About Free/Libre and Open Source Software...

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Links in India

This page on Wikiwikiweb.de has links to FLOSS, i.e. Free/Libre and Open Source Software in India. Also see an earlier version at Pitas.com

Notes from Sri Lanka

Anuradha Ratnaweera informs that the Linux.Lk and LUG.lk groups have
been advocating GNU/Linux and Free / Open Source Software since 1998. Recently, they have started working closely with the tux group of Narada Center
Says Anuradha: "Check here to see what we have been doing."
Lanka Software Foundation is another organization which is also promoting FOSS development in Sri Lanka. Anuradha informs that right now, they have a dedicated server on which they run the above web site and "many extremely active mailing lists". They would like to contribute news items to the relevent events and localization and news
sections of international networks, like IOSN.net. When broached with the subject of building 'partner uder groups', he replied: "I am sure LK-LUGgers are willing to become a partner LUG. Shall I write to advocacy at lug.lk on this?"
Click Anuradha's page to know more about him.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Check this page... for some links

Check this page for some links of my work on the Free Software front. In particular, this is a 2003-04 study on FLOSS in Asia called Liberation Technology for the lands of diversity? Free Software in Asia. This report can also be found at this site.

Monday, February 21, 2005

User groups lists

Not just LUGs but also Free Software User Groups, GNU/Linux user groups, and other links that might be of interest. Mainly from around India and South Asia. But a few beyond. Check what's available.

Santhali, Free Software, language ... and death

These guys, young friends from West Bengal, are trying to get the tribal Santhali language working with Free Software. Incidentally, L2C2 is the idea of Low Cost Localised Computing which in itself an interesting concept. Being interestingly executed too.

Below is a self-explanatory entry from the Randomink Blogs site . It is from "Weekend Aantel". Sayamindu from Kolkata was mentioning the Santhali project recently.

Wikipedia has this to say about Santhali

Santali is a language in the Munda subfamily of Austro-Asiatic, related to Ho and Mundari. It is spoken by about six million people in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. Most of its speakers live in India, in the states of Jharkhand, Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Tripura, and West Bengal. It has its own alphabet, known as Ol Cemet', but literacy is very low, between 10 and 30%. Santali is spoken by the Santhals.

And here is a reproduction of the announcement:

Adieu Mandal Hembrom!

Weekend Aantel wrote on Feb 21: Mandal Hembrom passed away at TMC, Mumbai, today in the early morning. He was under-going treatment at TMC. I don't yet have the details of the exact cause of death, but so far it is known that his condition detoriarated after he underwent Chemotheraphy and lapsed into a severe cardiac arrest.

Mandal-da was the lead linguist (as also being a native speaker) in our Santhali CASTLE Project. His death is not just a great loss to our project, but a loss to all the Santhals struggling to establish their identity in a globalised world that dictates a lop-sided homogeneity at the cost of losing unique cultural traits, language and social structures.

Mandal-da's illness was detected at an advanced stage. He wanted to use the time he had to complete the work on the translation of the strings. Unfortunately, he was taken away from us before that could happen! Perhaps, its a strange co-incidence that today happens to be the International Mother Language Day (21st Feb) that Mandal-da breathed his last.

We need to reaffirm our commitment to the work on bridging the ICT divide. As I wrote in my "A walk across the Digital Divide" experience, its not as un-bridgable as it often sounds. Its only by ensuring the continuance of the Santhali L10N project that we can truly pay our respect to the dreams and efforts of Mandal Hembrom.


On behalf of BytesForAll , let me dip our flag to all these guys trying to make computing work for for forgotten people and the poor... whose languages otherwise barely make for a 'viable market'. FN

Free software and NGOs

Asia Source blog is my blog of a recently-concluded event, looking at building bridges between Free Software and NGOs (non-government organisations)