FLOSS In Asia

About Free/Libre and Open Source Software...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Colonial cousins... of the Luso sort

The Portuguese were the first European power to set up base in Asia, and by the 20th century, had just a few pockets of influence left. Goa, where this writer lives and works, was once the headquarters of the strategically-situated but small string of colonies.
So how's FLOSS doing in some of the remnants of this Empire?
If you're Portuguese-speaking, then consider helping with some initiatives in these areas.
Rui Alves from Macau, the former Portuguese colony now again part of mainland China, recently narrated what's happening there on the FLOSS front. MacauLinux like some other smaller volunteer-driven LUGs, lost its website and domain name -- macaulinux.org
Says Alves: "Coordinating efforts is quite hard in such a microscopic place as Macau. Some of my colleagues are working on restoring the site (and related activities), but honestly it has been a while without any news from them. I hope we won't let macaulinux die."
In the meantime, Alves hopes his site could be a temporary stop-gap location at which to announce any developments.
Incidentally, Linux Counter's page for Macau is here. Fourteen Linux users counted. There are some four to five personal site links here too, with some FLOSS-interest embedded in some of them.
From Timor Leste (or East Timor, as more of us would know this young nation) Elizabeth, is doing an intern-ship at the Open Forum of Cambodia, with the KhmerOS (Khmer Open Source) network. The latter is itself localising software to the Khmer-Cambodian language.
Elizabeth is "learning from them while also preparing a localisation document for Tetum". That, one could be excused for not knowing, is one of the national languages in East Timor.
Tetum uses the Latin script with some accents, since many words have been imported from the Portuguese. Says Elizabeth : "As far as I know, there's no centre for promoting FLOSS yet in East Timor. Some people have started using Open Source products.
By the way, Linux Counter shows the number of FLOSS users there as zero!

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