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Where goes DoudouLinux?

November 2010 — last update November 2013

All the versions of this article: [čeština] [English] [Español] [français] [italiano] [Bahasa Malaysia] [română] [русский] [српски]

DoudouLinux reached a satisfying development status by mid 2011, when the first stable released was published. Since then, version 2.0 Hyperborea brought many improvements to make DoudouLinux even more attractive. However, many improvements can still be brought, since many additional ideas have grown around the initial idea: the project is still growing and will be still growing during a long time. Read our manifesto and the page Why should I try DoudouLinux? to learn more about the project motivations and philosophy.

All these ideas do not necessarily match technical topics as you will see. Therefore, if you like the project and wish to contribute to it, we try to maintain in this page a list of ideas to develop so that you can have an idea of topics that may match your skills and wishes. A more exhaustive list of tasks can be viewed on our project management portal, using the Gantt chart.

Road map

The DoudouLinux team usually tries to publish a new development version every 3 months. They are named according to the year-month of release, for example, 2011-02, 2011-05, 2011-08, etc. However, the development cycle is currently a bit disturbed by the need to move to Debian Wheezy, which still hasn’t started. For the stable releases, there is no predefined cycle, although we also bring stable release updates regularly, at least to provide improved translations. The first stable release, the 1.x series named Gondwana was published by end June 2011. The second stable release, the 2.x series named Hyperborea, was published by mid June 2013. We intend to publish the 3.x series in 2014, most probably by T4 2014. There is no fixed date for such releases because priorities may change with time and we have very limited resources – but you can contribute to extend our resources to make us go faster ;).

Some planned technical evolutions for upcoming releases are listed below. This does not mean that non-technical aspects will not change, on the contrary, we also wish to improve the graphical design going forward and much more! Again, note that because we are a pure community project of people working mainly on their free time, we do not have a fixed planning to implement these improvements. Here are the technical evolutions we would like to achieve:

  • move to Debian Wheezy, the latest stable Debian release
  • use the armhf port for ARM™ processors, use Raspbian for Raspberry PI’s
  • provide a larger DVD with all the languages, for 32 bits or 64 bits Intel-like processors
  • provide a set of CD’s with a reduced set of applications, for older processors starting from 486
  • a tool to limit computer use during certain times of day (hours, duration)
  • a tool to set web parental controls
  • a tool to display persistence activation in the panel (with a notification icon)
  • a tool to change the keyboard layout (and more) of a previously downloaded ISO image
  • replace the activity menu with a more flexible tool, better fitting the need
  • improve user interface for the Live USB media tool
  • improve user interface for the persistence activation tool
  • improve user interface for the hardware issue report tool
  • an easy to use graphical package manager, with applications fitting children or young teenagers only

More details for some of these tasks can be found on our project management tool.

How to improve DoudouLinux

Of course we are always interested in finding new contributors to translate both CD and website, so you can have a look at the section Translation status and help us achieve this huge task. Nevertheless our project can benefit from very different professionals: graphics designers, musicians, writers, specialist in communication, interface development, code development, system tool development, web services development, etc. Of course the main issue of cultural content is its copyright. We may need to redo artwork by ourselves to solve this issue.

As of this writing, hot topics that we wish to develop are the following:

  • children activities
    • collaborative activities
    • allow children use computers in their real plays (kind of robotics)
    • more graphics applications (a cartoon editor, 3D design in order to use 3D printers, etc.)
    • PDF documents with manual activities (folding, do it yourself, etc.)
    • PDF courses (drawing courses, music courses, etc.)
  • graphics design
    • creation of a graphical theme for the full environment
    • derive theme for website
    • communication supports (leaflet, poster)
  • music
    • provide children songs using Songwrite
    • provide traditional musics or songs
    • create modern music pieces (for children) → samba, jazz, blues, funk, etc.
  • writing
    • provide traditional poems and fables
    • provide novels and short stories
    • rewrite/find classical stories such as mythologies
  • communication
    • write articles for online magazines or community websites
    • make videos and tutorials
    • help users in one of the CD’s languages
    • poster campaigns, organizing demonstration shows
  • development
    • a DoudouLinux server flavor for computer rooms
    • install DoudouLinux inside a Windows® system without repartitioning, à la Ubuntu
    • have a DoudouLinux version for PowerPC processors, the old Macintosh platform
  • web development, in order to generate a customized DoudouLinux version
    • let users change keyboard layout online
    • let users change language online
    • let users change time zone online
    • let users change the activity menu online
    • an audio translation portal

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, so if you think that we have overlooked something, do not hesitate to share with us!

Other orientations

We wish to favor sister initiatives, projects that have a similar philosophy as our project like Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap or Open Clipart Library. DoudouLinux should not only help children master computers, but also teach them the benefits of sharing at a large scale by offering them ways to achieve self-fulfillment freely. For this reason one of the team concerns is to make DoudouLinux a kind of portal to the movement of free software and well-known similar movements like free knowledge and free data (Wikipedia and others) or open devices (devices with open specifications, to let anyone the opportunity to make, test and improve freely). We have already started to work on this topic by changing the DoudouLinux web browser homepage into kind of portal to digital freedom movements.

Another concern is to ensure the project durability. For this reason we have given the project a legal structure in order to welcome funding (donation, sponsorship and other allocations) and to sell CD’s or USB keys: this is the DoudouLinux association [1]. This will help us rent a powerful computing infrastructure (servers) and finance promotion events such as participating in expositions and salons. If the budget is sufficient, we can even imagine to let people test DoudouLinux online on rented servers through remote control systems like VNC or a remote X server. We also plan to partly fund our most active contributors to let them allocate more time to the project.

Footnotes

[1] This is a typical French non-profit organization, called “Association loi 1901”.


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