but we need to get the basic structure working before we implement any
higher order functionality. Nothing wrong with planning big though :)

> 4) often pupils use two computers: one at school, one at home. In my
experience, keeping the two in synch is a requirement. The app could provide
a mean by which the homework can be loaded into the school computer, and
viceversa, using a writable CD.
Very valid thoughts also, but the criteria to get any software accepted in
any school is _very_ strict, beter to plan for a application that will
assist the school in their work rather than to replace it.

> 5) what will make the app really widespread...>

Yes very true, that is the idea. The app that gets shipped with KDE will be
small but the content on a server will be vast and free.

> 6) with respect to format of the animations, shouldn't we allow for
multiple formats? Maybe there are already good Java applets out there, maybe
some teachers are good at Macromedia Flash...

Yes we will, the KPart KHTML has built-in functionality for any format you
could mention, to display anything, the problem comes with the authoring. We
need something that anybody could use, open sources, easy and economical.
Currently a license for Flash will cost me about 350 Big Mac's in South
Africa....... That's a lot of Big Mac's. I'd rather buy a scondhand car.
This will preclude most(legally anyway) from submitting content. It should
also be a standardized format, so that we can edit each other's content to
continually improve it, or update it.

Your thoughts and ideas are valued.

If you'd like to help,  we're looking to change as many Maths apps to kparts
as possible to include in the maths toolbox.

Kind Regards


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