Inflection point for localisation

An “inflection point” can be defined as a point on a curve in which the curvature changes sign [1] ie the curve might change from being concave downwards to concave upwards. The next inflection point when it comes to discussing localisation in Free and Open Source Software [2] is the deployment of localisation in Citizen Centric Services or what is covered by the catch-all term “eGovernance”.

If one is tempted to figure a linear equation as to what stops localisation from being deployed in eGovernance it would be like as:

No project scoping <- Lack of applications <- Lack of specifications for applications <- Lack of standardisation <- Lack of a resource center. However simplistic that appears a large bit of it is accurate. So, to begin with, let's talk about standards [3] and especially Open Standards [4]. These are are publicly available and implementable standards. By allowing anyone to obtain and implement the standard, they can increase compatibility between various hardware and software components, since anyone with the necessary technical know-how and resources can build products that work together with those of the other vendors that base their designs on the standard. The standards that would be relevant are Unicode, W3C, LISA etc that would make the end user experience complete and useful. Add to this standardisation of glyphs. What this ensures that the solutions are interoperable and consistent. This also means that the user experience and user goodwill is enhanced. Accessibility or a11y is also the fallout of using standards in deployment. The next stage is creating Specifications for the applications. Specifications which leverage Open Standards and create solutions in an Open Architecture allows the creation of applications by the developers which are scalable and (re)usable. If the developers have incentives to create applications adhering to specifications, the roadmap for deployment becomes much more easy. Once these are in place, the ideal way forward would be the creation of a resource center. The top level objective of the Resource Center would be a framework of collaboration between Industry and the Research Units involved in Localisation Research. The Center would also include linguists and Special Interest Groups who would have innovative UseCases for Capacity Building. Building of skills would be required in the areas of IT infrastructure operators, IT managers, developers and deployment support personnel. Additionally, the Resource Center would be involved in the tools and solutions required for deployment of FOSS, incubate entrepreneurship. Most importantly it would participate in Policy formulation in the various relevant fields. References: [1] [2] [3] [4]