Wonderful minutes natraj. great job. keep it up. (:
a small request: please wrap your text at 72 chars / line. thanks.
natraj> Bharath is in a very innovative and noble project of bringing computers
and internet to the reach of rural India. Basically, we are looking at a
computer, running on a local Indian Language, and at rock bottom price. The
typical target is a second hand old motherboard with a TV out, and a regular TV
acting as a monitor, amounting to a price of around Rs 4000/-.
Is this software free (as in freedom)?
natraj> Having squared onto G/Linux, as the operating system, for obvious
reasons, there was this problem of delivering it in Indian languages. It had
two major parts.
natraj> 1. Making it for the text console, and
natraj> 2. Making it for the X Windows System.
natraj> Note: Those who have used iLeap by CDAC-GIST might get a feel of what
Mr. Bharat and his team are trying to achieve. But the difference, is they are
trying to make it universal (for the OS) instead of being particular
program/application. A similar project is underway (in terms of Indianization),
at IIT itself, but at application level (refer http://acharya.iitm.ac.in for
natraj> The grater challenge was to make it encoding independent and font
independent. This is done by using suitable maps. Initially, this done using
the ISCII codes as developed by CDAC. It can be extended easily for any code
TSCII/Unicode, by suitably changing the map.
natraj> Making it for the console is done at the kernel level, so that all
applications will work on Indian languages, without changing the applications
(or with little changes to the text strings). This is done at three stages in
the kernel. The input, the console (output) and the third one I forgot which.
natraj> When we speak of giving access in Indian languages, we are talking
about a minimum of 15 languages, and more often, these should be
transliterate-able without any difficulty. The greater challenge is that in
Indian languages, a consonant and a vowel may lead to either half or one or two
or three glyphs. Glyphs are just images/pictures of the text, as being rendered
on the screen. A classic example as given by the speaker was the example of the
Tamil letter KO, which is formed with the consonant KA along with O, but
translates to three glyphs. Similarly in Telugu, we have 5 different glyphs for
KA alone. In Hindi and Sanskrit, we may have two or three letters combining to
form a single glyph.
Many a times we tend to envy Kerela for what they have been doing. Nice
projects like the IT-Schools project (refer to the list archives of
fsf-edu, fsf-friends at http://mm.gnu.org.in/) have been going on well.
We can observe two things at ILUGC:
1. Lots of enthusiatic volunteers. This is very good for us. If we
plan and focus all this energy we can do wonders.
2. Wide spectrum of skills amongst the members. This is good for
obvious reasons because we would sure be able to execute almost any
Nice and happy news: Sharan, root@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, admin@focus infotech
(the company that hosts our website), has been kind enough to let us
have our own mysql database. Now we can have nice things done. I'm
planning to put up something like Drupal (http://www.drupal.org/) and
replace the existing CSV-databased-chennailug.org. I guess this would
help us carry out such projects. Moreover this would also reduce the
burden on the webmaster. I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of people
willing to moderate/contribute to the website. :)
natraj> Finally Prabhu declared that he wants to step down as the coordinator
of LUGC. (How sad?) He is too tired of being the coordinator and keeping things
going and arranging things for the past four years. He finds it difficult as
other priorities such as completion of his PhD have greater priority. He
welcomes people, young blood, to take up the position. Of course he will be in
the mailing list and will be attending the meetings, but not so regularly. He
will surely help us in getting some room for the meeting in IIT. Any takers???
Prabhu has been a very open person and has very much made ILUGC what it
is today. I'm really proud and have admired him for having framed a nice
set of policies for our LUG. Thanks prabhu. :)
natraj> There were these new comers to the meeting, who had come to know about
ilugc, only within a week earlier. They were given a brief history of iLUGc,
and they were actually here for that scheduled talk that got cancelled.
am sorry for not having updated the website about the cancelled talks. I
was caught with personal work. :(
natraj> There was this new gentleman (sorry don?t remember the name) who was
wondering if iLUGc could be made more active, by focusing on more ?practical?
stuff, and more commercial interest being included.. and so on. He said, he is
not very clear, and he will give his suggestions in due course. He also wanted
to have a system, an accounting system, on the same lines of the railway
booking terminals. Dumb terminals, running Linux at the server, and having no
fear of viruses. He is open for all modes of getting it done. commercial /
personalized/ GNU software (if any, already).
Precisely. But then I personally stand against commercialisation of
ILUGC's activities. There have been numerous examples of other LUGs
(BLUG is a very good example :>) around india that got defaced because
they got commercial. and they start encouraging non-free software.
Great work natraj! Keep it going! :)
| Modesty that silences her lips and the keen message of her |
| eyes, not to depart, are hallmarks of feminine excellence |
| (signaling symptoms of love - 10), Thirukkural |