It would be better to customize knoppix for this.
On Fri, 09 May 2003 Frederick Noronha (FN) wrote :
>Prof Nag, I'm going to mention this at a college talk in Goa.
>waiting anxiously for it ;-) And I'm going to bug you till you
>I am presently planning a single CD distribution containing the
>and goodies requiered for a regular engineering college student.
>like to keep in mind the syllabus and projects students do. Can
>some of you
>tell us what kind of applications are used/needed by students?
>We can build
>the list and sit on one sunday and make the distro. Debian
>special scripts to make custom CDs from their original master
>I am planning to use this. --Prof Nagarjuna G
>Frederick Noronha (FN) | http://www.fredericknoronha.net
>Freelance Journalist | http://www.bytesforall.org
>http://goalinks.pitas.com | http://joingoanet.shorturl.com
>T: 0091.832.2409490 or 2409783 M: 0 9822 122436
>Fsf-friends mailing list
Enjoy your Freedom,use GNU/Linux.
Prof Nag, I'm going to mention this at a college talk in Goa. We're
waiting anxiously for it ;-) And I'm going to bug you till you get
I am presently planning a single CD distribution containing the applications
and goodies requiered for a regular engineering college student. I would
like to keep in mind the syllabus and projects students do. Can some of you
tell us what kind of applications are used/needed by students? We can build
the list and sit on one sunday and make the distro. Debian GNU/Linux has
special scripts to make custom CDs from their original master distribution.
I am planning to use this. --Prof Nagarjuna G
Frederick Noronha (FN) | http://www.fredericknoronha.net
Freelance Journalist | http://www.bytesforall.orghttp://goalinks.pitas.com | http://joingoanet.shorturl.comhttp://linuxinindia.pitas.com | http://www.livejournal.com/users/goalinks
T: 0091.832.2409490 or 2409783 M: 0 9822 122436
IT department plans Rs 1.5-cr Linux push
Source: 'Economic Times' dt May 09, 2003
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2003 12:37:57 AM ]
NEW DELHI: IBM chief Samuel J Palmisano's 'learning' visit to India may have gone off more silently than expected. But his pitch to the Centre on the benefits of using Linux was not wasted.
While maintaining that its stance is of strict technology, platform and vendor neutrality, it is equally true that the Department of Information Technology has also crafted its own Linux India Initiative.
Minister for information technology, Arun Shourie informed Lok Sabha that a proposal for the same has been submitted to the Planning Commission for budgetary support during '03-04 as part of DIT's annual plan for '03-04.
Government sources reveal that Rs 150 lakh is proposed for the Initiative now. Funds will be spent after formal approval. Opportunities and relevance of open source, more specifically, GNU/Linux in the Indian context has been discussed among DIT officials, industry, academicians, state governments, developers and NGOs late last year. All of them were interested in pursuing the initiative.
While it is becoming clear that the authorities are not interested in getting into a proprietary and open source software tussle, Mr Shourie has stressed that the DIT has not prescribed preferential treatment of one over the other.
But the fact is that there is space for both and the choice must be exercised by each user. The Linux India Initiative emerged out of the multi-stake holder meeting as a consensual action plan, after specific steps such as setting up of resource centres, special interest groups, suitable provisions in the procurement policy of the government and government institutions, R&D, labs of various educational institutions, especially engineering colleges.
Interestingly, some work was already on in DIT societies in the area of open source software. C-DAC, Mumbai (erstwhile National Centre for Software Technology) has developed Linux with Hindi language support and development is now underway for supporting other Indian languages also.
Funds allotted for development of INDIX localisation of Linux - Phase I during '00-01 was Rs 39 lakh. In '02-03, Rs 50 lakh has been spent for Phase II.
In the overall trend, support for Indian language has also been developed by IT vendors - specifically IBM middleware. Efforts are now on to roll out support that adheres to Linux standards by unifying individual efforts by IITs and C-DAC.
It is learnt IBM is in touch with these developers and as soon as the support confirms to standards, not only the operating system, but also the applications will have Linux support.
posted by NSS
IBM invests to develop open source software
By Imran Qureshi, Indo-Asian News Service
Bangalore, May 7 (IANS) IBM India Wednesday formally agreed to set up its
Linux-based centre of excellence in Hubli, 400 km from here, in a bid to
develop talent and technology devoted to open source software.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Karnataka and IBM India
provides the framework for the discussions that IBM chairman and CEO
Sam Palmisano had with Chief Minister S.M. Krishna Monday.
