Indianisation of Linux

As part of , ILUG wanted to show some Indianized Linux apps if possible. As we know most of the Linux apps are already internationalized. What is required is localization. Even thou localizing to indian languages has some problems, there are hacks which allow us to achieve it still to some extent.

  1. Computers, Human Languages and Linux
  2. Want to help, then check this out.

1st Nov 2000
  1. gtkicq : Internationalized and Indianized. Uses tagged message passing, so that the recieving person can read the message in the language in which it was entered, provided he has the required font.
  2. gkeymaps : A Gui frontend to the xmodmap keymap files, with a sample kannada keymap file.
  3. gfontkb : Internationalized and Indianized. Provides a simple and dumb OnScreen keyboard.

28 Oct 2000
25 Oct 2000
gFontKB (a simple, dumb OnScreen keyboard)

I have written a opensource program called gFontKB ( a simple, dumb OnScreen keyboard ) It shows all the chars or glyphs in a font as a onscreen keyboard. One can select the font to use and Type in characters in this font.

  1. Using this onscreen keyboard by clicking on the buttons.
    Useful for NonTranslative or NonPhonetic fonts.
  2. Also one can directly enter or edit the contents of the textbox.
    Useful for Translative or Phonetic fonts.
All that one enters is placed into the textbox provided. And one can cut and paste it into any application.

Following are the fonts finalized for the different indian languages

Ignore the individual links below to the font files, because tripod is adding some stupid javascript junk to the begining of these ttf files.
Instead download all these fonts as a single indian-fonts.tar.gz file
Devanagire(Sanskrit), Tamil, and Telugu fonts, which I have searched and got are Transliterative or Phonetic in nature to a great extent. i.e If you type 'k' in keyboard its displayed as 'kha' in respective language, similarly
'm' becomes 'Ma' (pa, pha, ba ...Ma)
'h' - 'ha' (ya, ra, ..., ha, ..)
And so on.
Either way, Using gfontkb and selecting the respective font, will give you a idea of how the characters are distributed, and will also allow you to enter the translated text directly using the OnScreen keyboard.

The POT files that contain the strings that require to be translated are

These files contain the string to be translated - identified by msgid "blah blah"
and the space for the translated string - identified by msgstr ""
Translate the string identified by msgid and place it infront of msgstr.
Step to do the translation.
  1. Download and Install the TrueType font for your language, The font used should be the one specified in this website.
  2. In gfontkb or GEdit or Notepad or any editor which supports selection of fonts, Have this font selected.
  3. Type in the translated string in your language into either gfontkb or GEdit or Notepad ..., depending on which ever you use. NOTE: You should be seeing what ever you enter in your language, else, something is wrong. Please verify the above steps once again.
  4. Have the POT file whose Message Strings you are translating opened in a text editor like vi or emacs. (if using emacs, be careful about the po mode, understand it properly if u use it).
  5. Cut and paste the translated string from gfontkb or GEdit or ... into the POT file opened in vi or emacs or any plain text editor of your choice.
  6. The translated string which you pasted into the POT file in vi(or emacs or plain text editor of your choice) will appear in english (or which ever language you use by default) with maybe few strange characters in it. This is fine, because your editor is showing the string in translated language as if its in english.
If in doubt, you can always verify the info pages on gettext, available in your system. (bash$ info gettext)

24 Oct 2000

The RFC for Linux For India is up now.
Checkout the Poster for Linux For India.

20 Oct 2000

Today I patched the gtkicq v0.62 source code, thus adding multilingual support to it. I also added the Hindi translations to it.

19 Oct 2000

So here is my attempt at achieving it: I will be updating this page in a few days, however in the mean time, here is the result of the 1st steps into it.