[Fsf-friends] Software Swatantrata... a CD from Kochi
Mon, 17 Feb 2003 13:36:24 +0530 (IST)
An interesting idea... from India itself!=20
Software Swatantrata by advocate Mahesh T Pai of Kochi
This Compact Disc contains swatantra software for the various versions of
Microsoft=AE Windows Operating System. Swatantra, in several Indian languag=
means the same thing - freedom - freedom from dependence; from slavery. It
stands for being able to do what you want to do with / on your computer.
Swatantrata - the state of being free - means being able to chose the
software you want to use. Your are not enjoying Swatantrata if you have to
buy a particular software because it is used at your workplace or school, o=
by your business associates. Swatantrata is about not having to upgrade (an=
pay for) your software every time your employer or friends up grade theirs.
Swatantrata is about not having to depend on a monopolist for fixing every
little bug in the software which you paid for. Swatantrata is not only your
freedom; it means the community's freedom and liberties. It is about being
able to help your friends and neighbours.
Swatantrata is not "free" as in "free of cost". Swatantrata means that you
have the swatantrata to give away copies of this CD free of cost. it also
means that you have the swatantrata to charge somebody a lot of money (or a
little of it) for giving him (or her) a copy of this same CD.
Swatantrata is also about being guaranteed that your personal information
remains yours. It is about being assured that information about you, your
computer and data on your computer is not accessed by somebody either over
the internet, or otherwise, without your knowledge.
Swatantrata comes at a price -- but not always at a cost. You have to compl=
with standards. You are bound to follow the licensing terms. When you shar=
this software with others, you have to ensure that the swatantrata given to
you by authors, compilers and distributors of this software is also
available to others. There are several packages on this CD-ROM, most of it
is covered under the GNU General Public License. There is a Malayalam
version of the GPL here.
To learn more about what the concept of freedom means, start here, or read
this article by Richard M. Stallman (available on the CD).
Some of the software here is covered by the GNU Library General Public
License. A little other software on this CD is released under other relate=
licenses, which preserve most of the above mentioned freedoms. The concerne=
license is there with each package.
What is here?
Plenty. Just browse through each directory. Click here to view the
directory listing - that is the best way of doing it. Most are self
installing executables for Microsoft=AE Windows 32 bit Operating system - t=
ought to work for Windows95 and above. Click for more some of the more
important contents, and very shallow install instructions.. The best way
however is to to browse the contents manually.
About this compilation
This is a compilation made by Mahesh T. Pai, Advocate, "NANDINI", S. R. M.
Road, Cochin - 682018, Kerala, India.
The compiler can be contacted at the above address, or by email at
All programs or other files on this CD are protected by copyright, and
unrestricted, royalty and permission free copying and modification is
permitted as per terms of license applicable to each package, program, or
file. Please see the concerned file or documentation accompanying each file
for details of the licenses and its terms.
Binaries on this CD are downloaded from the websites or other locations as
accessible to the compiler from India over the internet/World Wide Web, and
are are distributed as received by the compiler. Sources for the binaries
are accessible from the web sites of authors / creators of each respective
package. The compiler or other distributors of this CD do not accept any
responsibility for providing recipients of this CD or programs on this the
sources, unless the source code itself is on this CD.
Contents of SwatantraWin=20
Cygwin simulates the linux environment in Windows. Save the setup file and
run it from the local hdd -(note - set up might hang if run from the CD) an=
chose 'install from local directory' to install. If you have an internet
connection, you can choose 'install from internet' to download more
Contains MySql, MySql GUI, and MySql ODBC for Win9* and Win NT
The Gimp Tool Kit is a tool kit to develop GUI Widgets for programs. There
are also runtime environments in this directory. Run the file called
gtk+-1.3.0-20020313-setup-2.zip before installing GIMP (below).
RPMBrowser enables you to read Red Hat Package Manager files in a WIN 32
Developer CPP is a GUI for Gnu C++.=20
Minimalist GNU for Windows, or MingW.
If you have PERL version 5.8 or better installed, use Prima to develop GUIs
using a VB like tool.
Python is a programming language !!!!
