LinuxInIndia * July2002
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CopyLeft2002 * ISSUE02 * JULY 2002 * CIRCULATE FREELY UNDER GNU/GPL LICENCE
Co-edited by Frederick Noronha and Parag Mehta <pm at linuxindia dot org>
******************TECHNICAL UPDATES FROM INDIA****************************
Sayamindu Dasgupta <unmadindu@...> recently (May 22, 2002)
announced the launch of the unofficial PCTel softmodem-Linux Compatibility
Database. It's aimed at all owners of PCTel-chipset based modems.
Audience: All owners of PCTel chipset based modems.
Dasgupta explains: "The PCTel Modem-Linux Compatibilty Database is an effort
to collect and categorise information regarding PCTel softmodems'
compatibility in Linux. PCTel provides (unofficially) proprietary Linux
drivers for their modems. However, some of the PCTel softmodems still refuse
to work with Linux, and moreover, to use the drivers, one has to know the
chipset present in one's modem.
"The project is designed in such a manner that users will be able to add
their modem information (chipset, working status, distributions tested,
drivers tested, etc) in a database, which, in turn can be viewed and
searched by users whose modems are still not functioning."
All owners of PCTel modems are requested to visit the project site at
and submit their modem information.
Shiv Nair <snair@...> announces the launch of a new version
(1.14) of the Intellisys Project Management Software. Says he: "Intellisys
Project Desktop is designed for those who want an un-complicated and
effective project management tool. The goal of Intellisys is to provide this
project management software as an affordable and viable solution which meets
the needs of users, across platforms. It runs on Unix and Linux too (besides
Windows and Mac).
For more information: http://www.webintellisys.com/project/desktop.html
'Penguin, Baby' is being our promised as a reliable, feature-rich, fast,
scalable and low-cost Linux communication server, for the small and medium
enterprises (SME). It was built keeping in mind the specific requirements of
the SME segment (under 25 PCs). It consists of two important components for
a company's electronic commerce needs -- a mail server (to send, receive,
manage you@your_company.com e-mail ids) and a proxy server (to allow one
Internet connection to be shared by all the office PCs).
Other solutions available. Contact 50, Hira Mahal, 250 Kalbadevi Rd , Mumbai
400 002. India. http://www.ramshyam.com Phone +91.22. 207 8946, 209 5986
Says Sunil Abraham: "Mithi is a (Pune-based) commercial organization but
they have told me that they are keen on building IL tools for Linux. They
are supporting us in building a Python based XML RPC bridge to Zope
application server. This bridge will be open source so that other Python
developers can use Mithi's products if they wish. On a separate note we are
part of the GNU indic-computing project on source-forge.net were are
specifically looking at create a cross platform solution. We will be
starting with java.awt.im input method framework and the Ekit applet
[www.hexidec.com/ekit.php]. But nothing to report so far. We are getting
some volunteers on this via TechEmpower.net." Thanks for keeping us
Sunil Abraham of the Bangalore NGO MAHITI (not to be confused with the
Karnataka government's policy also carrying the same name) is working out of
314/1, 7th Cross, Domlur Bangalore - 560 071 Karnataka, INDIA Ph/Fax: +91 80
5352003. Pager: 9624 279519 sunil@... http://www.mahiti.org
dhvani - TTS system for indian languages by Ozakil Azim
dhvani - A Text-to-Speech System for Indian Languages developed by the
Simputer Trust developers and others.Current - C/Linux implementation,
Hindi, Kannada, Tamil Support. Soon - better phonetic engine, Java port,
language independent framework...
http://sourceforge.net/projects/dhvani/ oazim at users.sourceforge.net
linc is not cyberoam by MRNk: linc is a free multiplatform client for
Cyberoam and 24online. Cyberoam is an employee Internet management system
used by corporate networks. 24online is a subscriber management system for
broadband ISPs. http://linc.sf.net mayur@...
G. Dijendranath <dnath@...> wrote in sometime in May 2002 to say that
they represent Turbolinux in India and are planning to launch this versions
of GNU/Linux "in a big way".
Kaash by Tarjei Mikkelsen
A data collection package for health care-workers in rural India. A version
of this software is currently being used in a Media Lab Asia pilot study
tarjeim at users.sourceforge.net
******************GNU/LINUX IN SCHOOLS IN INDIA***************************
Raju Mathur <raju@...> of http://kandalaya.org/ recently announced
about work to take GNU/Linux to schools around Delhi.
