FLOSS Weekly 59

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FLOSS Weekly
Episode 59

FLOSS Weekly 59: TuxPaint

TuxPaint, the award-winning, multi-platform, art creation software for children.


Bill Kendrick and David Bruce for Tux Paint

Bill Kendrick, lead developer of Tux Paint

Bill Kendrick is currently CTO and lead developer at Smashwords.com, a service enabling authors to independently publish and sell (or give away) their works in e-book formats. He began creating games for X-Window in the mid-90s while still in college, and has created about two-dozen open source games for Linux and other platforms. Bill's worked mostly in web application development, but also worked from 2003 to 2007 in the mobile game industry. He co-founded and runs the Linux Users' Group of Davis, Calif.

In 2001 Bill coordinated with Tux Typing creator Sam Hart to begin working on an arcade-style math quiz game (which led to Tux, of Math Command or TuxMath for short). In 2002, a friend of Bill's mentioned that Linux lacked paint programs appropriate for young children, so Bill decided to take a stab at creating that solution.

David Bruce

David Bruce works on "Tux, Of Math Command" (aka tuxmath), and "Tux Typing" (aka tuxtype), where he's essentially the current lead programmer and maintainer, with Tim Holy as the co-lead programmer on tuxmath.

David is a surgeon by profession - programming is just a hobby, although it has gotten to be a pretty serious one over the last several years. He got involved with tuxmath in 2005 when his daughter was starting to learn basic math as a first-grader, and in 2006 picked up tuxtype as well.


Tux Paint has been ported to Mac OS X, Windows (95 through Vista), and BeOS, and is maintained in Debian and Ubuntu. Packages for RedHat and Fedora are maintained by project volunteers.

Tux Paint has been translated into more than 80 languages.

Among typical drawing tools, Tux Paint has always included a set of "magic" tools (including a rainbow-painting brush, sparkles, etc.). In the last year or so, all of the magic tools were stripped from Tux Paint and a plug-in API was created that resulted in a dozen new magic tools.

Tux4Kids participated in Google Summer of Code last year. A number of student applicants created new Magic Tools for Tux Paint, using this API. One of them, still highly experimental and unreleased, uses a handwriting recognition library to convert painted strokes to alphanumeric characters.

Tux Paint includes many sound effects. The effects that play while you paint are in stereo (they pan left or right as the user paints across the canvas).

The three Tux4Kids projects (Tux Paint, TuxMath and TuxTyping) utilize the Simple DirectMedia Layer library (libSDL), created by UC Davis alumn Sam Lantinga, who now also works on "World of Warcraft" for Blizzard.

Linux is a little weak for educational programs, but there are some options - see the links below.

External Links

Other Linux educational programs

Questions from the audience


Production Information

  • Recorded Date: February 18, 2009
  • Release Date: March 07, 2009
  • Duration: 0:46:52
  • Log line:
  • Edited by: Tony
  • Notes: Baby in the studio.