There is the documentation for Python in PostScript, Portable Document
Format, and LaTeX source format. The actual python program is here. Install
it first These are allied files for Windows.
Documents: This directory contains several tutorials, guides and HOWTOs, an=
information why you should use swatantra software.
Watch out for articles by the Richard M. Stallman himself, in particular,
one on the concept of copyleft, another on why software should be swatantra
about the GNU Project, etc.
and do do not forget to read the two books (yes, two full books, on this CD=
"The Cathedral and the Bazaar", and "A Brief History of Hackerdom".
Simple text editors
Yudit -- a Unicode editor for many languages, including Indian Language -
written by somebody from Japan !!! Sources for Yudit are in this file.
JEDIT is a text editor which user Java - java itself is not free. Best
feature about JEDIT is that several plugins are available for it - connect
to the internist and use the plugins tap from the tool bar.
EMACS - how can any compilation of Free S/w be complete without GNU EMACS??=
ASPELL is a spell checker - compile it using Cygwin. Only sources are in
Ghost view, and Ghost Script are complimentary, and are used to view PDF -
portable document format files and PostScript files - (and you thought that
only Adobe's=AE Acrobat can do that?)
Malayalam TeX is also here.
Choose from three flavours - latest is version 5.8. This comes bundled wit=
Apache web server, version 2.0. Now, you can have the same software that
runs on Yahoo! and other major sites.
What use an operating system if it does not have Graphic editors?
On GNU, you have GIMP. There is also a tutorial - Grokking-the-GIMP. You
will first have to install the GTK runtimes, edit your path environment
(eg:, by editing the autoexec.bat file, to add a line something like this:-
c:\progra~1\Common~1\GTK\1.3\lib; to it, reboot unzip the GIMP.*.*.tar.gz
file in the folder to the location you want to install, and then run
GIMP.exe in the /gimp/bin directory. It will register itself. Your screen
resolution should be 1024 X 726 pixels or better, otherwise you will have
difficulty running the splash screen coming up the first time GIMP is run.
Httrack is a program which will download entire web sites on to your
computer. Careful - your hard disk is bound to fill up fast!!!
Mozilla, in two flavours - version 1.1, and 1.2 are available. Remember to
visit http://www.mozdev.org/projects.html to get a huge bundle of add on
software for Mozilla.
FileZilla is an FTP client. FTP clients are, for the common man, used to
upload web sites to the host server.
This directory contains several programs required to support non-English
languages, including a few free fonts.
MiKTeX-2.2 is an implementation of LaTex. This program is used for
typesetting. Look out for the tutorials in the documentation directory.=20
Run the set up program to install. This directory contains the 'Large'
implementation of MikTex. You can choose to install only the basic version.=
This will a lot of disk space. You also can connect to the web and install
the 'full' version of MikTeX, to which will take up approximately 500 MB
Audacity and winLAME are music codecs.
Celestia is an astronomy software which will imitate the actual planetary
position as per your system time on the screen.
ABIWORD - a simple word processor can read some (not all) Microsoft Word
documents. Saves files in Rich Text File format. Look out for the Abiword
dictionaries and plugins in the Abiword directory.
Openoffice - what use a computer without a full-blown office suite? Here i=
OpenOffice.org (notice the .org?) version 1.0.1 suite. It has a
presentations component, an HTML editor, a spread sheet application, an
editor for mathematical notations, a picture editor, and of course, a word
processor. The standard dictionary is the US English dictionary.=20
Dictionary for British English is on the CD. First install OpenOffice.org,
and then unzip the en_GB.zip file into the /user/share dictionary where you
installed OpenOffice.org. Then you have to manually change the Tools >
Options menu, go to the Languages > Writing Aids section, click 'edit',
select English (UK) from the Languages dropdown Menu, and enable the
There are several documents on OpenOffice.org (the software, not the
website) in the documents directory.
After reading all this, you will feel like installing a GNU operating syste=
- and start by reading these HOWTOs.
Now, GO AHEAD, ENJOY all the FREEDOM you want!!!!!!!!!!=20
Frederick Noronha * Freelance Journalist * Goa * India 832.409490 / 409783
Writing with a difference... on what makes *the* difference