[kde-edu]: KEduca resurrection (possible GSoC project)

Albert Astals Cid aacid at kde.org
Sun Mar 28 15:17:53 CEST 2010

A Diumenge, 28 de març de 2010, Mauricio Piacentini va escriure:
> Hi, list. I am currently working on a proposal to GSoC to resurrect KEduca,
> but before I commit to it I would like to get some feedback from the list.
> As you guys know, there are several schools and institutions down here in
> Brazil (and I am sure in other countries as well) that still use KEduca for
> tests, even if there are several known bugs and the app is not ported to
> KDE 4. This is from an IRC log between Anne-Marie and me, from 2007:
> ---
> <*piacentini*> Another guy was consterned when I told you about KEduca not
> being in 4.0
> <*piacentini*> He says he used it already for test with more than 45,000
> students
> <*annma*> oh
> <*annma*> really?
> <*piacentini*> And he changed his lecture when I told you this
> <*annma*> :(
> <*piacentini*> Gonna tell people that they need to colaborate, participate,
> or products can die
> <*annma*> yes
> <*annma*> whenever we looked at KEduca it did not work
> <*piacentini*> I hinted (he works on a government) that he could even
> sponsor someone to work on it
> <*annma*> but if we had use cases we would have fix it
> <*piacentini*> Yes, I asked him for a list of things he likes, things he
> does not like, what he uses
> <*piacentini*> And we talked a bit about it
> <*piacentini*> He says (really) that he estimates that the state has saved
> R$ 15.000 in printing when he switched to KEduca tests
> <*piacentini*> That is about U$10.000
> <*piacentini*> per quarter
> <*piacentini*> Notice that these are tests applied on free courses to a
> poor community, where they train people in free software and also in other
> stuff like mechanics, cooking, etc
> <*piacentini*> So for this sort of feedback events like this are good imo,
> hopefully he will get back to me, and we can use this story to motivate
> someone to port KEduca to KDE4, and address its shortcomings. I got moved,
> but my plate is more than full for now :)
> --
> After that Matt Williams did some work on KEduca, but as his plate is also
> more than full (between PhD, lots of projects and being the KDE Games
> module coordinator) the effort got stalled again.
> KEduca ships by default in the KDE 3.5.9 based Linux Educacional distro,
> delivered to thousands of schools by the Brazilian government. (
> http://piacentini.livejournal.com/7871.html). So its user base is actually
> increasing, which is a problem as these people will get orphaned soon (next
> year) when Linux Educacional finally makes the switch to KDE 4.x.
> I realized that we will possibly loose KEduca for good if we do not find an
> alternative way of supporting the port. This is why I considered applying
> for a GSoC slot as a student to do it. Several people tried to work on it
> on their spare time. but the results are not good after several years.
> Working in KEduca is not "sexy". The 3.x code base is, well, not easy to
> navigate around. Matt (with the advice of Pino) decided to rewrite it back
> in 2007, but this is an effort that takes a lot of free time, which is
> something most of us do not have, considering our current projects. And,
> more importantly, I think we need someone that could not only do the port
> as a quick summer job, but really take over the application and become its
> maintainer for at least two release cycles. This is involves an attempt to
> maintain
> compatiblity (write a converter) for older tests, and follow through with
> everything necessary to make sure the application gets included in KDE 4.6.
> So it is something that would start as a GSoC project (and with the initial
> monetary help that comes with it), but needs to go beyond that, with at
> least a 18-24 month commitment in maintaining it.
> At the same time, I am currently working on my Master thesis at PUC-SP,
> related to educational open source software, its social and cognitive
> impact, which limits the time I have for open source development related
> to, for example, KDE Games. But it is possible that this work on KEduca
> could be featured a part of my thesis, so by doing this work as part of
> GSoC I could possibly tie several loose ends:
> - the need to port KEduca
> - get Google to support the initial part of this effort (pay for it), as
> voluntary work on this project has failed a couple of times
> - reuse research work done as part of my thesis in the project
> All in all it seems like a good thing to do, but for this I need to know
> what you people think about it, and (very important!), if one of you is
> willing to do the mentoring (Matt, Anne, Albert, Pino, Aleix, ..?) I also
> want to make sure the GSoC money is used for something that will be
> long-lived: there is a mix of applications between those that attract
> newcomers (which sadly go away as soon as the project is complete), those
> that manage to attract new and committed contributors (great!), and some
> that are used to support the work of existing community members, like this
> one.
> So, opinions on this? Should I post the idea and submit a proposal for it?
> Or is it a waste of a good project slot :) ?

A good and working KEduca would rock, and GSoc seems an excuse as good as any 
other to start it's revival, that said, i can't commit to any mentoring since 
my available time has dropped since i live on my own and i'm having a hard 
time already keeping up with my previous projects.


> Regards,
> Mauricio Piacentini

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