[kde-edu]: Fwd: kdeedu project

Anne-Marie Mahfouf annemarie.mahfouf at free.fr
Sat Sep 8 17:58:44 CEST 2007

On Saturday 8 September 2007 13:37:51 Ilja wrote:
> So, I hope I'm sending this letter to right address. 
Not sure about most of the parts, you seem to speak about KDE as a whole, 
KDE-Edu in particular and even Linux in general.

As a general note, I would suggest you use an Educational distribution, there 
are a few out there nowadays and they are good, quick to install and easy to 
use and to update.

All global problems you encounter with KDE in general don't concern this list.

About the KDE-Edu website, we try our best to keep it up-to-date and 
informative, obviously there are some pages that are not so good but all in 
all I think it's pretty good.
We'll try to take your remarks in account and improve things. We badly need 
someone to work on the website in fact so if you have a little time maybe you 
can help!

We have a new maintainer for KVocTrain and we keep both programs because 
KVocTrain was done a long time ago (started in 1999) and lots of users want 
us to keep it. KWordQuiz was started at a time when KVocTrain code was a bit 
complicated. We will keep them both for KDE 4 and we'll see the users 
feedback about them.
Please report bugs for the one you use. If the bug is present in the 2 
programs, just report for one and add in the text that it also exists for the 

