[kde-edu]: KDE Edu & KDE4

George Wright gwright at kde.org
Thu Aug 11 04:40:02 CEST 2005

Given that discussions are now raging for KDE4 and how KDE should change for 
it, I would like to propose some changes for the KDE Edu module.

In my opinion, the module is far too big and confusing. The compressed tarball 
for the module weighs in at a hefty 28MB; bigger than any of the other KDE 
application modules, which is a bit ridiculous.

I did a quick check on the amount of space each application in the module is 
taking (from the recently released 3.5 alpha tarball), giving the following:

848K    ./klatin
1.7M    ./khangman
752K    ./kpercentage
660K    ./libkdeedu
740K    ./kturtle
912K    ./keduca
3.1M    ./klettres
2.6M    ./ktouch
1.4M    ./kwordquiz
3.4M    ./kgeography
2.4M    ./kvoctrain
12M     ./doc
1.3M    ./kmplot
23M     ./kstars
3.9M    ./kig
6.7M    ./kiten
1008K   ./kmessedwords
936K    ./kverbos
3.8M    ./kalzium
564K    ./kbruch
73M     total

From this it is clear that KStars is the largest of all the applications. This 
is because of its huge data files which total 16MB uncompressed. This, when 
compressed using bzip2, takes up 5.6MB, which is about 20% of the 
distribution tarball. This, in my opinion, is far too big to be shipped 
within the module. Would it be better to provide the absolute minimal data 
needed for very basic usage, then making the bulk of the data an optional 
download at the user's request?

Then we come to the other applications. Many of them are inundated with large 
graphics which take up lots of space. Are these really necessary within these 
applications? Of course, converting the graphics to SVG will really help in 
this scenario, but I fail to see the necessity of many of these graphics, 
apart from to provide annoying and obstructing "eye-candy" for the user.

I feel that KDE Edu is trying to tackle too broad an audience, with its target 
area being from pre-education (klettres, khangman) right the way through to 
higher education (kalzium, kmplot). In addition, some of the applications fit 
better into the gaming category than the educational one (such as khangman). 
I feel it is necessary to reorganise the module and perhaps split it up into 
kdekids/kdeedu which would reflect more accurately their contents.

We also have many applications which are far too specific; kbruch, kmplot and 
kpercentage, for example, which should really be combined into a single 
application - kmath or something. The same applies for some of the language 
based programs.

The last thing is that many of the applications duplicate each other's 
functionality. Take, for example, the issue of kvoctrain and kwordquiz. Both 
have very similar functionality, but both coexist in the same module. Surely 
it would be better for these two applications to merge and their development 
teams work together instead of duplicating each others efforts? 

George Wright, http://www.gwright.org.uk
KDE Developer - http://www.kde.org
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