Some points discussed at a meeting held on May 25, 2002 at Sarai included:
* Marketing Strategy * Schools to be targeted * Action Points
* Packages to be put on installation CD Post Installation * Support Cost
You can get in touch with some of the key members of this network (and those
who have been around at the early meetings) via
leo@... (Leo Fernandez)
raju@... (Raj Mathur)
gami@... (Dhruv Gami)
khanna_s@... (Prateek Khanna)
ashkaul77@... (Ashwani Kaul)
anurag_varma@... (Anurag Varma)
aey2bee@... (Anjali Bashista)
******************LOCAL LANGUAGE SOLUTIONS FOR INDIA**********************
From Kerala, Ajay Kumar <kumarajay1111@...> who is leading an
initiative to make GNU/Linux friendly to the South Indian language of
Malayalam, says: "The toolkit won't be built from ground-up. Technically
speaking, what we propose to do is to develop a renderer for our language.
Specifically, we are looking for a renderer for Pango. Pango is a
generic-engine used with the GTK toolkit. We are moving fast in this
direction. Some code has already been written in this regard.... One of our
project members is in touch with Jeron Hellingman, who has done most of the
studies regarding Malayalam and Unicode. He has offered to use some of his
works for this project, especially in fonts. That is a major help in our
Ajay Kumar adds that in nine months time, "we want to create an atmosphere
were language computing in Malayalam improves". Says he: "We are confident
that once we deliver the basic framework, others will start localizing more
applications in Malayalam."
The Problem: India faces a unique local-language computing standardization
and capacity- building problem simply due to the wide variety of regional
and local languages in wide use, and the organizational and regional
obstacles inherent in the effort to standardize this rich variety of
languages. The Strategy: We recommend the creation of a hierarchy of
participatory consortia, which would facilitate broad regional and local
participation in the standardization and development process from a variety
of stake-holders with differing areas of expertise and specialization. It is
important that these consortia be participatory and inclusive to properly
represent the viewpoint of local developers, users and other stake-holders.
We recommend the formation of state-level consortia for each regional
language, which should include participants from the following key member
groups: developers, technologists, users/practitioners, linguistic groups...
-- From the Indic-Computing Strategy Document, May 19, 2002 sent in via jace
at pobox dot com
GNU India Translation Project (GTP) by gnu_india
The localization of GNU/Linux program into the native languages of india the
GNU 's GTP project http://sourceforge.net/projects/gnuindia/
gnu_india at users.sourceforge.net
Deepti -- A hindi speaking chat robot by Rahul Jindal
Deepti would be a Hindi (National Language of India) speaking bot, on the
lines of Alice (www.alicebot.org). We shall use or develop a hindi TTS for
the output and more frills as time permits.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/deepti/ rahulj at users.sourceforge.net
itrans by Avinash Chopde: itrans is a package for printing texts in Indian
languages. It uses English-encoded text for input, and it supports
Devanagari, Gujarati, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Punjabi, and
Romanized Sanskrit. Input files can be in TeX, LaTeX, HTML, or PostScript
format, and Unicode output is supported. http://www.aczone.com/itrans/
avinash at acm dot org
******************LINKING UP WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD***********************
Good news from Unesco! Jean-Claude Dauphin of UNESCO's Information Society
Division <jc.dauphin@...> informs about that organisation's
recently-developed Free Software Portal at
http://www.unesco.org/webworld/portal_freesoft. Interesting venture.
M Dauphin says UNESCO is looking for contributors with a good knowledge of
the Free Software movement in relation to UNESCO's fields of competence
(education, science and culture) and coming from the countries of the South
who could make propositions for revising, updating and extending the UNESCO
Free Software Portal as well as for including new basic documents.
"This work could be done using a fee or consultant contract and the fee can
be discussed depending on the amount of work described in the contract. We
would be very grateful if you could help us to find somebody interested by
this proposal in India," says M. Dauphin.
'Eye on Linux' in its April 2002 issue (to subscribe mailto:
firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports on Anil Gadre and Earnest
Prabhakar in connection with GNU/Linux globally.
