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Debian Jr. -- How are we doing?



   We have established a [1]page at [2]DebianWiki as a space where users
   and developers can collaborate on documentation. Beyond merely
   [3]listing packages here, the site documents why Debian Jr. has
   chosen to include each package, and what particular features or
   mis-features they may have for children. The community of developers
   and users is encouraged to make requests for including new packages in
   Debian Jr. here, cross-referencing them to RFP or ITP bug numbers in
   the bug database at bugs.debian.org as appropriate.

   So, teetering on the brink of the release of Woody, how are we doing
   with Debian Jr. anyway? Let's have a look at our goals:

   Making Debian desirable to children
          The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. Are the
          children in your life using Debian? If so, what do they like
          about it? What don't they like about it?

   Working with other child-oriented free software projects
          Recently, I officially became liaison between [4]Tux4Kids and
          Debian Jr. The [5]TuxPaint package is the first new Tux4Kids
          sponsored package to be added to our project since that
          relationship was formalized. We look forward to more great
          software from Tux4Kids.

   Applications
          I think we have done well to give broad coverage over a number
          of categories. If you feel there are still holes, please
          [6]submit requests to fill them in.

   Childproofing and account management
          We haven't produced anything here yet. However, we are working
          behind the scenes with the [7]debian-med project on the
          foundations for this. The basic idea is that all subproject
          users (whether med, junior, or some other similar Debian
          subproject) should belong to an appropriate Unix group. This
          allows certain account features to be implemented for all
          members of the group. The first of these will be subproject
          menus.

   Learning to use the computer
          This has been addressed up until now merely by seeking for and
          including packages which support learning about the computer,
          such as [8]Gcompris, which teaches small children how to use
          the mouse and keyboard as well as other basic skills. There is
          certainly room for improvement here. Perhaps we could record
          some ideas at our new [9]Wiki site.

   User interface
          Although you haven't seen active discussion on the list, I have
          been working with Andreas Tille of debian-med on this. You can
          expect some actual code before the summer is out.

   Family guidance
          Another possible topic for the new Wiki which hasn't really
          been given any attention.

   Children's System
          I have heard from time to time users share with me on irc and
          elsewhere that they are setting up systems specifically for
          their children. If you have a story to share, we want to hear
          it and learn from your experience.

   Ports
          I think we have our hands full enough with material either
          already in Debian or that can be readily packaged for Debian.
          Still, if there is a particular applications which you feel
          needs to be ported to Linux and you have the time and energy to
          petition for a port, go for it.

   Internationalization
          The Debian Jr. web site itself (at least the front page) has
          now been translated into six languages. Also, the number of
          applications with alternate languages supported is on the rise.
          However, nobody has made an effort to focus on Debian Jr.
          applications in particular. If that sort of work interests you,
          we'd like to hear from you.

   Marketing & PR
          Andreas Tille has been a spokesperson for the Debian Jr.
          project at some recent speaking engagements where he gave talks
          about his own new project, Debian Med, which is patterned after
          Debian Jr. We appreciate his continued efforts to spread the
          word, as well as the work he is doing with Debian Jr. on a
          common infrastructure for both Debian Jr. and Debian Med.

   1. http://wiki.debian.net/DebianJr
   2. http://wiki.debian.net/FrontPage
   3. http://wiki.debian.net/JuniorPackages
   4. http://www.tux4kids.org/
   5. http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/tuxpaint/
   6. http://wiki.debian.net/JuniorRequestToInclude
   7. file://localhost/u3/home/synrg/devel/debian-med
   8. http://packages.debian.org/gcompris
   9. http://wiki.debian.net/DebianJr

Ben Armstrong
-- 
    nSLUG       http://www.nslug.ns.ca      synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
    Debian      http://www.debian.org       synrg@debian.org
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