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Characteristics of JClic

The JClic project is an evolution of the programme Clic 3.0, a tool for the creation of multimedia educational applications with more than 10 years of history. Throughout this time many educators have been using it to design interactive activities which work on procedures of diverse curricular areas, from kindergarten up to secondary education.

The main goals of the project are:

  • Allow the use of Clic applications online.
  • Retain compatibility with the existing Clic 3.0 applications.
  • Make possible the use of Clic in different platforms and operating systems, like Windows, Linux, Solaris or Mac OS X.
  • To use open standards for the storage of the activities data, in order to facilitate its integration into databases of educational resources.
  • To extend the area of cooperation and exchange of materials among schools and educators of different countries and cultures, facilitating the translation and adaptation of the programme as well as of the created activities.
  • To integrate both the suggestions for improvement and new features sent in by users.
  • To start a community of development around the project, extending the cooperative work among different teams of programmers, designers, translators and other volunteers.

The programming tool chosen was Java, and the format selected to store the data of the activities is XML.


JClic is formed by four applications:

  • JClic applet
    An applet that allows the embedding of JClic activities on a web page.
  • JClic player
    An independent programme that, once installed, allows  the activities to be played from the local disk (or from the local network) without the necessity of being connected to the Internet.
  • JClic author
    The authoring tool, that allows the creating, editing and publishing of the activities in a simpler, more visual and intuitive way.
  • JClic reports
    Collects data and generates reports on the results of the activities done by the students.

The first module (the applet) downloads automatically the first time that a page which contains an inlaid project JClic is visited. The other ones can be installed in the computer through Java WebStart.

Compatibility and new possibilities

The development of the JClic has been done trying to respect the compatibility with Clic 3.0, so that the packets of existing activities can be automatically imported to the new platform.

These are some of the new features of JClic over Clic 3.0:

  • Use of customizable graphic environments ("skins"), which contain the buttons and other graphic elements that frame the activities.
  • Use of BMP, GIF, JPG and PNG graphics.
  • Use of multimedia resources in WAV, MP3, AVI, MPEG, QuickTime and Flash 2.0 format, among others, as well as animated GIFs and GIFs with transparency.
  • Sounds of events (to click, to relate, to complete, to guess, to fail...) configurable for every activity or project.
  • Shape generators that make it possible to give different geometric designs to the cells of the activities: with JClic they no longer need to be always rectangular.
  • Other visual improvements: HTML code inside the cells, embedding of "TrueType" fonts, text styles, gradients and pseudo-transparent colors...
  • New characteristics of the activities: maximum time, maximum number of attempts, ordered resolution, memory activities with two blocks of content, etc.

You can see these characteristics in operation by having a look at the package of demonstration activities of JClic.

Open architecture

JClic has an open architecture that allows it to extend or adapt its functionality in different ways. It is possible to create new Java modules that extend the operation of the programme in:

  • New types of activities, extending the abstract class "Activity"
  • Systems of automatic creation of contents, deriving the abstract class "AutoContentProvider" (in these moments the only implementation of this class is the module "Arith")
  • Graphic user environments, extending the class "Skin" or supplying new ones based on the XML schema used by "BasicSkin".
  • Play machines, extending "ActivityContainer"
  • Generators of shapes, extending the abstract class "Shaper"
  • Reporting systems, extending the class "Reporter"

JClic is free software released by the Ministry of Education of the Government of Catalonia under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). This allows you to freely use, distribute and modify it whenever certain conditions, like the persistence of the GPL license in any derived work, are respected. The source code of JClic is available in the development portal.

Files and data formats

The data of JClic are stored in XML format. That allows its integration into  resource banks of complex structure, as well as the reuse of the JClic projects in other applications.

JClic works with two types of files:

Files with extension .jclic

XML documents that contain the complete description of a JClic project. The structure of these documents is described in the XML schema jclic.xsd.

The root element of the jclic documents has the name < JClicProject > and contains four main elements:

  • <Settings>
    Information on the author/s of the project, description, revisions, etc.
  • <Activities>
    It contains elements of the type <activity> that define the operation and the characteristics of every activity.
  • <Sequence>
    It describes the order in which the activities have to be presented, and the behaviour of the advancing and moving back buttons.
  • < MediaBag >
    List of all the necessary elements for executing the activities: video, images, sounds, MIDI, TTF fonts... etc.

Files with extension .jclic.zip

Are standard ZIP files with only one .jclic document and all the elements (images, multimedia files...) necessary to execute the activities. The use of this format allows a project to be  encapsulated in only one file.

Besides these two formats, JClic is capable also of importing Clic 3.0 PAC and PCC files.


All the texts and messages of JClic are located in external files, in order to simplify their translation to other languages.

The texts of the programme, as well as those of the activities, are in Unicode format. That allows them to be used with alphabets and not occidental writing systems. The programme also holds the representation and bi-directional writing (right-left or left-right) when the language used requires it. The development project is open to the participation of all those who want to make translations of the programme into other languages.


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Generalitat de Catalunya - Departament d'Educació Xarxa Telemàtica Educativa de Catalunya