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[school-discuss] tuxmath

How many of you are using tuxmath?  Would be curious to know what
version and on what operating system you're using it.  Also, did you
build it from source or download from a distribution or from the site
that maintains tuxmath?

I wanted to see how hard it would be to update tuxmath to use SDL 2.x
instead of SDL 1.2.x.  My first step was to attempt to build it from
source.  I was rather surprised at the state of some of the code.
There's a switch to build without network support.  However, if you
use it, the build fails, so looks like no one's tried building it that
way in a while.  Had a similar issue with trying to use SDL_TTF
instead of SDL_Pango.  It builds with the SDL_TTF switch.  However,
SDL_TTF does not handle display of multiline strings.  So, any menu
items that were supposed to wrap to a new line looked really bad on
screen.  Also, SDL_Pango hasn't been ported to SDL 2.x yet, so using
SDL2_TTF would be a requirement when updating tuxmath for SDL 2.x.  I
have no idea how someone managed to build the source on Windows or
what compiler he used.  The SDL screen variable is declared in two
places, the library and the program.  Some compilers, including the
one I was using, treat that as two different variables even if they
have the same name.  So, the variable is initialized in the program
but not in the dll.  Thus, the program crashes as soon as it tries to
access the variable in the library code.  I also noticed some code to
add accessibility features using the espeak library, but the code is
for an older version of tuxmath and never got integrated into the
later versions.

I think it would be great if Schoolforge could find ways to get
teachers and developers working together more often in developing Open
Source software.  Maybe we can come up with some projects we want to
work with that would welcome the exchange.  Educators could give
feedback on what new features might be most helpful and help test out
programs.  I'm not sure if tuxmath is a good candidate for a project,
but I'd be very curious to know if there are any features missing
others would like to see in it.  I'm guessing my list of desired
features (SDL 2.x compatibility, simplified dependencies, cut out some
repetitious code and add better checking for string bounds, add
accessibility code for espeak) probably isn't the same as what most
other people would want.  Are there any Open Source programs out there
that you'd really like to see a specific feature added to?  Are there
any ideas for Open Source programs you'd like to see created that no
one appears to be working on yet?

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