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<title>Tux Paint
- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>

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<h2 class="c">Tux Paint</h2>


<div class="photo"> class="pict wide">
<!-- GNUN: localize URL /education/misc/tuxpaint-start-sm.png, /education/misc/tuxpaint-start.png -->
<a href="/education/misc/tuxpaint-start.png">
<img class="recessed" src="/education/misc/tuxpaint-start-sm.png" 
alt="Screenshot of the Tux Paint interface."/></a>

<p>Tux Paint is a cross-platform drawing program created specifically 
for children. Little kids as young as 3 years old have no difficulty in 
finding their way around its clear and intuitive interface which 
features large buttons identified by a label as well as an icon so that
the child can easily recognize them. At the center of the screen there
is a white canvas for the child to draw making use of a wide variety of
tools and paint brushes. As a start, the child can load outlined 
pictures to be colored, as in a coloring-book.</p>

<p>The program includes all of the most common drawing tools such as 
lines and brushes for free-hand drawing and coloring, geometric shapes, 
sizing, an eraser, the "Redo" and "Undo" options, plus sound that plays 
while painting and a special tool called "Magic" for impressive effects: 
rainbow, glitter, chalk, blur, flip, and more.</p>

<p>Along with the Magic tool, the other popular feature among children 
is "Stamp", which contains loads of pictures and clip art that can 
be "stamped" on the canvas, such as plants and flowers, animals, holiday
art, planets, and much more. Many of these stamps are provided with the
program out of the box, and others are available as separate collections 
to be installed. Many users contribute their own art work to be included
as stamps in the program; here we are going to see an example of
how this was done by a group of children from a school in India, thus
putting into practice the software freedom that the program guarantees.</p> 

<p>Tux Paint is available in more than 80 languages, including minority
and right-to-left languages. Such a large number of languages is the
result of contributions made by users from all over the world.</p>

<p>To learn more: <a href="http://directory.fsf.org/project/TuxPaint/">
FSF Directory</a>, <a href="http://tuxpaint.org">
Tux Paint Official Website</a></p>                                                            

<h3>Who's Using It and How</h3>

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<a href="/education/misc/tuxpaint-stamps.jpg">
<img class="recessed" src="/education/misc/tuxpaint-stamps-sm.jpg" 
alt="Screenshot of the Tux Paint interface in Malayalam with native flowers."/></a>

<p>Comments by <a href="http://tuxpaint.org/comments/">home users</a>
and stories from <a href="http://tuxpaint.org/schools/">schools</a>
using Tux Paint are presented in the official website. There are reports 
that the program is one of the most helpful tools for children to get
acquainted with basic computer graphic skills while providing a highly
attractive environment for them. However, the distinctive feature that 
makes Tux Paint preferable to similar drawing software for kids is
the fact that it is Free Software, meaning it comes with no restrictions 
of any sort and the user is granted a series of freedoms. For example, 
one of the freedoms is that the user is allowed to install the program 
in as many work stations as needed, which is specially important for 

<p>Another significant freedom that Free Software guarantees is the 
freedom to modify the program so as to adapt it to the user's needs and 
to redistribute copies of the modified version. It is thanks to this
freedom that Tux Paint is available in so many languages, including
those spoken by minority groups. In fact, translations into less widely
spoken languages have been provided by the users themselves. This is so
because most of the time, companies whose business consists of
development of non-free nonfree software adopt policies on the basis of market
size: if the market is not large enough to ensure profit, they are
generally reluctant to invest on it.</p>

<div id="flowers">
<div class="stamp">
<a href="/education/misc/appooppanthaady.jpg">
<img src="/education/misc/appooppanthaady-sm.jpg"
alt="Image of the Appooppan Thaady flower." /></a>
<p class="c"><a href="/education/misc/appooppanthady.ogg">Listen</a> to a student 
pronounce the name of the Appooppan Thaady flower in Malayalam.</p>
</div> <!-- /stamp -->

<div class="stamp">
<a href="/education/misc/anthoorium.jpg">
<img src="/education/misc/anthoorium-sm.jpg"
alt="Image of the Anthoorium flower." /></a>
<p class="c"><a href="/education/misc/anthoorium.ogg">Listen</a> to a student 
pronounce the name of the Anthoorium flower in Malayalam.</p>
</div> <!-- /stamp -->
</div> <!-- /#flowers -->

<p>A good example of how software freedom can be applied in Tux Paint is
the work done by 11 and 12 years old students from the
<a href="/education/edu-cases-india-irimpanam.html">VHSS Irimpanam</a>
school in the State of Kerala, in India. The work consisted in adding a
series of stamps to the program, from photographs taken by the students 
themselves. They took pictures of autochthonous flowers and processed 
the digital images with the free libre GNU Image Manipulation Program
<a href= "http://directory.fsf.org/project/gimp/">GIMP</a>, adding also
the name of each flower in English and in Malayalam, the local language.
As Tux Paint has a sound function, students also recorded with their own
voices the name of the flowers in Malayalam, so when one of these 
flowers is chosen to be stamped onto the canvas, the user will see and 
hear the name of the flower in Malayalam. 
<a href="http://audio-video.gnu.org/video/irimpanam-high-sub.en.ogv">
Watch and download the video</a> and <a 
href="/education/misc/irimpanam.en.srt">the SubRip subtitles</a>.</p> 

<p>An additional useful activity done by this school by applying the
freedom to modify the program, was the translation of the Tux Paint
interface into Malayalam, the language spoken in the state of Kerala.</p>


<p>The freedom to modify the program is an important resource that was 
used by the school to reach beyond the scope of teaching basic computer 
graphical skills or entertaining children. It was used to show them 
that information technology is not something to be subjected to, not 
something that should be imposed upon the user, but an instrument to 
serve users according to their requirements.</p> 

<p>The freedom to install the program in all computers in the Lab was
also important, since the school has limited economical resources to
invest in licenses. By distributing copies of the original and modified
version of the program to the students, the school provided
assistance to families undergoing economic hardship.</p>


<p>Adding stamps to Tux Paint was an exciting and enriching experience
for the students. First, they analyzed how the program works and 
discovered the mechanism that the program uses for the implementation 
of stamps. Then they learned how this particular characteristic of the 
program permitted the addition of stamps and how to do it. They also 
acquired a deeper knowledge of GIMP during the manipulation of the 
images. The whole process gave them an opportunity not only to develop
new technical abilities, but also to identify and appreciate local 
flora. Most importantly, they learned that anyone, even non programmers 
or children, can actually influence and improve information 
technology when software freedom is granted.</p>

<hr />


<p>Images of the Tux Paint interface in Malayalam with native flowers, 
of the Appooppan Thaady and Anthoorium flowers, as well as both sound
files are courtesy of the Vocational Higher Secondary School Irimpanam
and are licensed under CC-BY-SA, 
<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/">
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported</a>.</p> 

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<p class="unprintable">Updated:
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