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Formerly LinuxInIndia * Compiled by: Frederick Noronha * Dec 27,2002
GNU/LINUX TO GET A BOOST VIA PUNE: This message is from students at
Pune. We wish them all the best. Contact navhindhanuka at hotmail dot
com: "We the students of 'Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and
Research' (SICSR) want to contribute to the GNU project. With this aim in
mind, we are organizing 'GNUnify', with the whole hearted support of the
management of our institute." Set up in 1971, primarily to promote world
understanding between Indian and foreign students through education,
Symbiosis has a strength of over 16,000 students from over 32
countries. Says the institution: "We in Symbiosis believe that the 'World
is one Family'."
The annual fest of SICSR 'Unify', is composed of various cultural, academic
events & contests. This year the institution is adding on GNUnify, as their
own way "of contributing and encouraging the Free Software movement".
See http://www.sicsr.ac.in (to be updated by early Jan 2003)
The aim of GNUnify is to unify and encourage efforts of GNU developers
across the country, by "awarding the best and motivating the rest". Events
1. Code-Presentations (open for all)
1.1 App Dev (Web Apps, Biz Apps, Edu Capsules)
1.2 Embedded Linux
1.3 Network Programming
1.4 Kernel Development / Device Drivers
2. Paper-Presentations (open only for students)
2.1 General (Socio-economic aspects of using GNU/Linux, Does GNU/Linux make
sense for India?, and Will China get ahead of India using Free Software?)
2.2 Free Software B-Plan Contest: The major concern of most developers is
that since GNU is free there is little / no money to be earned out it. To
disprove this a free s/w or gnu based B-plan contest. People submit their
B-plans built around free s/w.
2.3 Technical (how to use Apache, migrating from ASP to PHP, Wirel)
3. Techie-Talks (under planning... if you know of any powerful speakers from
across the country, do suggest)
4. Hands-on Workshops [Under Planning]
5. Install-Fest of GNU/Linux [Debian, Redhat, Slackware, Mandrake, ...]
6. Screenings. [RMS's Public Lecture @ IIT-Mumbai & Linux-The Code Movie]
Event Dates: 15 & 16 Feb 2003
NEWS FROM KERALA: Arun M <arun at freedevelopers dot net> reports that he
had a recent meet with the general secretary of the KSTA, the trade union of
teachers in the southern Indian state of Kerala. They're planning a meet on
IT education in schools, and want experts to talk about Free Software.
Meanwhile, Kerala's IT@School expert committee met and seems agreeable to
the view that Free Software must be used for the project. Logistical issues
of training, text books, and distribution CDs etc need to be taken up. Help
is needed for rewriting the textbooks, in a way that these don't exclusively
promote proprietorial software.
USERS EXPO 2003: 'Linux India - National Users eXpo 2003' is packing
itself as *the* national conference on GNU/Linux in India. It is
scheduled between February 7 to 9, at the Marian College Kuttikkanam
in Kerala. Want to present a paper? Send in an abstract via email.
Organisers are keen to get presentations on kernel programming,
compiler design/porting, x-windows, Linux and the computer industry,
Linux security, etc. Technical partners for this event are the IPSR
group. Contact ipsr at satyam dot net dot in
LINUX ON AN EMBEDDED BOARD: Anand Babu <ab at gnu dot org dot in> and Mridul
Jain worked extensively on porting a version of Linux kernel to SA1110-based
embedded board from scratch. "We do have a complete embedded GNU/Linux
system and we use it in our firewalls and system installers. I can give
...the whole system for free," says Babu. Contact him or Mridul Jain
mridul.jain@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Phone in Bangalore (080) 5565570
ANJUTA 1.0.0., LATEST STABLE RELEASE: Heard of Anjuta? Its the
integrated development environment initiatied by Naba Kumar and
named after his girlfriend! Biswapesh Chattopadhyay
<biswapesh_chatterjee at tcscal dot co dot in> recently announced
that Anjuta 1.0.0 "Diwali" has been released. This is the latest
stable release of Anjuta, an Integrated Development Environment
(IDE) for the GNOME 1.x platform. This release includes numerous
enhancements and bugfixes. Website: http://www.anjuta.org/ Project
Page: http://sf.net/projects/anjuta/ Downloads:
About Diwali: http://www.bawarchi.com/festivals/diwali1.html
SITEWATCH : http://gpasokan.com/demo-schools/
The Demo@Schools Project: The demo@schools project aims at demoing Free
Softwares to schools and make the schools adopt free softwares as a subject
of education in their syllabus. They also actively involve ourselves in
encouraging children to hack free softwares and learn more. "Schools are
increasingly putting efforts to impart software education to their students.
We are in an attempt to make schools teach free softwares before they become
dependant on non-free softwares," say the Demo@Schools promoters.
