Archive for FOSS



IndLinux Saga

  • A brief timelog of IndLinux history!
    • First launched by Prakash Advani (technology writer and founder of portal ) , Venkatesh Hariharan (freelance journalist -then) in Dec 1999 on (now at
    • Prakash Advani was then running this portal on Free operating systems available then & was a Linux evangelist. He later started as a Linux services company ( June 2000 ).
    • Venky Hariharan was a freelance journalist involved in writing about technology. He was earlier involved with BharatBhasha , a project started by Harsh Kumar (Hindi and IT expert working in public sector). Harsh Kumar had got developed Shusha fonts – a collection of 5 fonts for Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali. These were the first set of fonts easy to use available in public domain. The central point of Shusha being – no extra software should be needed to type in ones language.
    • indlinux group list started on 28th Dec 1999 on egroups.
    • discussions start in Jan 2000 -
    • With slow discussions on mailing list its decided to hire someone fulltime to work for IndLinux. Prakash Advani while starting his company decides to support IndLinux through it.
    • June 2000 – Karunakar joins project as fulltime member, with supporting the project – financially and resource wise.
    • With the core team on Apurva Shah (CTO, FreeOS), Prakash Advani, Venky Hariharan, Harsh Kumar (then with HPCL, now Indian Railways), Rahul Palkar (freelancer).
    • set up, hosted my
    • Mailing list set up on
    • Localized app in Hindi – using Shusha fonts with Hindi translated interface was made.
    • Project registerd on SourceForge in Sept 2000.
    • A team at IIT Madras (also called IndLinux) starts working on a ISCII based solution.
    • R&D in progress to understand how whole i18n/l10n model works (these were days when model in linux was not well documented & many things didnt work in that stage – like unicode, phonetic input, multilingual fonts etc.
    • with linux kernel supporting Unicode and UTF-8 & also glibc having support for widechars/unicode, XFree86 starts supporting display of Unicode chars.
    • Xmodmap & XKB Inscript keymaps for indic scripts implemented.
    • development of Unicode Hindi TTFs begins.


    • Glib, Pango have Unicode support, freetype implements opentype tables.
    • first attempts to make a Opentype font .
    • A demo application using unicode, pango, gtk with Hindi interface written.
    • Opentype font is developed but gets stuck in financial issues.
    • closes down.
    • Prakash Advani joins Netcore Solutions. Rajesh Jain CEO of Netcore solutions (also of Indiaworld fame) supports IndLinux, Karunakar hired in Netcore to continue Indlinux activities.
    • Linux Bangalore/2001, Localization talks at event. Event also marks first meeting point of FOSS enthusiasts working on localization activities – IndLinux, LLI-Bangalore, IIT Madras, Chennai Kavigal, RCIL at Mgmt Studies center, IISc.


    • Gnome Hindi translations begin
    • Team in Bhopal starts Gnome Hindi translations.
    • Indic-Computing is formed.
    • First Indic-Computing meet in Bangalore Sept 2002 – sponsored by HP ISO
    • First public Demo of Hindi Gnome at Linux Bangalore 2002.
    • Cyberscape Multimedia release a set of Indic TTF fonts courtesy lobbying by FSF-India
    • Linux Bangalore/2002, L10n talks at event & a Indlinux demo stall for first time.


    • IndLinux Hindi v0.37 (milan) released at Gnunify/2003
    • Indic Font Workshop at PESIT Bangalore, March 2003 – supported by Sarai, Deeproot
    • June 2003, First Milan Demo CD released.
    • Oct 2003 – Milan demo CD v2 released.
    • Oct 2003 – First Hindi translation review workshop @ Sarai
    • Dec 2003 – Linux Bangalore/2003, L10n talks + IndLinux stall.
    • Dec 2003 – Indlinux Hindi v0.73 (pali) released.


    • Localization Newsletter started..8 issues published till Nov’04
    • KDE 3.2 translated to Hindi
    • May 04 – Rangoli alpha released.
    • July 04 – Panl10n Localization training to Bhutanese (Dzongkha) L10n team.
    • Aug 04 – User demo workshop at IHC Lab.
    • Aug 04 – 2nd Hindi Translationr review workshop @ Sarai
    • Sept 04 – Indic Meet @ HBCSE, Mumbai – supported by Redhat
    • Sept 04 – Panl10n Localization training to Nepali l10n team.
    • Oct 04 – Advanced L10n training to Dzongkha team in Bhutan.
    • Oct 04 – IndLinux Hindi 0.9 (unnati) released.
    • Bolnagri keymap released


    • Jan 05 – Rangoli 1.0 beta released
    • May 05 – 3rd Hindi translation review workshop @ Sarai
    • Sept 05 – Indic Devel meet @ HBCSE, Mumbai – supported by Redhat, CDAC


    • OpenOffice Help translated to Hindi
    • Hindi supported in debian-installer


    • Sarai.ttf font released
    • NRCFOSS AU-KBC sponsors dedicated server for Indic localization activities.
    • launched for hosting Indic l10n projects
  • Comments

    Firefox indic in Debian testing

    Though not really new news, but Debian testing now has Indic enabled Firefox, meaning Indic script will render well in it. A good time for users to upgrade to it. Other distros which support it are Fedora Core 4+ & Ubuntu Breezy/Dapper


    FOSS.IN schedule out!

    FOSS.IN schedule is out!!

    Indic talks are on 2nd Dec 2005.

    10:30 am The long and winding road: FOSS computing in Indian languages
    Gora Mohanty, Sarai, CSDS

    11:15 am Localized Content in Education
    Indranil Das Gupta, L2C2 Technologies

    12:00 pm Indic Tools for Community Knowledge Bases
    Srinivasa Raghavan K, Sarai Consultant

    12:45 pm A Javascript Indic Input Method Editor
    Surekha Sastry, Sarai Consultant

    IndLinux stall will be in the FOSS projects Expo area.

    Timings of BoF meets for Indic Computing and Multilingual internet will be announced just before the event.

    If you are attending, make sure to register as delegate before 28th Nov noon.