Karma: The Code Less, Teach More Software Framework


The Karma Team happy to announce the release of version 0.2 of Karma. Karma is a software framework that helps you spend more time on teaching and less on coding. I started Karma in spring 2009 after working on educational software for three years. I had come to the conclusion that it takes far too much time and effort to produce educational software. Even worse, most development time is spent on the technical side and too little on teaching. At its core, Karma is a small open-source JavaScript library and framework that glues together openweb technologies such as jQuery, HTML 5, and SVG.

A lot has changed since the release of version 0.1 last September. We now have 10+ learning activities including the subjects mathematics, English, and geography. You can download the Karma-2.xo bundle if you have a Sugar environment handy or you can try them right away using your web browser if you have Firefox 3.5 or Google Chrome. Unfortunately, the examples do not currently work on Safari.

I have written a number of articles in olpcnews.com about the need for an activity framework built on openweb technologies (JavaScript, HTML). Here is the argument in three sentences. A large proportion of software developers are familiar with these technologies. This proportion is even larger in developing countries. The larger software industry is steadily embracing openweb technologies for web, mobile, and desktop development. Please note that Karma lessons can run both online and offline.

One new Karma lesson that I am particularly proud of is the Karma version of "Conozco a Uruguay," or "I know Uruguay." Gabriel Eirea created the excellent original using pygame. If you aren't already familiar with "Conozco", it is a simple but extremely enjoyable lesson on Uruguay's geography. I was able to code up an incomplete but usable version of Conozco in just a couple of days. I have also created four-part tutorial series on how you can create your own "I know my Country" using Karma.


  1. Introduction to karma.js
  2. Comparing HTML 5 Canvas and SVG
  3. Digging into Inkscape
  4. JavaScript and SVG

If you are interested in Karma, the first step is to join our Google Group and to look through the tutorial series.

We are making a lot of progress at the moment and expect to have 60 fully working and classroom-tested Karma lessons by April. Why am I so optimistic? OLE Nepal has committed substantial resources to converting all of its lessons currently written in Squeak to Karma for reasons of performance and storage space.

There is also online presentation that you may find informative.

Thanks to OLE Nepal and Sugar Labs for their continued support of Karma.


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Bryan, will your activities be open for adaptation and modification? Sadly, I played all the games... and liked them. Some I wonder if a child at the appropriate age to learn the skill (ie colors) will know how to read color names.

Overall great.

Got some ideas for more activities - do you guys hire yourselves out?

Hey Dickey,

Most learning activities that seem simple are actually fairly complicated. Making them adaptable by children themselves in a graphical environment like Squeak Etoys would probably make them even more complicated and have some serious performance complications.

Our goal with Karma is to produce well-documented and flexible lessons that new developers can easily customize.

I actually am available for part-time consulting work while I work on Karma full-time. You can get in contact with us by joining our google group at http://groups.google.com/group/karmajs

A good

I neglected to mention that all our work is available under the MIT License

it’s really interesting the work that has done, now, I have a deeper vision of the Karma project results, also I’m happy that it is a clear intention to use it (switching from flash to Karma). looking forward to work with you in this project.

thanks, your first step to working with us should be to join our google group


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