Indic@FOSS.IN

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Report

FOSS.IN/2005, the premier Free & Open Source Software event happened at Bangalore Palace, Bangalore, India from 29th Nov to 2nd Dec 2005. As always the event provided a center point for different localization groups to get together. The highlights of the event were the whole day localization track on 2nd Dec, IndLinux stall at FOSS Expo and the Indic computing BoF sessions.

First with IndLinux stall, the event this time saw a wider participation from FOSS groups at the FOSS Expo, so it was pleasant not to be alone. Setting up a stall & holding on there is always tough, esp. with the absence of few regular volunteers who couldnt make it to the event. Its high time others come forward to take initiative on own than on some push-pull factor. Overall the response was good, though no effort was made to track it & some more preparations like giving out pamphlets, indlinux CDs etc could have made it better. An interesting aspect noticed was of the support staff at the venue (security, cleaners) etc getting curious seeing the Indic interfaces. We had a new banner this time, though old one was also on display for couple of days by the closing of event it also went through the ceremonial signing party by speakers, volunteers & delegates.

Indic BoF meet happened on Day 2 afternoon in FOSS village and was attended by the groups - Ankur, C-DAC, IndLinux, Janabhaaratii, Malayalam, Oriya, Swecha(Telugu), Tamil, Utkarsh(Gujarati). This BoF also got clubbed with FOSS in education one, the underscoring point being that local language computing forms a critical part of it. Main points in discussion were: Testing, Deployment and enhancing communication among groups. Extensive testing has to be done for different stuff, since while the support is already there, there are still issues cropping up across in different environments. This demands documentating all bugs, writing test cases, preparing test data etc. On deployment, it was discussed to identify few test sites, where Indic stuff could be deployed for use by a specific target user group and collecting feedback to improve things. But the main realisation being that its high time the differernt groups be more vocal about their activities, talking about it in different forums, mailing lists, blogs, update posts etc. so that the rest of world comes to know what a team is doing, interesting people feel motivated and encouraged to join in and duplication of efforts can be avoided.

All Indic & Localization talks happened on the last day as a single track in Cox hall from morning to evening. This year saw lot more new speakers in this area, talking about useful work they have been doing in Indic L10n area.

Following were the talks (in order of schedule)

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

Delivering Localized Content in Education Indranil Das Gupta, L2C2 Technologies

Indic Tools for Community Knowledge Bases Srinivasa Raghavan K, Sarai Consultant

A Javascript Indic Input Method Editor Surekha Sastry, Sarai Consultant

Localization With Mono Kartik Mistry, Magnet WebPublishing Pvt. Ltd.

Multilingual Internet G Karunakar, IndLinux.org

ternationalization challenges facing the WWW Badi Kumar S, Yahoo! Inc

Workshop on Localised geographical information system Kanhaiya K Kale


Plans

Indic & related activities at FOSS.IN

Talks proposed

  • The long and winding road: FOSS computing in Indian languages - Gora Mohanty
  • Indic Tools for Community Knowledge Bases : Srinivasa Raghavan K
  • A Javascript Indic Input Method Editor : Surekha Sastry
  • Babel on the Web: Internationalization challenges facing the WWW Badi Kumar S
  • Vedas - on the path of Digitisation  : Siji Sunny & Jui Mhatre
  • BoF@FOSS.IN BoF on Indic computing
  • BoF on Multilingual Internet

Stall

  • We will have IndLinux stall at the FOSS Expo.
  • 1-2 PCs to demo Indic stuff
  • Big banner for IndLinux - 5'x3' - with Indlinux logo & more artwork.
  • A3 size posters in different languages & talking about different activities.
  • A4/A3 size color logo posters.
  • 1-2 pagers - print enough to go straight in delegate kits.

Other activities

  • Brainstorming meets - at tea/coffee
  • FOSS.tv interviews
  • Expected crowd - Utkarsh, Indlinux, Malayalam, Tamil, Swecha, Rebati