Project to stimulate Edu-FLOSS development

Charles Cossé ccosse at
Mon Jan 9 18:54:13 UTC 2017

Hi Bastien,

Wow! What fantastic work at!  I just went through
all of the activities and it was a great user experience, design and
everything.  I also tried kalulu-the-gathering but encountered an error
when trying to run testAll ... but looking forward to exploring it, as well.

So about the site, may I ask: how many developers, how
much time to develop, how is it licensed, and of most interest ... what is
the incentive and motivation of developers to participate?

I respond to more inline, below ...

On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 12:27 AM, Bastien Guerry <bzg at> wrote:

> Hi Charles,
> I find the whole idea very interesting, thanks for sharing it.
> At OLPC France (a grassroots organization, born in 2008 after I spent
> some time working for OLPC), we are developing
> It is a rewrite of the Sugar environment ( in
> HTML and Javascript.  You can try it here:
> I've also dedicated some time last year to a free software to let
> children learn how to read, write and count.  It is called "Kalulu",
> it is currently under heavy development, and will be available soon.
> You can see the code here :
> but the developers still need to package and document it properly.
> I'm mentioning those two projects because several of your concerns
> were part of the discussions we held for those two software.
> For Sugarizer: children use it on their tablets, and they connect to a
> Raspberry Pi 3 located in the classroom.  When children connect to the
> Sugarizer server on our RPi3, they can resume their sessions, store
> their activities, discuss together, etc.  The RPi3 is also used to
> store videos and audio, because we found out accessing internet while
> in the classroom was neither easy nor very useful, attention-wise.

I see, and also in the framework which I wrote, the credit-earning website
could run on the R-Pi as both R-Pi/credit-meter and online credit-feeder
sites run on identical Gentoo Linux installations.   However, in my scheme,
running the activities on the R-Pi would defeat the purpose of the
ecosystem by allowing the users to drift away and not continue engagement
with developers, including the distribution of their proposed subscription
fee among devs of their choice.  In 2014 I did produce a 4G R-Pi SD image
called "developer's sandbox" which ran both sites on the R-Pi.

As the scheme was difficult to explain, in part because it aimed to appeal
in 2x different ways to 2x different communities, I put-together a demo
site with both the credit-meter and credit-feeder *online* this time, and
working with each other.   Then also, to complete the picture, I added-in
the interface where parents could add play-money to their accounts and give
freely to (imaginary) developers.   In other words, I assembled all the
pieces and tried to make it like a "game" where people could try the
various roles (parent, child, developer) without using real money.   I
resurrected that site a couple weeks ago at, and it is
what it is ... but that's what I'd like to re-develop with help from
interested people.   Or perhaps as some collaboration with other efforts,
such as sugarizer, that I was unaware of.

> For now children are free to play with any activity, but having a
> framework where the teacher can say : "Children A has to learn X in
> order to access to Activity Z" would certainly be useful.
> As for Kalulu, conditional learning paths is at the very heart of the
> conception of the software.  Children are required to learn a lesson,
> then can reinforce what they learned by freely playing with treasures
> that unlock progressively.  (The cognitive scientist Stanislas Dehaene
> has been involved in designing this software, and it implements well
> tested research about motivation and learning, at least for learning
> how to read, write and count.
> So in general, I invite you to test sugarizer and I'll let you know
> when Kalulu is available for testing, as both may be of interest for
> your project -- either as softwares you can contribute to, or as
> platforms that would benefit from your ideas and code.
> Both are HTML/JS and use an Apache 2.0 license.
> All best,
> --
>  Bastien

So I should explain that all I ever wanted to do was write more indie
education software ... I have many ideas, but there's no incentive.  My
kids are grown but I've still got ideas and interest.  So my goal is to be
a member of a community which enables free, independent edu software
developers to go about doing what they love.  And the whole scheme I
described is the only workable equation that I've been able to put
together.  But yeah, I want to be doing what you are doing, i.e. working on
the software ... but I'm prepared to devote myself to community building
and leading such a campaign if FSF/E can adopt / endorse ... I do truly
believe that the whole ecosystem equation can not only work, but attract
developers and produce a lot more free education software -- Javascript
developed to run as plugin to credit-feeder website OR run statically and
independently anywhere.

Best regards,
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