It says a study on BSD desktop's share recent spurt ("almost completely" due
to the UNIX heritage of the new Macintosh OS X operating system, which
incorporates Free BSD's kernel in the underlying core of Apple's new OS) was
presented at the USENIX BSD conference by Earnest Prabhakar of Apple
Likewise, it says Sun's vice president and general manager, Anil Gadre,
joined with Stephen DeWitt, vice president and general manager of Content
Delivery and Edge Computing at Sun Microsystems, to articulate the finer
points of Sun's strategy for offering Linux on its server systems.
The names suggest a link with the overseas Indian diaspora... Great going.
(Incidentally, this is what Eye On Linux has to comment: "Our analysis: no
matter how much the Sun VIPs talk about Linux, we will only believe that
they are serious about it, when we see real hardware that runs Linux, as
well as increased support of StarOffice, Linux and Open Source tools, etc.")
Reto of LingoTeach (www.lingoteach.org) says he recently read an article on
GNU/Linux in India "with interest". Reto asks: "Do you know where I can get
linux enthusiast volunteers (don't need to be extremely techinical) for
localization to the Indian languages? I am writing LingoTeach, the GPL
language application (www.lingoteach.org)." Contact reto@...
It is a new Linux Distribution for Sys Ads, developers and geeks.
Gentoo Linux?? What's that??? Watch this space for more details...
Theresa Sheehan <TSheehan@...> recently wrote in to introduce the
TopCoder software competitions, http://www.topcoder.com TopCoder is a high
profile set of programming competitions that culminate in an international
competition once a year: The TopCoder Invitational. "We seek to provide
value to programmers of all skill levels through the use of head to head
competition," says Sheehan.
Among other things, it offers a "fair and objective assessment of programming
skills... (the) ability to learn from highly skilled (professional and
college) programmers... international recognition for highly skilled
developers.... and a chance to win a share of $10,000 or Rs 489,799 INR
purse each week".
Write to tsheehan@... or check www.topcoder.com
The Linux Counter Project: The Linux Counter is run by a nonprofit
membership organization called the Linux Counter Project. This organization
was created on May 1, 1999, taking over the running of the counter from
Harald Tveit Alvestrand, who has been running the project since 1993. Harald
Alvestrand is chief executive officer of the organization. Active work is
carried out by volunteers, including the Country Managers.
Get Counted : http://counter.li.org/enter-person.php
Count your Machine : http://counter.li.org/machine-form.php
Please register at Linux Counters. We need to know how many people worldwide
are using GNU/Linux!
Parag Mehta is the India country manager for Linux Counters. You can get in
touch with him at pm at linuxindia dot org. Maybe we need to have a more
active registration done at the state-level in India too.
**************************FOCUS ON INDIAN LUGs****************************
Check out ILUG-Goa (India Linux Users' Group) temporary home-page at
Thanks to Andrew Suares <andrew_suares@...> for putting it up.
**************************PEOPLE IN/BEHIND THE NEWS***********************
Sudhakar "Thaths" Chandra <thaths at aunet dot org>, who played a key role
in pushing the LinuxIndia movement in its early days, writes in to say he is
to leave for Kenya in September. Says Thaths: "I am going to teach computers
there in a small rural town for 9 months. I am planning on keeping notes in
a dairy and also writing one article every month describing my trials and
tribulations working in rural Kenya. I hope to deal with issues like Indians
living in Kenya, teaching technology in a rural setting etc.... Someday, I
plan to write all of this down into a book." Way to go!
K.G.Kumar <kg@...> has contributed some interesting and well-written
insights about RMS (Richard M Stallman) in India, GNU/Linux in this country,
etc. Recently, his articles were put up on a site meant to share
India-related GNU/Linux information. You too could put up your writings
there. Go to http://opennews.indianissues.org
[FOOTNOTE: We request readers to verify claims made by individuals about
their product or services before going in for the same. It is not possible
for the editors to verify all claims made. We reproduce submissions in good
faith. If you know of anything interesting happening in the field of
GNU/Linux in India, please drop us a line] Thanks to Sarai.net for their
support by way of a print-media fellowship to FN to focus on India's
contribution to GNU/Linux.
Frederick Noronha * Freelance Journalist * Goa * India 832.409490 / 409783
BYTESFORALL www.bytesforall.org * GNU-LINUX http://linuxinindia.pitas.com
Writing with a difference... on what makes *the* difference