GCompris userguide completely free educational software suite (Chapter I).

GCompris is a completely free educational software suite which contains a wide range of activities. It offers various activities aimed at covering a variety of fields such as the functioning of the computer, using the mouse and keyboard, general learning, reading, writing, foreign languages, algebra, as well as various activities such as memory and logic games, scientific experiments etc. In GCompris you will find many individual software packages which together make up the complete GCompris suite of activities. Unfortunately, it is difficult to follow and maintain them as each one offers different graphic interfaces which vary widely in quality. The purpose of GCompris is to provide a development platform for educational activities. GCompris is part of GNU project and is placed under the GPL license.

gcomprisMinimal configuration.

  • Processor : Pentium 3 500Mhz
  • Memory (RAM) : 512 Mega Bytes
  • Disk : 400 Mega Bytes
  • Operating system : GNU/Linux, BSD, MacOSX, Windows
  • Video : A 3D card is NOT required. 32 bits color depth mandatory.

Installation.

The software is delivered under several forms. Follow the process according to your case.

  • GNU/Linux : Use the packages delivered by your GNU/Linux distribution. You may have to install the package gcompris-sound-en to have the english voices. If GCompris is not packaged in your Linux distribution, please contact them to ask for the inclusion of GCompris in your Linux distribution.
  • Windows : Delivered under a classic installer for Windows. This version requires an activation code.
  • MacOSX : Delivered under a classic installer. This version requires an activation code.

The user interface.

The interface is designed for easy use by small children. GCompris is controlled with a mouse, it cannot be used without a mouse or a pointing system.

 

Main window.

gcompris1

The main menu. On the left are the main sections. On the top are the sub menus.

When you start the program, GCompris shows a graphic interface which presents the list of activities with a control bar at the bottom.

Each icon represents an activity. When the mouse is set on it, the activity is highlighted and the name, description and author of the activity are displayed in the description area.

Around each one, you can find small icons which give additional information about the activity. A simple click on the icon will lead you to an activity or a menu of activities.

An icon indicates if a functioning sound system is required for an activity :

  • Soundspeaker : The audio files are included for this activity.
  • Soundspeaker with a red cross : The audio files are not installed in the present language.

The stars indicates the age group for which each game is designed :

  • Difficulty star1.png 1, 2 or 3 stars - for 2 to 6 years old.
  • Difficulty star4.png 1, 2 or 3 complex stars - greater than 6 year olds.

At the bottom of the screen there is a control bar for GCompris. The following icons are described below from the right to the left (the icons are only displayed if they are available in the activity) :

  • Home.png Home - Leaves the current activity, returns to the previous menu.
  • Button ok.png Thumb - Validate, confirm your answer. Some activities do not detect automatically whether or not the child has completed the task. In this case, you have to click on this icon. You can also use the "enter" key on your keyboard.
  • Level1.png Die - The present level is displayed. Click on the die to select another level. Generally, the activities offer several levels whose numbers depend on the activity. In GCompris, it is possible to go to the next level without having completed the current level.
  • Repeat.png Lips - Ask GCompris to repeat the question.
  • Help.png Question mark - Display the help dialog box. Sometimes, an activity can be too complex to be described easily in the description area. In this case, this function gives access to additional information.
  • Config.png Tool box - Configuration menu. The configuration is saved in the user repository(Folder) under the name .config/gcompris/gcompris.conf. This is a text file which can be edited manually.
  • About.png Tux and his plane - Information box on GCompris, presents the main contributors and the version of the software.
  • Button exit.png Night - Quit GCompris. You can also use the short cut on your keyboard 'ctrl-q'.

gcompris2

Kiosk mode.

When you use GCompris with small children or on a self-service kiosk, you can disable a certain number of options :

  • gcompris --disable-quit : disable the "quit" button.
  • gcompris --disable-config : disable the "configuration" button
  • gcompris --disable-level : disable the level button

These options can of course be combined.

 

Keyboard shortcuts.

Shortcut
Action

Escape or ctrl-w
Quit the current activity or dialog then return to the main menu.

ctrl-q
Quit GCompris without further notice.

ctrl-f
Toggle fullscreen mode.

ctrl-m
Toggle sound mute.

ctrl-b
Display or Hide the control bar.

Gcompris_screenshots

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