[Fsf-friends] Bangla LINUX in Compass 2004

linux junkies linux_junkies@yahoo.co.in
Wed Feb 18 07:57:18 IST 2004

Yesterday was the last day of COMPASS 2004. After three disappointing days last two days has been encouraging to the Linux fanatics like me. ILUG-CAL presented linux to this COMPASS. I must appreciate Mr.Indranil Dasgupta and Mr Shankarshan Mukhopadhya, who answered the open house. Though participation was very disappointing. 

The range of question was very vivid. From one user asking the web address where he can download these free stuffs to the other user asking whether he can use his old ttf (true type font) Bengali fonts in this free OS platform. Most of the queries were whether users could run so-called popular proprietary s/w in GNU/LINUX. Both of them handled these queries efficiently. My heartiest thanks to them. 

Most interesting part was their presentation on Ankur Bangla Project. ( You can see details about it at www.bengalinux.org ). They presented Ankur Bangla Live CD 1.0. It is a fascinating idea to make a OS with Bangali messages. People will love to work with a s/w that they can instruct in his mother tongue (though it will still work in binary). The basic idea of popularizing GNU/Linux will get a booster dose, at least in Bengal through this project. 

L10n(localization) of the OS is very much needed to popularize Free s/w. Various bengali OTF(Open type Fonts) in UNICODE was also very much needed for easy portability. The editors are quite good. They have all powerful features that a modern text editor needs, even a interesting bengali dictionary to check spellings . ”Bangla Sahityer Sankalan” (Collection of Bengali Literature) is also very unique. The Full Ankur Bangla Linux distribution is due in April 2004. They are also undertaking Oriya localization project. It is nice to hear that 15 community centers in USA is using this Live CD to train US born bengali children in their mother tongue. These children took birth in a country habituated with computer. So it’s a nice idea to teach them bengali through computers. This live CD might be first big step forward to popularize GNU/Linux in Bengal also. We can approach West Bengal Government to adapt this Bengali Linux instead of proprietary s/w in their basic computer education
 starting from school. May this live CD, not be a collector’s item of proprietary s/w users. I expect this CD to pave a path of using free s/w and LINUX OS in West Bengal. 
One very good friend of mine made a good point here. We must make conscious effort to let people know that there exist a Free Live Bangla OS CD, otherwise there is no point in making such a good job. It will just be wasted. A grass root level workforce must be there to popularize GNU/Linux itself, otherwise all their valuable efforts will be in vain. 

I found a little boy in this COMPASS saying “Their configuration lack enough memory to run P IV efficiently”, after seeing a h/w vendors offer paper. This was fabulous. It shows how much we are coming of age. But this little boy must also be taught to use FREE GNU/Linux and s/w so that he will not use pirated proprietary s/w. He should be taught that here he can put his talent to modify the s/w itself according to his need. 

Most of the LUGs have been involved in projects that take the free s/w movement ahead. It is very much needed. But they lack the urge to popularize it in grass root level. But Believe me, this is important. There is no point in inventing space ships if common people are not made aware of their existence. Common people must be heard, they must be informed, due attention must be given to them to solve their basic problems in GNU/Linux. They must not thing Linux is very much geeks OS. They must feel easy while using LINUX daily in their PC. 

May the freedom, knowledge and the Ankur Bangla Live CD 1.0 be with you

You can download this from http://heanet.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/bengalinux/ankurbangla-ld_1.0.iso 

avijit patra
linuxjunkies foundation

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