I was a bit tied up for the last few days and could not give my attention to
this issue and hence the late reply.
FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION OF INDIA
18th Oct 2007
*Save Kannada From Microsoft's Monopoly*
I am a bit surprised that FSF-I has sent out a press release with a title
that is nothing short of promoting linguistic chauvinism. When the draft was
released by Omshivaprakash I raised the following points:
A few thoughts about the letter:
1. The main points of the letter - gives adequate focus on the Kannada
language aspects, talks about "lock-in" and benefit of free software.
2. Can a few point about the ODF vs. OOXML and India's stand on the issue be
added? I think this is very relevant to the situation.
3. Can we increase the emphasis of quality of localisation with free
4. Maybe quote a few points from the IOSN webpage http://www.iosn.net/
why developing countries such as India would find it more advantageous to
use FOSS based solutions.
While the language issue would stir our passions, on its own it would not
present a compelling case since Free s/w Kannada localisation is also still
Hope these points are taken into consideration when finalising the letter(if
this a draft).
The issue at hand is more related to the 'ISO standards' and 'healthy
business practises' rather than 'language' and FSF-I's press release
have reflected that. The FSF should always ensure that its stand on any
issue conforms to certain scientific rationale and cannot and should not
promote any petty interests but should focus on convincing people logically.
The language argument that has been raised does not hold water because the
free software localisation to Kannada also is still very backward. Our only
hope is that free software promotes a healthy evolution of the system with
quality and quantity.
While the "Save Kannada campaign" is not under FSF-I, I would like to urge
them too to address the intellect rather than the baser human emotions.
The only was to protect any language is to ensure that a strong local
economy is generated around it. This can happen only when the knowledge is
localised and sufficient trained labour can be developed around it. Then,
capital by the businesses along with pro-people government policies along
with constant pressure by the people will ensure that the economy grows
healthily and only then will that language survive else it will end up like
Sanskrit, Latin, Pali and others.