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Re: [school-discuss] tuxmath

Le 11/02/2015 13:02, LM a Ãcrit :
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?



As the creator of GCompris (http://gcompris.net), your message brings some important points. We all know it is hard to maintain software in the long run. My credo since I started GCompris was to say that it is easier to maintain one software including 100 activities than maintaining 100 software packages. It makes the software easier to find and easier to use because all the activities have a common look and feel.

In today world, it is important for our software to be available everywhere whatever the platforms. Schools have or will soon have a mix of tablet and PCs with various operating systems. Having a single package is also an advantage, porting and packaging to a new platform has to be done only once.

As you may have seen, we started to port GCompris from Gtk+ to Qt Quick to let us address the tablet users. We have currently ported about 80 activities on 140. Here is the official news announcing the switch:

Over time many developers, and this is normal, stop maintaining their creation, it will be easier to find a new maintainer for a large software package than for many individual applications. In order to avoid being isolated, we decided for the new version to join the KDE Community. It worked very well for us to be hosted by Gnome for the Gtk+ version. While it's not miraculous, a developer community help to feel less isolated and brings workforce and support.

In the TuxMath case, I think it would make a good candidate for a GCompris activity, especially with Qt Quick we have the OpenGL power underneath and it is very easy to create animations.

That said, it won't be my priority until we complete the port of the Gtk+ version. So if anybody want to work on this your welcome.

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