"The Hubli branch of the Indian Institute of Information Technology
(IIIT-Bangalore) is the single largest point of over 100 students working on
open source in India," IIIT-B director S. Sadagopan told IANS.
"IBM would help guide its emergence as a open source hub for not only talent
but also technologies."
The importance that Big Blue attached to the MoU signing ceremony could be
gauged from the presence of Steve Mills, senior vice president and group
executive, software group, IBM Corp.
Frank Luksic, IBM country executive, software group and developer relations,
signed the MoU with Karnataka IT Secretary Vivek Kulkarni in the presence of
Krishna and Abraham Thomas, managing director, IBM India.
"IBM has developed several open source technologies that have been accepted
by the world," Mills told reporters after the ceremony.
"We could, perhaps, look at some of those developed at the centre of
excellence after some time. Our investment spans a whole range of
activities, including developing software skills and financial elements."
However, both Mills and Luksic declined to specify the amount of the
"Investment in education cannot be quantified. We go by building skills and
talent," said Krishna.
The Hubli unit consists of 100 students drawn from seven engineering
colleges of north Karnataka, all of whom are working on open source software
projects. The branch is linked to IIIT on the outskirts of Bangalore through
a virtual private network and the students listen to live lectures daily.
The Hubli branch had already received a donation of Rs.10 million from Sudha
Murthy, chairperson of the Infosys Foundation.
"The setting up of the centre for excellence is a small effort to convert a
downloading nation to an uploading nation," Sadagopan said.
Said Mills: "IBM is committed to education and skill building. We are
excited about this centre of excellence so that we can upload new ideas."
"Customers now expect their technology infrastructure and solutions to work
with hardware, software and solutions from multiple vendors, bringing to an
end the era of proprietary systems.
"Industry and governments will now cooperate closely to create innovative
and reusable solutions through open source software," Mills added.
--Indo-Asian News Service
Keep an Open Mind About Open Source: It's the Law!
By Tiernan Ray
May 07, 2003
Representative Phil Barnhart of the Oregon state legislature in March introduced a bill that would compel the state to pledge to strongly consider Linux and other open source programs in all future purchase decisions. Barnhart's bill doesn't require that the state purchase Linux or any other software. It simply calls for an examination of the merits of open source software during the buying process.
Regardless of what you think of Microsoft's newly released Windows 2003 server, Linux or any other piece of software, it's worth taking a closer look at what Barnhart is asking of the state. It may be throwing oil on the fire to add yet another complication into the practice of shopping for IT, but there are good reasons to consider instituting similar referenda inside most corporate IT shops. Chief among those reasons: to keep vendors honest.
If companies were to take an oath to consider open source, it would be yet another spur to competition in the marketplace.
Flying Without a Net
A big part of the Oregon proposal has to do with saving money by buying freely available software. Barnhart writes in a comment on the legislation posted on his Web site that open source could save the state "millions of dollars." With IT spending growth worldwide still forecast to be between negative 1 percent and positive 6 or 7 percent in 2003, it's no surprise that programs that cost little or nothing are appealing to many. In that sense, Barnhart's bill really does take "free software" to mean "free as in beer," as Richard Stallman feared many would.
Nonetheless, Barnhart's bill is not just about saving money. It's also about maintaining control over the software you buy. With Windows NT reaching "end-of-life" this year in terms of its support contracts from Microsoft, many IT shops are realizing that the software they bought from the big, reliable company will soon be unacknowledged by that same company. It's kind of like the old Mission Impossible caveat: "We will disavow any knowledge of this product."
The Oregon proposition states in its findings that "It is also in the public interest that the state be free [...] of restrictions imposed by parties outside the state's control on how, and for how long, the state may use the software it has acquired[...]" It goes on to say that "Open source software contains no restrictions on how, or for how long, it may be used."
The legislation does not say explicitly that Windows NT will cease to function after its end-of-life, but the formal language, and the comparison of open and closed source, serves as a tacit acknowledgment that proprietary software is essentially dead once the big, reliable vendor that sold it abandons its creation.
Imagine No Vendors
Even control, however, is not the ultimate issue. Companies still may find third parties that can help them with their aging software installations. In fact, many companies have been running Windows NT, Windows 2000 Server and other products for long enough that they have uncovered many of the bugs and discovered solutions they can implement without Redmond's help.
Instead, the greater reason underlying the bill is contained in the simple proviso to "consider" the alternatives. "Consider," the bill says, "acquiring open source software products in addition to proprietary software products." No requirements, in other words, to buy open source, but rather a mandate to entertain the alternatives in a market.
