The Debate OS Project

by Andrew on December 13, 2011 · 1 comment

in Reviews

Last week I posted about an open-source game in development called Pissed Off Penguins that is using Kickstarter to fund the project. Today I ran across another open-source Kickstarter project that I thought was worth sharing. The project, called Debate OS,  is an Ubuntu spin focused on providing a debate environment for high school and college students.

Here are some of the features I found on the Debate OS website.

  • A large selection of debate and general academic programs
  •  A debate panel for quick access to your digital tub, DocFetcher for fast, indexed searching of your files, timers, and inhibit
  • Docky, an OS X like application and folder Dock for quick access to your main debate and academic programs
  • LibreOffice Suite comes pre-installed with a paperless template and macros based on Whitman 2.0. All keyboard shortcuts and toolbar pre-sets are out of the box!
  • Giver! A wireless file sharing program that works without the internet! Get rid of those jump drives and stop worrying about slow dropbox sync speeds at tournaments. Simply drag and drop directly to your partner!
  • Anki a flashcard maker and shuffler and much more to come!

The first Debate OS release is nicknamed “Columbia” and gets its name from the STS-107 Columbia space shuttle mission that crashed in February 2003. The public beta will be released on January 16th and the final release on February 1st. These are the same dates of the launch and crash of  STS-107 Columbia. Debaters interested in testing Columbia now can get an ‘early adopter’ version until December 16th by contacting them.

Over all I like the idea of Debate OS because it’s not another re-spin of Ubuntu without a purpose. It solves many of the cost issues associated with paperless debate in our high schools.

“Our goal is simple, eliminate the need for costly software licenses by supplying the debate community with a free, fully open-source solution to paperless debate” -Chris McCool (lead developer)

{ 1 comment }

Chris McCool December 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Thanks for the write-up. Very cool. In going back through everything, one thing I had an issue with, and is getting re-explained on the various websites, is why does another Ubuntu Spin need a kickstarter, or funding in general.

I am re-writing parts of the website to make it more clear that this is a project with a concurrent curriculum component that tackles a problem virtually every high school debate coach in the country faces. At present, there is no standard curriculum available for transitioning coaches or new coaches. Many programs lack coaching, and so students must teach themselves. The second half of this project tackles the tech-literacy challenges the debate community faces.

Previous post:

Next post: