I can do an occasional company announcement on my blog, right? This is a big one! I’m not covering a lot of background on KPL (Kids Programming Language) with this post; www.kidsprogramminglanguage.com is a great place to catch up if KPL is new to you.
KPL v 2 release candidate details
KPL v 2 has dependencies on the .NET Framework 2.0 and DirectX 9.0c, each available as free downloads from those links. They should be installed before installing KPL v 2. The KPL v 2 download is available from this link, and is 27 megabytes in size. That setup.exe will optionally download the .NET framework 2.0 if it is not already installed on your machine. A stand-alone setup program which includes both the .NET Framework 2.0 and DirectX 9.0c is available upon request. As a release candidate, this KPL v 2 build will work until November 15, 2006 – nearly four months.
The Future of KPL
KPL has been available as educational freeware for a year now and has been downloaded well over 100,000 times. To ensure KPL’s success, distribution and longevity, we knew we had to figure out how to get more resources behind it than it has had thus far. Our schedules, website and content have not been what we’d like them to be this year, because a very few of us are doing what we can with KPL at the same time that we do consulting and contract work that pay bills and put food on the table for our families. We hope you’ll find the plan as exciting as we do.
Let me start by saying that KPL v 1.1 will remain available, free, and community supported exactly as it is today. A fully functional version of KPL v 2 will also be available, free and community supported. We certainly want KPL to remain available to schools, parents, students, hobbyists and beginners who can’t afford to pay for it. But we know that many people can afford to pay a little bit for it, and so our plan is to offer a commercial version of KPL which will help to support all versions of KPL, including the freeware versions. The price is still being finalized, but our goal is to offer it for less than the price of a single console or PC game.
Partnerships are just beginning
Making a real company and a real product out of KPL also makes us more viable to established companies who might partner with us, because they can better rely on our continued success and existence. We are glad to announce we’re already working with the folks at www.CommunityServer.org, as they put together a new and much improved website for us, which will have much of the same functionality that you can see on their own site. The new site will offer to KPL users much better threaded discussion forums, file upload and download areas, image galleries, blogging, and many other important community-centric features.
We are working on a particularly exciting partnership which we’ll announce soon – stay tuned for that one!
The Vitruvian Phrog
In part because of user feedback that Kid’s Programming Language was interesting to a lot more than just kids, we’ve come up with a new name and new branding, which we will use to turn KPL v 2 into a new product:
In September, KPL v 2 will be rebranded and launched as Phrogram, with the new site at http://www.Phrogram.com, running alongside of and linking back and forth with www.KidsProgrammingLanguage.com. We hope your first impression is of fun. We certainly have lots of fun things planned for the name and the image.
The Three Versions of Phrogram
Phrogram Express will be a completely free version, with no time limit on its usage
Phrogram will be a consumer upgrade to Express, costing less than a single console or PC game
Phrogram Academic will be a discounted version of Phrogram for students and teachers
The Phrogram Express product will be only slightly simpler than the Phrogram commercial product – we will detail those differences shortly. Phrogram and Phrogram Academic purchasers will have access to some content earlier than Phrogram Express users, and certain student- and teacher-oriented materials will only be available to Academic users.
As always, we’d like to hear your feedback!