[kde-edu]: freeduc and similar projects

Maurizio Paolini paolini at dmf.unicatt.it
Wed Jun 30 22:41:23 CEST 2004

Dear Marc,

I am responsible for an italian "live CD" project named
"eduKnoppix", so let me add a few comments to your email

First thing: I think that this kind of project should 
be specifically aimed for *one* country, so that the effort
could be more concentrated. In our case we simply deleted
all localization save the italian and english ones.

A similar project like eduKnoppix could well be started
by a dutch sufficiently skilled and motivated person.

> From: Marc Heyvaert <marc_heyvaert at yahoo.com>
> I could start it with lang=nl after fiddling around
> with the knoppix boot parameters, but i still had a
> querty keyboard, not azerty what it should be
> (wouldn't even dare to think about the option for 
> Belgian azerty :)  My point is that starting the cd is
> not straightforward and no good publicity for linux.
> But perhaps this is down to knoppix?

yes.  Changing this is not really that difficult, but
has to be done.

> After this I had some sort of dutch system, but with
> many strings still untranslated.

This is because everything relies on standard localization
of installed programs, which is good for kde, not so good
and complete otherwise (of course depending on each software).

The team working on a "dutch" version could spend some
time improving the localization.
However I wouldn't blame the freeduc team for this.

> After quiting, my PC wouldn't restart (screen remains
> black). After trying for about 10 times, booting (to
> Windows XP on this one!) was ok again. My point here
> is that this live CD is not a straightforward thing.

This is a tough problem, since depends on hardware compatibility
with the linux kernel and things are different on different
PCs.  It could be better on recent versions
of knoppix (I don't know on which version freeduc is based),
but you never have 100% confidence that everything goes well.

> The software on the cd is a strange collection... I
> would imaging that for a CD with serious space
> limitations there would have been a strict choice of
> programs. But you get a lot of things twice! 

Allright, I thing that to some extent this is unavoidable, since
people building such thing have different ideas and you don't
want to disappoint some... in our CD we have openoffice and
abiword and gnumeric; two interactive geometry softwares...

> OpenOffice + the office suit from Gnome + Scribus. You
> have KStars and some (old) star chart generator + some
> other space related stuff. There are some drawing
> programs with overlap, 2 calculators. Very few KDE
> programs really. Some from the kdeedu module.

In our cd we focused more on kde apps (all kdeedu of kde 3.2)

> I feel that it should be possible to put something
> together based on nearly 100% KDE, so with a strong
> bias towards the educational needs.

This is exactly what we try to do with eduKnoppix (of
course targeted to Italy)

> The menus should be less confusing than the standard
> KDE menu though and the user should be presented with
> different preconfigured menus, so that a choice based
> on age group, type of school, etc should be possible.

Fiddling with the menus (believe me) is really a nightmare!

the isoimage of eduKnoppix can be downloaded from
www.eduknoppix.org, and will be also presented next week
at the meeting in Bordeaux

Maurizio Paolini

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