OLPC Courseware Review

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There is a body of Open Source courseware that already exists. Please evaluate these programs and write a detailed review on this page. If you know of a program that should be reviewed, add it to the list.

Note that some of these existing projects may need to be ported in order to be usable. For instance changing the GUI from KDE to GTK. Please note this in the reviews.

Courseware to be Reviewed

  • Isard
  • KSEG
  • Dr. Geo, Interactive geometry software for XO OLPC, GNU/Linux, Windows, Mac OSX

Detailed Reviews



Interactive Geometry


Kig - KDE Interactive Geometry
  • handbook.
  • Direct manipulation + macros + python.
  • Unclear whether internationalized or not.
  • KDE's attempt to replace KSEG, Dr.Geo, KGeo(dead), etc. But seems to currently be missing much.
  • Requires Qt3.
  • manual.
  • Direct manipulation + macros. No programming language.
  • Internationalized.


  • Java
  • docs
  • Direct manipulation. Macros planned.
  • Internationalized (at least the docs are).
  • Award winning. Wiki. I tried a mandrake rpm on a x86_64 2ishGHz redhat (current). The UI was sluggish. And had minor problems (an unreadable menu). 310MB memory. Otherwise nice. Resource usage makes this a non-starter, yes?
  • "only works under VisualWorks". A non-commercial version of VW is available, but requires registration. So it seems a deal would be required. The VisualWorks product manager's email is on the webpage. Perhaps Isard might be ported to squeak.
  • Manual.
  • Direct manipulation + macros + smalltalk.
  • Unclear if internationalized (but I haven't even looked at the source).
  • Java
  • Internationalized? ENglish-ification of the website doesn't seem to be working, so its hard to tell how much is available in other than german.
  • Linux installers (with and without jre) failed on an up-to-date x86_64 redhat. No rpms.
  • Looks interesting, and rich. But java.
  • Java
  • Java
  • Looks long dead. Java.

Other topics

  • 3D "Interactive" Geometry
  • 3D (may be a performance issue?)
  • Python programatic interface. No direct manipulation for construction. (Someone needs to write a GUI wrapper;).
  • Interesting in its own right, but not a competator for an olpc "interactive geometry" package.


Interactive Geometry
Kig(KDE) seems a locus of future progress, and is python scriptable. But it is not as featureful as others. If we need GTK, then Dr.Geo(GTK,may be dying). KSEG(Qt3) or Dr.Geo(GTK,may be dying) might be added for features. But I've not actually used any of them yet! GeoGebra is nice but probably doesn't fit on olpc. -- 13:20, 12 January 2007 (EST)