SITEWATCH : http://www.ilug-cal.org
The Kolkata chapter of the Indian Linux Users's group (ILUG-CAL) is a
volunteer driven organisation dedicated to the propagation and usage of
GNU/Linux in Kolkata, and in West Bengal. It says: "The organistion tries to
provide suppport to the Linux community in Kolkata, as well as to increase
the usage of GNU/Linux among the general computer users community in the
city. It also organises workshops, seminars, etc for the local student
community." Highlights: Sayamindu (Bangla Tux) has started a new project on
Free Bangla fonts. Check out the site at http://www.nongnu.org/freebangfont/
WINDOWS... IN WEST BENGAL SCHOOLS: The West Bengal government is considering
using open-source operating systems (OS) like Linux as an alternative to
Microsoft Corp's Windows OS in its school computer literacy programme, and
has approached hardware maker International Business Machines (IBM) to
provide the system support, reports ZDNetIndia. It says the computer
literacy programme will cover 11,000 schools all over the state, and the
government has already bought 3000 personal computers (PCs) pre-loaded with
Windows OS. http://www.zdnetindia.com/news/national/stories/nsl,70367.html
GNU/LINUX IN PUNJABI? Gurupkar Waraich <waraich at linuxmail dot
org> says he would like to start a new team for Punjabi
localization. See punjabi-linux.sourceforge.net Says he: "Volunteers
please get in touch so that we can start working."
LG... LINUX GOING TO THE DESKTOP: LG Electronics India recently announced
its decision to launch branded GNU/Linux-based PCs in India. In a stagnant
market, will LG's attempt to break into the branded PC market succeed?
Srikanth R P reports in Express Computer on LG's move to extend Linux to the
desktop. R Manikandan says the Linux OS is not only relatively stable and
bug-free, but also offers stronger memory management to the end-customer
See http://linux-bangalore.org for slide presentations of speakers at
LinuxBangalore/2002 and also photographs of the event. **************
STORY FROM INDIA'S NEIGHBOURHOOD: Video Whale Project grew out of the
concept of Umer Anwar Sheikh and was developed by Zeeshan Ali Khattak
The video-whale project is an implementation of video-wall which exploits
the combined power of Gstreamer (www.gstreamer.net) & Xinerama. Says the
team: "We plan on using these videowalls in Pakistani universties and
schools to let them quickly set up videowalls for use in the classrooms when
need be. Anyone interested in the videowalls on a commercial basis is also
of course welcome to contact us."http://www.gstreamer.net/apps/vw/
PROPRIETORY SOFTWARE: Amol Hatwar <rollacosta at phreaker dot net>
drew our attention to the story at
http://rediff.com/money/2002/nov/13gates.htm This is about the Govt.
of Karnataka and Microsoft signing an MoU for a portal called
r_dobhal at mailandnews dot com came up with this idea: "Why not mark a
"Free Software" Day? Inorder to express your views please visit
SPEECH SYNTHESIS: Rohit Kumar of the Speech Processing Lab, LTRC at
IIIT Hyderabad points to a speech synthesis demo at
http://22.214.171.124/~speech/index.htm Says he: "I look forward to
your responses both about the speech quality and the ease of use and
understandability of the web interface. PS: For all [GNU/]/Linux
enthusiasts the speech synthesizer is currently built on Red Hat
Linux 7.2 and we have tested it with RHL 8.0."
61 LUGs ACROSS INDIA: National network LinuxIndia points to the existence of
nearly 61 LUGs across India (see below). If this is true, then=20 we have
more LUGs in India than what the international press is reporting as being
present in the whole of Asia! Does anyone know of any unlisted LUGs? Or have
some on this list gone inactive? http://www.linux-india.org/chapters.html
Guntupalli Karunakar <karunakar at freedomink dot org> and Arun Sharma <arun
at sharma-home dot net> point out that Pramod R has created some screenshots
of Gnome applications in Kannada.
Raghavendra <yesgr at vsnl dot com> points out the need to draw the
attention of others in the Kannada computing world. Says he: "You can also
do a demo on setting up the locale, installing the font, show off the
translations, setup gtranslator/poedit, etc." The Kannada mailing list is at
http://www.sharma-home.net/mailman/listinfo/kannada Meanwhile the
Indic-Computing project is at indic-computing.sf.net
Want a set of the latest Debian and Knoppix CDs? Contact
ragu@xxxxxxxx Some of Raghavendra Bhat's other involvements
are in the FSUG-Kochi http://symonds.net/~fsug-kochi/
UPCOMING MEETS Mumbai * LUG Meet on 12 Jan. 2003 @ VJTI
Sajith T S <sajith@xxxxxxxxxxx> announces a JFS translator for the Hurd, and
calls it "the first industrial-strength journaling filesystem for the Hurd".
It's a readonly translator, so no journaling for now.
More on JFS here: http://oss.software.ibm.com/jfs/
AN OPEN SOURCE BUSINESS MODEL: Dr Tarique Sani <tarique at sanisoft dot com>
has published SANIsoft's Open Source Business Model on his site. See
http://www.sanisoft.com/openmodel.php Says he: "Feedback from you will be
very much appreciated."
