[Fsf-friends] incomplete (SMC) Swantantra Malayalam Computing

Raghavendra Bhat ragu@vsnl.com
Mon Feb 2 06:20:07 IST 2004


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From: Anwar AU <anwar@hackermail.com>
Subject: [fsug-cusat] incomplete Swantantra Malayalam Computing
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Well showing a few screenshots of how a Malayalam Gnu/Linux will look is
really very  impressive for the layman.   But that is no  way to impress
the guys  here with a solution  for a Malayalam  desktop.  The Swatantra
Malayalam Computing (SMC) hasnt achieved  anything by showing a few pics
on a  malayalam destop  working on someone  elses computer. Its  easy to
show some one  that 'I have created a malayalam gnome  by showing how it
works on  my computer and  others who  need to see  this can come  to my
house. Every One Is Invited.' Thanks but no.

Its really  easy to show  the desktop icon  names using a  changed font,
edit a  few files  so that  a few of  the easy  applications are  now in
malayalam, rename the  menu items with the font and worst  of all show a
web page that shows a malayalam  site in full screen. This could be done
on any gnu system. If this were  to be seen by people of other languages
they would laugh at our face saying these malayalees are'nt even capable
of creating  a locale of  their own, and  so doesnt have even  the basic
qualification to stand among us in the hall of locales.

As far as I know, if I  am right, the first meeting for the necessity of
Indians to have a localized  operating system to suit their purposes was
first held  at Trivandrum in around  1999. The meeting  concluded with a
descision to make  localized versions of desktops for  all the languages
in India. And after this, it  was descided to form a group of developers
in kerala to  do the specific task.  It was called SMC and  most of them
were from Trivandrum.  They started their work on it,  and after 3 years
these pictures and  a few files on  how to do this on  your computer, is
what they have achieved.

The SMC's developers were properly funded  and in the end we get to know
that the work  they have done is  using a patented by some  one else and
could lead to patent problems in  the future.They had taken pango as the
rendering engine  and used a  code to support  indic module which  was a
patented technology from IBM. Then how do we call it Swatantra Malayalam
Computing. 'I am really proud of  you guys. You have done a really great
work'. The SMC's GPL'ed otf fonts were made from rachana fonts which was
owned by  the rachana group  and also not  even in GPL. This  font could
have later  on made drastic  impact on the  project if the  rachana team
went to sue  them in the court.  But  its only a few days  back that the
rachana came under the GPL.

But I am happy that  their work could'nt materialize otherwise, it would
have roused  too many  complications.  Every one  is free to  correct me
where i went wrong.


True Love  for freedom comes from  the love for source  code and through
the understanding of humanity's desire to share.


Free Software Users Group - CUSAT


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