After more than five years of judicial football over the effects of monopolies, there is no better advice for the world's software users than to consider the alternatives. One of the most potent effects of Linux, StarOffice, the GNU codebase and the Mozilla browser, among other open-source projects, is to ensure an indestructible competitive presence in the marketplace. In answer to the proprietary vendors' caveat -- We may make your software obsolete -- open source is a memento mori: Remember that you may be passed over by customers.
Amid the crazed turf battles and daily horror shows of building critical infrastructure, the exhortation to consider open source is a reminder that there are alternatives, and that users should always desire choice. Building such resolve into official IT practice is probably a good idea for every company that will buy software in coming years
posted by N.S. Soundara Rajan, Mysore, India
I came across this project on Slashdot.
The Remote IT Village Project attempting to connect several isolated
villages deep in the Laotian Jungle to the rest of the world using
wireless networks, pedal-power and Laonux (customized Linux installs
translated into the Laotian language). Power surges can be a hassle when
the nearest computer store is hundreds of miles away, but they're
shooting for a May 18th "go live" date."
The conditions are almost(or exactly) like the Indian villages, so I
thought to bring this to everyones notice. Please spread the word and if
someone can whisper a word about this to our GREAT INDIAN BUREAUCRACY,
it would be nice.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
SOLIS, Free Software Co-operative
Lajeado, RS, Brazil
May, 7th 2003
What is a Co-operative?
"Co-ops are based on helping each other and caring for others.
A co-operative is a a type of business or organization. It is a group of
people who are working together to solve their own problems and meet
their needs. Co-ops are different from other types of organisations
since they abide by three main rules:
* Co-ops treat people fairly and respectfully;
* Co-ops encourage people to work together towards solving their
* Co-ops provide products and services to meet people's needs rather
than solely for the purpose of making money."
(Extracted from http://www.ica.coop/kids)
What is Free Software?
"Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy,
distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it
refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:
* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements
to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3).
Access to the source code is a precondition for this."
(Extracted from http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html)
Reading the definitions above, you will see Co-operative and Free
Software share a common set of principles, based on community building
and freedom. It seems natural to use a co-operative organization to
produce Free Software. This is what SOLIS does.
Started at the UNIVATES IT department (www.univates.br/freesoftware),
SOLIS is formed now by almost 30 people who make their living producing
free software (half of them working directly with free software
development in projects such as SAGU, GNUTECA and others) and selling
training, customization and services to customers who are able to
understand and share the Free Software phylosophy. All software produced
by SOLIS is licensed under the GPL.
UNIVATES, an University Center in the South of Brazil, actually helped
the startup of SOLIS by allowing the University's IT department to
provide services and training on the software produced originally for
the University. Amazingly enough, if you search Google (www.google.com)
with the keywords: Free Software Brazil -- you will see UNIVATES pages
as the first ones being displayed. Instead of capitalizing on top of
free software services itself, UNIVATES decided to outsource its own IT
services to the group already providing these services to the
University, allowing the inauguration of SOLIS. By doing this, UNIVATES
expects SOLIS will grow and provide a workplace for its computer science
and other students, fostering regional development, once money spent on
free software solutions stay in the region and won't go to proprietary
software companies outside Brazil.
SOLIS starts with a full set of products for academic administration,
library automation and others, and it is setting up local partnerships
in order to "free" (GPL) a comprehensive set of solutions for small and
"We understand by offering free software for our local industries and
commerce, we will allow them to better automate their business and
become more competitive, at the same time we create job positions for
people who will be supporting this software and further developing it.
Right now, the existing proprietary software solutions don't allow the
automation of several businesses in our region.", says João Alex
Fritsch, President of SOLIS.
Because SOLIS is a cooperative, not a corporation, there is no danger
that SOLIS will accept outside investment from people who have no
ethical attachment to the principles of free software. Such investment
has been the downfall of many free software companies, since the outside
investors often decide to develop non-free software.
