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Localization Newsletter Issue 6, Vol 1 ( 1st September 2004) (full)

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  • Guntupalli Karunakar
    Localization Newsletter Issue 6, Vol 1 (1st August, 2004) ********************************************************* Editor Speak ... The Indic Localization
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2004
      Localization Newsletter Issue 6, Vol 1 (1st August, 2004)

      Editor Speak

      The Indic Localization Initiative is at the second level of maturity.
      The initial phase was marked by the groups releasing LiveCDs and
      taking the lead in solving a lot of issues related to rendering
      engines. In the second phase, the groups are looking at implementation
      issues. At this juncture, the Indic L10n meet planned at the HBCSE
      assumes enormous importance. For this is planned to be a session where
      the L10n groups are coming together to share knowledge, inputs and
      know-how. Together with the increasing interest in the implementation
      aspects of L10n, the Indic L10n Meet will provide the ideal
      springboard towards a brainstorming session.

      This is also planned to be a session where talks on the proposed
      Consortium related to Indic L10n would be taken up. For sometime now,
      there has been a long felt need for a umbrella body which will
      represent the L10n groups as well as interact with the various
      stakeholders who form part of the Indic L10n effort.

      In this issue, following our standard formats, we take up the TamilPC
      group as a focus. Do read through the interview and the cover feature
      for update on their project. We have good news on the OpenOffice.org
      front too with 2 Indic languages being supported in the build.

      As usual, we are looking for volunteers who will provide us with news
      about Language Workshops, Usability Tests and general L10n news.

      Feedback on content, presentation, suggestions for newsletter welcome
      at <feedback at indlinux dot org> .

      News Bits

      * KDE Hindi translation review workshop at Sarai.
      The first KDE Hindi translation review workshop was held at Sarai,
      Delhi, August 1st-3rd. The workshop sponsored by Sarai, had many
      participants, with linguistic, Hindi writing and translation
      experience and Indlinux volunteers, who worked 3 days reviewing KDE
      Hindi interface. Major applications like Konqueror, Kmail, KDE control
      center, and other tools were reviewed, and translations changes
      suggested. Hindi now looks a lot better . Read full report of workshop
      at http://www.indlinux.org/wiki/index.php/ReviewWorkshop

      * Mozilla supports Pango upstream.
      Pango support in Mozilla goes into main source tree, so no more
      patching. It can be enabled while compiling mozilla with
      --enable-pango option. For more read
      A Bengali sample at

      * Indic Printing in Gnome to work in next release
      Gnome Printing library now uses Pango to render complex Indic text.
      This is supported from Gnome versions 2.7 onwards. So next major Gnome
      release v2.8, scheduled to be released in mid September, will have
      Indic printing working.

      * Hindi , Kannada officially supported in OpenOffice
      OpenOffice.org's updated Localization Status Page states Hindi and
      Kannada as being the only two Indian languages to be officially
      supported (in terms of UI translation) for 1.1.3 and onwards. It also
      lists other Indian Language teams working towards translating
      OpenOffice.org and their progress.

      * Newer versions of Pango.
      Owen Taylor, the maintainer of Pango, the Free rendering engine for
      Gnome, has announced latest versions of Pango.

      Latest in the 1.4 (stable) branch is 1.4.1, available from
      ftp://ftp.gtk.org/pub/gtk/v2.4/ and is intended for use with Gnome
      2.4. This includes several bug fixes for Indic languages, submitted by
      various indic hackers. See
      for details.

      This version is already included in Debian Sid/unstable, and includes
      experimental support for Indic language printing for the first time.
      In a private mail to Mahesh, Owen Taylor clarifies:-
      If you want printing to work, you need:
      * Pango-1.5.2
      * libgnomeprint-2.7.1
      * GtkHTML-3.3.0 (for evolution)
      * GtkSourceView-1.1.0 (for gedit)

      He adds that these are already in the development branch of Fedora
      Core 3. More testing of the printing functionality is however

      * Pango Development Version
      Latest in the pango unstable branch is version 1.5.2, intended for use
      with Gnome 2.8, is available at ftp://ftp.gtk.org/pub/gtk/v2.5/
      Installing this version will overwrite the 1.4 version, if installed.

      Those interested in supporting and helping further development of
      Indic support for pango should subscribe to the GTK-i18n list at

      * News from Unicode
      Paul Nelson of Microsoft has offered (on the indic at unicode mailing
      list) to draft a clarification to the statements on page 249 of the
      Unicode standards 4.0. There is a general consensus in the community
      that some people are either mislead or misinterpreting the current
      language here to mean that the `chill' / `chillaksaram' / `chillus' in
      Malayalam can be formed without a zero-width joiner at the end.

      The consensus on that list (the archives are not accessible in html
      format) is that chillus in Malayalam should be formed by the sequence
      ``consonant + chandrakkala + zwj''.

      * Free Oriya Fonts now available
      Hariram Pansari posts on the indic at unicode mailing list that Rajesh
      Pradhan's Free (as in GPL free) fonts for Oriya are available for
      download at http://oriya.sarovar.org/download/utkalm.ttf.gz

      * Encoding Ya-Phalaa in Bengali
      Gautam sengupta has posted a proposal to include the Bengali Yaphaala
      as a separate character. The matter is being discussed.
      To view the archives of the Unicode mailing lists, follow the
      instructions at http://www.unicode.org/mail-arch/

      Team Watch
      In this issue we have members of the Tamil team writing about their
      efforts to localize KDE, Gnome, XFCE, OpenOffice.org, etc., into
      Tamil. Hariram Aathreya and Jayaradha N speak on Tamil PC effort and
      Dinesh Nadarajah gives an updated on GNOME and Xfce efforts.