SOME FEEDBACK TO GNU/LinuxINDIA NEWSLETTER:
From: Arun Sharma <arun@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I understand that you can't fit an ASCII art logo mentioning
"GNU/Linux India" in 80 columns, and hence had to abbreviate "Linux"
part a little bit. But given all the controversy about the term
"GNU/Linux", I find the above logo in bad taste -- it almost seems
like you're posting about "GNU India", when in fact, the message is
about what I'd normally call "Linux". I'm sure you could design a
logo that displays "Linux" more prominently.-Arun
From amish_munshi@xxxxxxxx Fri Dec 27 17:07:26 2002
Can you change this artwork, it is not readable. I am very bad at
art work, so I can not provide any artwork, sorry. Overall, it is
the best newsletter I have ever got, very well made. Keep it up. How
regularly will I be getting such rich content?
From paivakil@xxxxxxxx Fri Dec 27 17:08:37 2002
Wow!!!! What a beautiful logo!!! -- Mahesh T. Pai.
INDIAN-LANGUAGE SOLUTIONS FROM PIONEERS AT IIT-MADRAS:
Dr Hema A Murthy <hema at lantana dot tenet dot res dot in>, associate
professor at the IIT Madras (Chennai) is one of the two coordinators of the
IndLinux effort, along with Timothy A Gonsalves <tag at tenet dot res dot
in>. You can also contact indlinux at tenet dot res dot in for information.
She recently wrote in to point to some of the shortcomings in an article
written recently. Our apologies for an inadequate representation; we have no
excuse other than the general difficulties in garnering information across
a virtual sub-continent, largely depending on e-mail.
Says Dr Murthy: "Currently, the TeNeT group is involved in the wide scale
deployment of Internet kiosks across the countryside. The kiosks require
local language software so that they can be effectively used by the
marginalised literate population of our country."
We are grateful for the explanation below to Dr Murthy:
Given the number of Indian languages and different encoding standards and
fonts they use, it was felt that we need to develop Indian language support
that is essentially independent of encoding and font. Further, we felt that
this support must be provided at the kernel/X-Window system levels so that
applications that run on top of the kernel/X-Window system inherit the
To this end we provide two different solutions under linux: kernel based
and X-Window based.
Kernel based solution: Indian languages have variable width characters. To
support variable width at the kernel level, a multiglyph approach is
proposed, i.e. a keystroke may correspond to one or more glyphs. Further,
the number of keystrokes possible on the standard QWERTY keyboard is not
sufficient to represent all characters and character clusters in any given
language. This results in the problem that a sequences of keys may
correspond to different glyphs (in that a key sequence ab might correspond
to a glyph g1, while a key sequence abc might correspond to a different
glyph g2). This requires that the system has a memory of the keystrokes that
have been made. To address this problem a finite state machine and a set of
associated rules was introduced in the kernel.
X-Window based solution: Two different solutions are supported at the
X-Window level, namely, glyph based and encoding based. In the first
approach, similar to that of the kernel, the parsing is done on the input
side, while glyphs are produced on the output side (file/display). In this
approach, clearly the system is tied to the font that is used. To overcome
this problem, an encoding based solution has also been provided. The
problem with this approach is in cursor positioning. The position of the
cursor is maintained by the application which interacts with X to obtain the
widths of characters. The cursor is positioned based on the keys typed (no
memory/context sensitivity is assumed). We are yet to address this problem.
We do feel that the only solution available to us is to provide a set of
cursor APIs in X which can be used by any application.
In either solution, the language dependent information is provided in parse
rule tables. This information is loaded at runtime. This ensures that
changing the local language environment is simply a question of manipulating
parse rule tables.
Applications: The solutions that we have provided enable a user to type in
a local language in most applications (Open Office/ KOffice/gcc...). We
have further customised some of the applications (menus/errors in local
languages), namely, KOffice, Konqueror, gcc, pine, emacs. We are currently
working on customising Open Office. We are also working on a convertor from
fonts to encoding, fonts to fonts, encoding to font.
Current Support: Tamil (Glyph-based) - TamilNet99, Inscript
Hindi (Glyph-based) - Inscript
Tamil (Encoding-based) - ISCII
Hindi (Encoding-based) - ISCII
The above supports are complete. (This simply means that we have populated
the appropriate language dependent parse rule files). We are currently
working on Malayalam, Oriya, Marathi and Gujarathi.
Future Plans: This work is part of a major plan to develop a multimodal
interface to the computer. By multimodal, we mean, handwriting, keyboard
and speech interfaces. We have started work on both handwriting and speech.
We have developed a handwriting interface for Tamil and have developed
speech technology software for: speech synthesis in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and
Malayalam (Malayalam database was obtained from ISDL, Trivandrum); spoken
language identification, syllable-based recognition of continuous speech,
speaker identification. (ENDS)
YOUR INPUTS to this newsletter are welcome. Volunteers more than welcome.
Contact us at fred at bytesforall dot org --COPYLEFT 2002, GPL. May be
freely circulated provided entire text is retained. FN