Best regards,


> I'm not native English 
> speaker, so please forgive me tons of grammar errors.
> For background information:
> Operating system I use is Debian -- Etch on one machine, because I like
> stable and working stuff, and Testing on other, because once I wanted a
> more up-to-date stuff and now there isn't a normal way to downgrade it. [
> http://wiki.debian.org/FromTestingToStable
> ]
> I use GNOME desktop environment, not KDE, because I find it more simpler
> and easier to use. (I have tried to use KDE, too, but after one day
> (evening, actually) I switched back to GNOME.
> Things that annoyed me (there were more, but the most important):
> 1) Too many options, not that I didn't understand what they do, but it was
> very uncomfortable to navigate with keyboard. And no instant apply - while
> using GNOME I understood, how handy it is.
> 2) Widgets on the desktop panel - by default there were installed some
> widgets (I can't remember which exactly), that were not useful for me. I
> wanted to remove some of them, then these horrible pop-ups like "are you
> sure?" were showed. Come on, I know what I'm doing.
> 3) So after I had customized KDE a little for my own use (1.5 hours), i
> felt RSI... Let me explain: I was using laptop and because of these
> infinity+1 different options (and not the best default ones) it wasn't very
> comfortable to use keyboard and since I had no usb-mouse I used touchpad. I
> thought it is enough for today, but ...
> 4) .. my relative wanted to access quickly some "not-my-business" website
> and I opened Konqueror for him. Since he didn't wanted that I would see
> browsing history, he wanted to clean it, but there is no such option (I
> didn't find it) in Konqueror and was forced to open KControl and click
> "clear history" there.
> So I switched back to GNOME.
> Actually I wanted to write about KdeEdu project. (I have actively used only
> KVocTrain, KWordQuiz and also KTouch, a little.)
> As it seems no one has big interest in making KdeEdu project better. Yes
> the different programs are developed by their authors, some also quite
> actively, but project itself is stagnating (or how should I say it):
> 1) Let's begin with the main project site [ http://edu.kde.org/ ].
>   Couple statements from there:
>    1.1) Our primary focus is on schoolchildren aged 3 to 18, and the
> specialized user interface needs of young users. - Yeah, personaly I wasn't
> able to create list words and their translations (and learn them) without
> reading KVocTrain manual for a half an hour.
>   1.2) Please see the online slideshow
> <http://edu.kde.org/presentation/index.php> and learn about our
> software! - Lets
> see it: KDE-Edu for KDE 3.2. (KDE 3.2 released 3 February 2004, as I can
> read from Wikipedia). It needs to be updated, and there could be provided
> links to these program websites, too.
>   1.3) Have a look at the KDE-Edu improvements for KDE
> 3.5<http://edu.kde.org/development/3.5improvements.php>.
> - Ok, that is soon better, but why aren't there provided links to websites
> of updates programs?
>   1.4) http://edu.kde.org/stuff/information.php - Free software is not very
> much used in schools or at home. Linux is even less used on the desktop. -
> It's sad, but I'm not wondering, see Usability.
> 2) Usability
>   2.1) KdeEdu website
>    2.1.1) Assume I want to obtain latest stable release of one KdeEdu
> application. Lets say khangman: http://edu.kde.org/khangman/obtain.php
> KHangMan is shipped out by the distributors with the kdeedu package. Some
> like Debian <http://www.debian.org/> build separate packages for every
> application hosted by the KDE Edu Project. - sometimes the Debian stable
> version is out-of-date and maybe some distribution does not have such great
> package management system. So I want to download the sources myself.
> KDE itself offers a tarball containing the sources of the kdeedu module. It
> can be found on the KDE download page <http://www.kde.org/download/>.
> Follow the instructions in the INSTALL file inside.  - Oh, yeah, again.
> Please open that page [ http://www.kde.org/download/ ] and try to imagine
> that you are visiting first time KDE site and don't know anything about KDE
> project structure. And don't forget that " Our primary focus is on
> schoolchildren aged 3 to 18, and the specialized user interface needs of
> young users.".
> And, would somebody have actually any interest to download 28MB tarball
> only for one small application, especially, if he has got a slow or
> pay-for-every-MB connection. I personally wouldn't. 128kbps * x (seconds) =
> 28MB? Find x.
> The programs there have different authors anyway, so why isn't it possible
> to create one archive for every application (like GNOME does, see below),
> and one for kdeedu libraries?
> Good solution: http://www.gnome.org/start/2.18/
> Scroll down to "Building From Source". There you can easily identify what
> you need to download. It is easily understandable what are "Desktop
> Sources" and "Admin Sources". It isn't very hard to understand which one is
> the latest version and opening one more folder isn't also so painful. There
> is now a list of gnome applications/libraries and you can download that one
> what you exactly need.
>    2.1.2) Maybe someone was able to obtain latest stable version of
> khangman... He used it for a while, but then he discovers a very nasty and
> annoying bug . Of course he hopes, that somebody else will report and fix
> it. (I'm talking about casual (see 1.1) users, not about hardcore
> developers). But the time passes and no one fixes it. ... Now he decides to
> report it (or ask for support), now he
> searches<http://www.google.com/search?q=khangman>for khangman website
> and want to see if this bug is reported soon. --- There
> is no link to Bugzilla, there is no "Report bug" link. (I hope I'm not the
> only person who isn't smart enough to search "report bug" under "Help" menu
> in program..)
>   2.1.3) Open source - the months have been passed, user has learned
> programming for a while, has understood that "fix it yourself or no-one
> will fix it" stuff and wants to fix that bug. But he isn't so sure, if he
> is able to do it. So, he wants to see source code of khangman. Why is it so
> hard to provide link to websvn [e.g.
> http://websvn.kde.org/tags/KDE/3.5.7/kdeedu/khangman/ ]??? For first time
> KDE developer it is very hard annoying process to find it.
>   2.1.4) ...(there are more issues, but I could write about them later)..
> 2.2) General usability
>    2.2.1) There is a such nice site like: http://edu.kde.org/usability/ .
> As I understand it should show that kdeedu is so "ultimately-usable", no
> one writes that kdeedu suite is unusable and to on. I think just no one
> cares about it. I personally see also many usability issues (like
> navigating only with keyboard) and I think others see them too, but it is
> to hard to report them. So there is no one with fresh-look (any better
> word?), and developers don't see issues, because they are too satisfied
> with their own application. --- There could be provided a (link to)
> tutorial where is described how, and where should be these issues be
> reported.
>   2.2.2) http://edu.kde.org/contrib/kvtml.php - is there something like
> specification of that format? KVocTrain offers such advanced stuff as
> antonyms, synonyms, false positives of words, so it would be very nice if
> somewhere (and in easily findable place) were described how they should be
> marked up.
>   2.2.3) http://edu.kde.org/stuff/get_involved.php - Many different people
> will be needed to make the project a success. These include:
> *Parents and teachers*: Feedback is needed to to tell us what is needed,
> how could it be done, to test **alpha and beta** versions and to help with
> the content, etc. -- Above I described how hard it is to obtain *latest
> stable* version of a program...
> *Children : *Children, will, of course be required to help test the
> software.* *They can also tell us their ideas.** -- How?!?
> (....)
> I hope it's enough for the first time, and that you will understand what I
> meant ( and that formatting isn't too bad).
> P.S I also have a little question: There are two similar programs in
> KdeEdu: KWordQuiz and KWordTrain. Both are (at least partially) developed
> by Peter Hedlund < peter AT peterandlinda DOT
> com<peter%20AT%20peterandlinda%20DOT%20com>>.
> First one lacks advanced features, second one usability. But they could
> both have some similar features (like "endless" scrolling like in
> spreadsheet application, so that user doesn't need to insert rows), and,
> for example better "recent files" list. Implementing the same feature twice
> would be waste of time. Wouldn't it better to "merge" these two programs
> into one? Or should I report issues twice - for both programs??

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