      TamilPC team was formed to bring the benefits of open source Tamil
      computing efforts to the non-tech savvy, non-English speaking Tamil

      The TEAM - Core team members of the project are
      * Mr. Sujatha Rangarajan(Writer Sujatha) is an Electronic Engineer
      and worked in Bharat Electronics, Bangalore. He was involved in many
      projects of national importance. After retiring he is still active
      advising corporates.
      * Ms. Jayaradha, a computer science and engineering graduate -
      Worked as a software engineer in DishnetDSL for 4 years and joined in
      Red Hat
      * Mr. Ma Sivakumar Leather Technology graduate from Anna
      University. Founder/CEO of BSG LeatherLink
      * Mr Shanthakumar B.E, MBA (IIM Ahmedabad), working as Branch
      Manager, ICICI Bank, Neyveli
      * Ms Ms Leena B.Com working with Sterling Infotech, Chennai. Has
      designed various CDs, Magazines for Sterling group of Companies.
      * And a full time coordinator Mr Hariram a software engineer (REC,
      Bhopal) and worked in Sun Microsystems, USA
      * PROJECTS:*

      Our team has taken a task of translating
      * KDE,GNOME and fedora Core
      * Create Keyboard drivers for Tamil transliteration,
      Oldtypewriter, phonetic, New typewriter layouts
      * Bring easy to install distribution in Tamil.

      Mr Mahesan MCA student developed keyboard driver with amil
      transliteration, Old typewriter, phonetic, New typewriter layouts
      layouts using TamilVP developed by Mr Dinesh Natarajan.

      OpenOffice.org was the first application that was taken up for
      localization since there was no Linux based Tamil OpenOffice.org at
      that point. After solving issues related to compiling from source and
      font rendering, translation work was started by five people who
      volunteered during Saturdays. The alpha version of Tamil
      OpenOffice.org (1.1.0) was released in Nov 2003. OpenOffice.org 1.1.2
      in Tamil will be released in the next few days.


      In the meanwhile, on the open invitation of Writer Sujatha through his
      weekly column in Aanantha Vikatan (Tamil magazine) about 45 persons
      volunteered to translate on Sundays. DishnetDSL Ltd. allotted twenty
      computers at one of their browsing centers solely for the translation
      work. Students of MOP Vaishnava College volunteered for one week,
      translating KDE applications.

      The bulk of the translation was done by students of Loyola College.
      They spent their vacation in Dec 2003 and again in May 2004 to
      translate KDE, Red Hat and a part of GNOME.

      Over 100,000 strings have been translated in the past 6 months.
      Volunteers have done all the translations till date.

      An initial CD release was made in Feb 2004 that included localized
      version of OpenOffice.org, KDE & the Tamil keyboard driver. The
      contents of the CD can be accessed from

      The work was made possible by the following contributions :
      * Tamil Virtual University made a grant towards TamilPC
      * Computers and internet connectivity offered by DishnetDSL Ltd.
      * Computers and internet connectivity offered by BSG LeatherLink
      * Computes contributed by MOP vaishnava college
      * Cash donations from individuals
      * Man-hours contributed by volunteers.

      Email : Zhakanini@yahoogroups.com

      * Status of Tamil Gnome,GTK and XFCE Translations by Dinesh Nadarajah
      <n_dinesh at yahoo.com>

      The Tamil Gnome translation has been going pretty slow for some time
      now. A large bulk of the effort has been thus far directed towards
      completing the core libraries (for both GTK and Gnome) and some of the
      most widely used Gnome applications and utilities. But this was the
      state of things until recently.

      The Loyala College Tamil Translation Team, having completed the KDE
      Tamil translation, have also started to contribute to the Gnome
      Translation effort. Many files related to the Gnome Desktop have been
      translated by these folks.

      Students at the Bannari Amman Institute (Tamil Nadu) lead by
      Vivekananthan Sivashanmugam are also setting up an environment to
      contribute to the translation effort. N. Jayaradha of has translated
      the Evolution mail client among many other files.
      The Gnome 2.8 release due for September 15th 2004 is to going into
      string freeze (Applications) on August 16th, 2004. API string freeze
      went into effect in July. The Tamil Gnome Translation team, with the
      help of all interested volunteers, is hoping to have most of the
      version 2.8 translations completed before its release.

      * Tamil XFCE Translations:
      For the uninitiated, XFCE is a light weight desktop environment
      developed using the GTK2 toolkit. XFCE supports all basic features of
      any desktop, including a panel, a file manager and also a plug-in
      architecture for third part plug-in developers. XFCE also natively
      supports Xinerma multi-display technology.

      Tamil translation of XFCE was started by Dinesh Nadarajah in 2001, who
      was joined by V.Venkatramanan, Amjith, and Vijay. The XFCE Tamil
      translation is pretty complete right now.
      XFCE Version 4.2 is due to be released later this year as well.
      XFCE-4.2 string freeze goes into effect on August 15th and is due to
      be released in November.

      (Disclaimer : Many of the names mentioned above are people who have
      contacted me recently and have contributed. Far too many have
      contributed at one time or another.)

      Related Links
      Tamil Linux portal - http://www.tamillinux.org/
      Tamil Linix group on Yahoogroups -


      * Contributions for user documentation for Indic Live CD required
      All languages Indic Live CD - Rangoli will be coming up soon. At
      present it has boot options for languages - (GNOME) Bengali, Gujarati,
      Marathi, Malayalam, Punjabi. KDE - Hindi , Tamil. Xfce - Kannada. We
      need many howto's/ guides for users to be written, preferably they be
      in indian languages, and using Unicode. For more on what contributions
      are needed, checkout


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      to feedback AT indlinux.org

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