Our series of articles by Google Code In students continues with a review of educational applications GCompris by Sergey Popov.
If you have children, you know how hard it is to make a child happy and interested in something for a long time. But there is an easy way to do that: show them GCompris. It is a really great game set for children 2-10 years old and they surely will like it. You may ask, if GCompris is really so good, and I would answer you "Yes". And that is not a joke. Here are some proofs of that. But, you know, nothing is ideal, so I will also mention its bad sides (unfortunately, they are present too).
To start, I will show you some of the advantages:
- It is totally opensource: What could be better that a huge, excellent, full of cool features and opensource application? Probably nothing.
- Easily customizable: As result of the previous paragraph, it is a really good feature, which most alternatives doesn't have.
- A lot of activities: More than 120 of interesting, beautifully drawn and useful games for you child - that is really amazing!
- Portable: Going on a trip with a little kid? No problems, since you can use GCompris even on Android!
- Useful for children: GCompris activities train children in arithmetics, drawing, logic, using a computer and so on.
But there are also still some disadvantages:
- No iOS support: That's it, GCompris currently does not support iOS. But that will be fixed very soon!
- No administration panel: It existed in the legacy, GTK+ version but in the Qt one it is not implemented yet.
- No ability to separate users / groups: As result of the previous paragraph, you cannot set two different activity sets for John and Joey, for example.
There are not a lot of alternatives to GCompris. There are Easybits Magic Desktop, Timez Attack and Sebran's ABC. But they are not as cool as GCompris:
- Easybits Magic Desktop is not as customizable - you cannot change anything in its code.
- Timez Attack teaches children only arithmetic operations and nothing else.
- Sebran's ABC's interface is not great and it has much fewer activities.
- None of them support Linux, Mac OS X and Android but GCompris does.
Recently I added more levels to some activities, fixed a bug, created more bonus characters and updated documentation. And my little brother really likes GCompris - that is his favorite program on my PC :).
So, I think GCompris is one of the best educational application for kids. What's your opinion about that?