Getting ahead with Indic Localisation

Indic localisation is a buzz item now. Everyone talks about it and there are projects that attempt to use (and sometimes re-use) various aspects of this hot ticket. The one thing that is missing amidst all this is the need to talk about deployment of the localisation projects and more importantly – discuss about how best these efforts can be leveraged. All the projects, all the efforts to meet translation (and string) freeze deadlines will come to be nullified if we do not manage to deploy them. Sadly, that is what is happening with the L10n effort.

Sometime back (and more often these days) I talked about application driven L10n. This is nothing more than identifying a core stack of applications that are used in eGovernance and other Government transactions and then going ahead to put in place a roadmap for making them available in maximum number of Indian languages (if the application permits). On the face of it, not supporting an Indic desktop, but going after applications might seem to be counterproductive. I agree that it could backfire. But then look at the bright side – you get to introduce L10n in form of interface localisation as well you get to drive FLOSS into the game. The desktop environment will catch up in due course. Already there are DEs Projects in other Indic languages which are attaining a sort of stability wherein they can be put through UI tests. If someone has doubts as to whether such a stack can be identified, do take a look at Spikesource – their stack is wonderfully created to integrate just those elements which enable some developer to go hard on a LAMP course. Additionally, the time is perhaps just right for the L10n groups to consolidate themselves and leverage Intel’s resources in terms of reach as well as its deep involvement in ethnographic studies.

Additionally, what we should be looking towards is involving the user in the development process. I will try and write more about this in the next post.

Here is a nice blog.

PHP folks are in demand

A large media house based out of Delhi requires PHP folks for maintaining live sites as well as putting into motion an ASP to PHP migration.

Experience level desired – 2-3 years (candidate should demonstrate ability to work on live sites and in heterogenous operating system environment)

Position is based out of Delhi (currently)

Please get in touch with me at sankarshan [at] randomink [dot] org or take a look here

This and that…

This looks like it would be a good session. Let’s see if I can manage to find some time to attend at least the first day.

On a positive note, the activities to form the Indic L10n registered body seem to have taken off actively and this time with interest from Gora and others – we could possibly see it happen.

At ITME, where Sayamindu is upto something with ipchains and iptables, some have managed to install Fedora Core 3 over NFS across 12 nodes, but anything over 12 seems to be a problem. If someone has faced this issue or is aware of a workaround (no error messages have been posted though), please get in touch with Jayanta Chandra jccpc2003 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Have in hand a copy of The Art of Project Management and a copy of Cosmos as weekend reading material. Here is a whitepaper on The Essential Elements of a Storage Networking Architecture.

If someone has in hand a copy of the latest issue of Businessworld, do take time to read through Rosabeth Moss Kanter on leadership and her research in sports, politics and business (login required). Reiterating the need for leaders who can motivate through personal charisma, it can be used to build up effective and efficient teams which can make or break a software development process.

In his regular column, Subroto Bagchi writes about : The five cardinal principles are: respect all individuals, be fair, respect company discipline and culture, be truthful, and be fearless. The five habits are: keep promises, encourage teamwork, encourage continuous learning, be a good listener and keep the end in mind. Finally, the five key goals are: customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, zero defect, high productivity and high cash flow.

Simple truths but rarely implemented effectively.

A new city – a new beginning

Finally – the fact that I have relocated to Mumbai is settling in. Not the least being the Mumbai suburban trains. I travel on a relatively lighter route – Bandra to Mumbai Central and at times when the rush hour is in the opposite direction. But then again – the crowd at Dadar seems to put things in perspective. And travelling in the morning to office has its own charms. The silent spectacle of the Welcomgroup Hotel at Parel, the low rays of the sun and the cool breeze. These are good.

At late evening, the lights from the train catch the oodles of stainless steel utensils in the kitchens of the houses by the train track. Metallic gleams which twinkle and flash in wondrous rapidity.

Confusion being created without any sound reason

Take a look at Bug # 267132 for Mozilla, Firefox and Thunderbird L10n CVS request for bn-IN and especially this. This could possibly top the list of the prime reasons FLOSS movements struggle to gain initial momentum.

One wonders how the poster of the Comment # 6 could be in a position to state with unequivocal conviction that The language od (sic) bn-BD and bn-in are absolutely same. .

The funny part in this entire imbroglio is that bn-BD was registered/requested much earlier to the Mozilla Localisation Project and nowhere was bn-IN mentioned to be an Ankur sub project. Unwarranted assimilation of any project related to Bengali (and Linux) had never been the hallmark of Ankur and this is one of those cases where it has been publicly displayed.

Looking for things to do among other things

Have finally managed to begin the process of settling in Mumbai. On weekends it will be Pune – Runa is based out of Pune. Did my first Pune-Mumbai bus ride which was eventful in its own way.

So it boils down to the fact that besides all the things that can be done across the week (both professional and personal), I am looking for things to do related to advocacy and evangelism of Free and Open Source Software. This would possibly be across the weekends, which means that anyone in Pune wishing to learn more about Free and Open Source Software could get in touch with me and perhaps we can have a good thing going.

A whole new lot of books have arrived from O’Reilly for review and I have just about managed to finish Linux Desktop Hacks and Linux Device Drivers. Additionally, the Crossword store at Pune (near Gold AdLabs) yielded a nice read – The Last Days of the Reich.

Finally – if you have time then go ahead and get this book. It is worth every minute you spend. Pity that there is no review yet on Amazon.

To all those who sent in SMS greetings and electronic mail greetings and best wishes on our marriage – thanks a lot.