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Re: priority #1 in edu software: good and easy visual multimedia developer's tools

Roman Suzi wrote:
> So, lets go with Gnome as a standard.
> However, other interfaces must be also considered  and  core  +
> frontends thinking is fair enough.
I think we're on the same wavelength here.
> But so  far  open  source  has  NO  (AFAIK)  followers  in  the
> edutainment sphere and multimedia.
> Why is that?
> To create a multimedia product like  'Living  books'  are  many
> people add up. And the underlying tools could be opensource and
> more, but not the content!
Part of the reason is that (especially with "Living Books") the programs
aren't completely original but are adaptations of regular books.  The
rights to use those books have to be given by the copyright holders, who
usually want to be paid; therefore the program has to cost something
just to cover the licensing or the content.

> However, multimedia creations  will  never  be  freeware!  They
> can't be! And this is a major brake  for  Linux  in  education:
> Windows/Macs are deployed due to wide acceptance by  multimedia
> vendors...
I don't know about that.  You could make the same argument as to why
software can't ever be free.  And we know that it can.  At any rate,
while waiting for someone (probably us) to start writing the free
edutainment stuff you can take a look at the Commercial Port Advocacy
HOWTO <http://www.seul.org/pub/howto/cpah.html> for ideas on how to
convince those commercial software houses to port their products to
Linux.  I know it's not the perfect idea, but it may get some of the
content available to us.  Yeah, I wrote the CPA HOWTO, so this is
somewhat self-promotional.  Sorry.

> I know, its the major factor, that brings  promotional  efforts
> of Linux in education (in Russia we have another factor:  Linux
> is english, Mac and Win are russified.)
There isn't a Russian version?  I know the LDP HOWTOs have been
translated, and one of the HOWTOs is on doing Cyrillic output from
LaTeX; I would have thought that someone would have Russified Linux
too.  Yet another project for someone.

> In the edu software domain I see something like HyperCard to be
> the most needed open source application: having  this  we  will
> observe endless enthusiasm and creativeness.
> It MUST be open source to ensure its stay for a long time!
The only thing along these lines I've found is Visual Tcl, which is a
nice IDE for Tcl/Tk development.  The user will still have to know
Tcl/Tk to use it properly, so it's probably not ready for the average
HyperCard/HyperStudio user in terms of ease of use.  The author of
Visual Tcl was quite agreeable about extending it for ease of use (he
didn't have the time for it, but said he'd be happy if someone else
wanted to do it so long as they contributed their changes back to the
root source tree).  If you want to look at it and extend it to approach
the need Roman has outlined, go to

Doug Loss                 It is impossible to imagine Goethe
Data Network Coordinator  or Beethoven being good at billiards
Bloomsburg University     or golf.
dloss@bloomu.edu                H. L. Mencken