Localization of Languages for eGovernance and RTIA


C-DAC launches Janabhaaratii FLOSS localisation project

C-DAC launches Janabhaaratii FLOSS localisation project


C-DAC, the Indian government-run Centre for the Development of Advanced Computing, has announced in October 2004 the launch of the launch of its “janabhaaratii” project for localisation of FLOSS. It suggested the goal would be “development, deployment and community building, and the work would be put out under the GPL/LGPL licenses.

This, it said, would aim “to contribute to the community efforts in developing a software suite based on GNU/Linux to be made available in Indian languages”. This project is being funded by the Government of India’s Technology Development in Indian Languages (TDIL) group of the Department of Information Technology,

More details from the official press release are http://www.cdacindia.com/html/press/4q04/prs_rl158.asp

“The primary objective of the project is to enable the wide spread use of Indian language computing through Free/Open Source systems and applications localized in Indian languages,” the C-DAC announced.

C-DAC is known for a number of other Indian-language computing solutions, but its involvement in the field of Linux and FLOSS is seen to be not as much as it could have done.

Some of the C-DAC’s earlier Indian-language solutions include ALP-Personal (the Apex Language Processor, an Indian language word-processor on DOS), GIST-SDK (a Windows-based application development kit for Indian languages), iplugin (an Indian-language web application development tool for interactive applications which promises browser-independence for MS Windows-based clients), and others.

Its ISM Import is a utility that converts data from other font formats into ISFOC format. LEAP Mail offers e-mail in Indian languages. LISM is a Linux-based application for Indian languages. iLEAP is an Internet-ready word processor, which works on the MS Windows platform. The INSRIPT keyboard tutor is a DOS-based utility meant for learning to use one of the keyboard layouts used to type Indic languages.

C-DAC said its new venture “aims at inviting, building and supporting” community initiatives to “produce and disseminate free/open source software systems, applications and content to help proliferate the use of IT in our society, breaking language barriers and through affordable means to bridge the so-called digital divide.”

This project, it said, would cover the development of technology to suit Indian languages, and target diverse areas such as the home-use, mass applications, education, rural areas, infokiosks, cybercafes, e-governance, and content creation.

“The project inherits and will enhance the access and usability of the resources and capabilities garnered by C-DAC in Indian language technologies over the last 15 years,” it was officially stated.

C-DAC, Mumbai — one of the centres of this institution — sees itself as having been “at the forefront” of the Indian language technology mission with its INDIX project for making the GNU/Linux operating systems specifically intelligent about indic scripts and “provide the world with a more generic approach to deal with these complex scripts”.

(C-DAC reminded that many of the fonts developed under the INDIX project are now also available to the public from the TDIL website-http://www.tdil.mit.gov.in/download/openfonts.htm )

Acknowledging the work of others — including determined volunteers — C-DAC said the project “stands on the shoulders of several teams working on the localization of GNU/Linux, namely, the IITs, IIITs, Indlinux, ankurbangla, HBCSE (TIFR), FSF India, and corporations like IBM and so on”.

These groups have put in strenuous efforts to work towards the localisation of computing in India, sometimes with amazing results.

“Several resource centres supported by the TDIL have also stacked up a large amount of localization resources. The project envisages the threading together of these efforts, to present to the community a suite of software components in ready usable form through Open Source under GPL/LGPL licences,” said the C-DAC.

Dr. Alka Irani of C-DAC Mumbai has been named the chief investigator for the project. Prof. Jitendra Shah from Veermata Jijabai Technical Institute (VJTI) — a long time localisation campaigner — will also be collaborating on the project, and has joined C-DAC, Mumbai, it was announced.

Said the C-DAC in its official release: “The nature and the scope of the project being such, C-DAC also extends an invitation to language specialists, linguists, computer specialists, users, governments (Centre and States), academia (faculty and students) and others to join this mission and bring the benefits of the IT revolution to the majority of the population.” (ENDS)

See story at http://www.cdacindia.com/html/press/4q04/prs_rl158.asp


October 23, 2006 - Posted by | LINUX

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