Localization Newsletter Issue 6, Vol 1 ( 1st September 2004) (full)
- Localization Newsletter Issue 6, Vol 1 (1st August, 2004)
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> .
* 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
* 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
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:
* 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/
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
* Ms. Jayaradha, a computer science and engineering graduate -
Worked as a software engineer in DishnetDSL for 4 years and joined in
* 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
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.
* STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION:*
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.)
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
Comments, suggestions, criticism, news bits for newsletter can be sent
to feedback AT indlinux.org
To recieve newsletter regularly subscribe to our News list -