Miriam Ruiz
random thoughts on technology and life

{March 19, 2008}   DudesConf 2008

El objetivo de la DudesConf al de la DebConf: reunir a los contribudores del proyecto Debian GNU/Linux y, por qué no, de sus distribuciones derivadas, para colaborar juntos en el desarrollo de la distribución, así como tener la oportunidad de intercambiar opiniones cara a cara y charlar sobre el desarrollo del proyecto.

{March 17, 2008}   OpenRating Game Classification System

Some time ago I started developing a system to classify free games for Debian, based in Enrico’s DebTags. Up to now I’ve been able to develop a basic set of tags to classify the games, so it’s time to start tagging the games. I’d really like to get as much feedback as possible, especially from teachers, educators, parents and in general people that work with and study about children.

The idea is not to develop a fully exhaustive system with a thousand tags. I believe that parents and tutors must check themselves the games before letting their kids play with them, and supervise them while they do if they’re little. This does not try to be a replacement for parents, but a helper to let them have a rough idea about where to look at the games in the repositories according to their own criteria. Being exhaustive is thus not as a priority as keeping the system simple and easy enough.

I’ve designed the tags along 3 main lines:
1) Contents that might not be wanted by some parents, teachers or tutors.
2) Games too complex for some children’s cognitive and/or coordination skills
3) Educative contents and skills that the game might help to develop.

Right now some of the tags are already being used by GoPlay!, a system to find games in Debian, but it a very alpha state. The purpose is to make it configurable so that parents can decide which tags are important for them. I hope to achieve that in the next version of the program. I hope that the overall scheme can be understood, but I plan to write a rationale about it as soon as I can, as well as develop some examples so that they can be easily understood. I know that the tags might be a bit subjective and probably a bit culturally biased. The former is not avoidable, there will always be some kind of subjectivity in these kind of classification, so I won’t fight the impossible to achieve absolute objectiveness. I’m trying to compensate that by allowing parents and tutors decide the subjectivity they want to have by selecting and priorizing the tags.

About being multicultural, I cannot do that on my own, as I’m not that multicultural myself, so I won’t try to invent what other cultures might be worried about or not based on some fuzzy stereotypes I might have about them. If someone from a different culture steps forward and wants to help, they will be welcome. I prefer to rely on other people from different cultures help me to broaden the classification.

Feedback is of course welcome and encouraged.

{March 11, 2008}   Gnash 0.8.2 in Debian

The first beta release for Gnash has finally been published. There are a lot of improvements in this version, and it now supports the majority of Flash opcodes up to SWF version 7, and a wide sampling of ActionScript 2 classes for SWF version 8.5. Flash version 9 and ActionScript 3 support is being worked on. I’ve just uploaded it to Debian, so it will soon be available in the mirrors. YouTube of course works, but not all of the other video streaming web pages are supported yet. Don’t forget to install the recommended packages if you want to have the video streaming features available, as some plugins for gstreamer are necessary for that.

{March 08, 2008}   ¡Feliz Día de la Mujer!

El Día Internacional de la Mujer se refiere a las mujeres corrientes como artífices de la historia y hunde sus raíces en la lucha por conseguir que las mujeres participemos en la sociedad en pie de igualdad con el hombre.

Aunque se ha conseguido mucho, aún queda mucho por avanzar en todo el mundo respecto a los derechos de las mujeres. Es un día en parte de celebración y en parte de reivindicación. Para todas aquellas que se sientan con ganas de celebrarlo, ¡Feliz Día!


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