For more information, please contact Cesar Brod, Executive
Vice-President, at cesar at brod.com.br, or visit www.solis.coop.br
cesar at brod dot com dot br
SOLIS, Cooperativa de Soluções Livres
55 51 3714-7040
URL : http://indic-computing.sourceforge.net/designaxes
The Indic Computing Project > Design Axes for the Indian
Language Computing Market
Design Axes for the Indian Language Computing Market
The Indic-Computing project
Copyright � 2003 by A. Joseph Koshy
$Date: 2003/04/30 07:23:50 $
Despite nearly four decades of work, computing in local languages
remains unavailable to the common man in the Indian subcontinent. In
this article we identify seven core issues, namely power,
usability, interoperability, locality of information,
value addition, the effect of social structure and the quality
of the supporting development ecosystem, that need to be addressed
before pervasive Indian language computing can become a reality. We
analyse a few existing projects and show that the levels of success
achieved by these is consistent with their tackling of these seven
core issues. Finally, we present a ``road map'' for making computing
pervasive in Indian society and list the areas where the
Indic-Computing Project hopes to make a contribution.
Document status: Third draft.
Table of Contents
2 The Design ``Axes''
4 Road map
The so-called ``digital divide'' remains a yawning gulf today for most
Indian citizens. In a country with over one billion citizens, 99 out
of 100 do not use computers. Numerous organizations have attempted in
the past to increase the penetration of information processing
technologies in the Indian sub-continent. Until date, these efforts
have been relatively unsuccessful (see the sidebar The Case of the
Missing Market). Local language computing has not made inroads into
mainstream Indian society.
We believe that this situation has arisen because prior efforts have
not taken cognizance of the core characteristics that underlie the
Indian context. Rather unsurprisingly, these characteristics turn out
to be different from those in the so-called ``developed''
societies--in other words, a successful product or service for the
Indian subcontinent has necessarily to be designed differently from
one aimed at a ``developed'' market.
The major contributions of this article are as follows:
* We identify seven core areas that a computing technology needs to
address before it can succeed in the Indian context.
* We provide a model explains the lack of success of prior
initiatives to bridge the digital divide. The model can be used to
evaluate the impact a new technology would have in the Indian
* We offer for discussion, a ``road map'' for pervasive Indian
language computing that has a higher probability of success than
The Case of the Missing Market
Estimates of the size of the Indian language computing market vary
widely. A survey conducted by the Indian Institute of Information
Technology, Bangalore described the existing Indian language market as
predominantly DTP and print driven, with a market size of about INR 64
Crores (INR 640 million).
However, an article in the June 24th, 2002 issue of DataQuest,
author Yograj Verma estimated that the potential size of the Indian
language market to be as large as INR 65,260 Crores (INR 652.6
billion). According to this estimate, the potential size of the
indigenous market rivals that of the existing ``export oriented''
In reality, computing infrastructure has yet to make significant
headway into Indian society. The use of computers remains an
essentially urban phenomenon, mostly restricted to the English
speaking elite in the country. There clearly is a gap between what the
market could be and what today's market players are able to provide.
1.1 Target Audience
This document has been written with the following audiences in mind:
* Planners designing computing infrastructure for developing
societies. Many of issues highlighted here would be present in
other developing societies, and the solutions developed would be
of use there too.
* Software developers and development managers interested in
developing software for the Indian language software market.
* Educationists, especially those in Indian technical colleges.
* Open-source developers attempting to add support for Indian
languages to open-source software.
Awareness of the technical issues in Indian language computing is
assumed. The reader wishing to refresh his or her knowledge may find
tutorial sections of the Indic-Computing Handbook, and some of the
questions and answers in the Indic-Computing FAQ to be of help.
1.3 What this article is not
A few statements about what the article does not cover would also be
* The article does not cover the benefits that a pervasive computing
infrastructure brings to Indian society. It also does not go into
the issues of the appropriateness of information technology; as
with all tools, the use of information technology would be
appropriate in certain contexts and inappropriate in others; the
judgment call on this matter would need to be taken by the
* We do not identify specific end-user solutions that are needed in
the market today. Though there are many opportunities that we can
see, discussing these would be out of scope for this article. In
this document, we sketch the broad architectural characteristics
that successful solutions in the Indian context would possess.
1.4 Structure of this document
The rest of this article is structured as follows:
* In Section 2 we look at the seven core issues that need to be
solved before any computing technology can succeed in a
large-scale in the Indian context.
* We then analyse a few existing projects in Section 3 in the
framework of our model.
* Section 4 lists some of the next steps that need to be taken
up before pervasive computing can become a reality in the Indian
context. This section also provides the rationale for the tasks
that the Indic-Computing project has taken up.
The Design ``Axes''
This, and other documents, can be downloaded from
Built With WebMake
Copyright � 2001--2003 The Indic-Computing Project.
Last Modified: Wed Apr 30 12:56:11 2003