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Introducing DoudouLinux

Hello there!

I'm the founder of the project DoudouLinux [1], a young live distro for kids, and I'd like to introduce our project to the Debian Derivatives community since we are willing to join your initiative. To say the truth we had looked at the derivatives initiative months ago and, after a kind discussion started by Paul Wise, we are now diving into it! So what is DoudouLinux?

DoudouLinux is of course based on Debian and uses Debian Live tools. It focuses on providing an environment as easy to use as a gaming console, for children aged from 2 and in the children's language natively. Our first official release is supported in 15 languages [2] while translation into 8 new languages [3] has started after the release was out.

DoudouLinux offers [4] the traditional Linux educational games, plus multimedia applications, applications for work, as well as entertaining games (Linux has to be fun too!). There is an extensive review on LWN [5]. We are currently moving toward digital contents because we think that not only children have to understand that computers are fully programmable and should obey their owner only, but they also have to learn how to use digital contents and moreover how to create them (in order to publish them online later, with a cool license ;) ).

On the technical side our philosophy is to keep stuck to Debian as much as possible. We are then trying to patch very few packages and to avoid including non-officially maintained software. Due to the use of a live system build process, our changes to the standard Debian flavor are generally not available in patched packages (it is much easier to put a modified file in the live tree than to make a package – sorry). Our changes are of different nature:

* improved translations, of course, including icon files
* bug fixing (oh yes, there are still few bugs in Debian apps – nobody's perfect) * system configuration changes, for example we had to move squid/dansguardian service start into ifup/ifdown scripts * feature addition, for example a small patch in lxlauncher provides a per-user application menu

We are also planning to bring more important changes to lxlauncher, in order to merge lxpanel icons into it or to be able to place icons differently in tabs. Finally we are going to move from Lenny to Squeeze and to port our distro to the ARM platform. Not to tell a word about artwork, graphics or music.

As you can see we have many ideas in many areas. We started to discuss with Paul in order to know how to get closer to our father project Debian. Unfortunately we are currently lacking of volunteers due to our youth (we blew our first candle last month) so don't worry if you don't see us active in the derivatives during the coming weeks. We are highly interested into participating indeed.

Jean-Michel Philippe

[1] http://www.doudoulinux.org/
[2] http://download.doudoulinux.org/
[3] http://identi.ca/doudoulinux
[4] http://www.doudoulinux.org/web/english/documentation-7/applications-13/index.html
[5] http://lwn.net/Articles/450503/

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