Unknown | 8 Aug 23:02 2008

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] Software For Kids

SOFTWARE FOR KIDS: A new site focussing on what is freely available
(free-beer, free-speech) for helping children learn. Specially the
young ones, with a focus on India and South-Asia. Current links

* Yobler.com … educational videos
* The Digital Study Hall (DSH)
* ET? What's that? (An Aug 2008 conf in Bangalore)
* Educational power points…. http://pppst.com/ Pete's Power Point Station.
* Educational resources… from azimpremjifoundation.org
* Taking sharing to the classroom (downloadable FLOSS report)
* The 4000-rupee computer shows up in Goa
* Why Free Software makes sense in education
* Computer education for rural kids riddled with obstacles

FN * Independent Journalist http://fn.goa-india.org
784 Nr Convent, Saligao 403511 Goa India
Ph +91-832-2409490 M: +91-9970157402
Unknown | 17 Jul 12:52 2008

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] A virtual visit to ILUG-Goa...

Freedom... at a Free Software meet

We invite you for a virtual meet of the India Linux Users Group-Goa at

ABOUT THE VIDEO: On the fourth Saturday of each month, a group of
volunteer-techies meets at the Goa Science Centre (Miramar), to share
knowledge and ideas. Strangely, this free-to-join, non-profit group
has been effective over the last eight years in building skills,
sharing talent, and keeping it going. More details at

DETAILS: ILUG-Goa was launched in February 2000. It has 583 members on
its mailing list, and upto 15 turn up each month for the meetings,
hosted generously by the (Government of India's) Science Centre,
Miramar. Anyone can join this network, and all it costs is a ten-rupee
entry fee to the venue for each meeting. The mailing-list is also open
to all.

Please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4sQK7AZyDQ
FN * Independent Journalist http://fn.goa-india.org
Ph +91-832-2409490 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Goa
** To subscribe to this list, please visit the URL below...
http://www.freelists.org/cgi-bin/list?list_id=linuxinindia * * 

Unknown | 26 Mar 11:28 2008

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] 26 March 2008: The world's first Document Freedom Day

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ivan Jelic <ivan.jelic@...>
Date: 26 Mar 2008 04:38
Subject: 26 March 2008: The world's first Document Freedom Day
To: Don Marti <dmarti@...>, Frederick FN Noronha

Today is Document Freedom Day: Roughly 200 teams from more than 60
  countries worldwide are organising local activities to raise awareness
  for Document Freedom and Open Standards. To support the initiatives
  surrounding the first day to celebrate document liberation, DFD
  starter packs containing a DFD flag, t-shirts and leaflets have been
  sent to the first 100 registered teams over the past weeks.

  In a world where records are increasingly kept in electronic form,
  Open Standards are crucial for valuable information to outlive the
  application in which it was initially generated. The question of
  Document Freedom has severe repercussions for freedom of choice,
  competition, markets and the sovereignty of countries and their

  "We are very happy about the response and activities that teams around
  the world have scheduled," says Ivan Jelic, DFD Coordinator.
  "Activities  we have heard about range from local speeches and
  information events through to prizes being given to governmental
  bodies that adopted good policies in the field of Document Freedom and
  Open Standards. It will be a challenge to document everything that is
  taking place today."

  "Who controls your valuable information? This question has become
(Continue reading)

Unknown | 4 Jan 21:05 2008

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] Free/Libre and Open Source Software... in schools

Dear all, enclosed is a PDF copy of a 40-page text I worked on, on the
issue of Free/Libre and Open Source Software, and schools. Your
feedback, comments and criticism is welcome. This was done for
the International Open Source Network (IOSN-South Asia).FN
PS: If for any reason you can't receive this attachment, then
you could download it from:
Frederick Noronha http://fn.goa-india.org Ph +91-832-2409490
Links from Goa: http://goalinks.livejournal.com/
Attachment (iosnfossinschools.pdf): application/pdf, 555 KiB
Unknown | 23 Dec 10:06 2007

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] Free Software, India, and the Economic Times ... 88:11


Should India support free software to take PC penetration to the next level?
Yes 88%
No 11%
Can't say 1%


Omkar Raut, Malad, Mumbai.,says: I will strongly appreciate the free-software movement spreading in India.
19 Dec 2007, 0025 hrs IST

freejoe, mumbai,says: Free software is liberation of knowledge free from political and business contamination. Most of the PC penetration in India has happened through pirated software rather than 'legal' one.. Supporting free (swatantra) software will not only imply greater uncontaminated penetration but greater economic growth and, more importantly, following ethical practices. Selling a CD for $(n*1000) is in no way ethical!
18 Dec 2007, 2119 hrs IST

Chandrasekhar Gummadi, Hyderabad,says: I totally agreee with that we should go for open source as it is cheap and easily accessible. PC penetration is very low in India.
18 Dec 2007, 2117 hrs IST

Rahul Sundaram, Pune,says: The rampant amount of piracy, security problems and the need to have a local industry serving itself clearly show that India would very much benefit from tight penetration of Free software and open standards.
18 Dec 2007, 2054 hrs IST

Rony Bill, Mumbai.,says: As knowledge today is being digitized, control of public access to this knowledge should not fall in the hands of a select few commercial corporate giants. This is true even for Governments of Democracies as they cannot let a few corporate giants have access and control data inside Government computer systems. Open audit of software will make them more slim, secure and stable.
18 Dec 2007, 2045 hrs IST

Debarshi Ray, Kolkata,says: Just look at what the students of B.C. Ray Engineering College, Durgapur have achieved in Bijra (a small village near Durgapur) using GNU/Linux, Wikipedia and such free(dom) content.
18 Dec 2007, 1944 hrs IST

Linuxman, Mumbai,says: I think those who have said "No" are just trolling. This question is equivalent to "Does India need less corrupt politicians to make progress?" The answer is obvious "Yes". Those who do not agree are trolling.
18 Dec 2007, 1931 hrs IST

svinoth, Chennai, India,says: free software is a matter of political independence and social movement. if we use it on a large scale which will bring more people the benefits of information technology. so, India should support free software by any other possible sources of funding to provided completely free; not a business.
18 Dec 2007, 1838 hrs IST

Arunesh Dayal, Mumbai,says: Software freedom is the goal; open source is the means to that goal.India cannot choose to ignore this.
18 Dec 2007, 1806 hrs IST

Sudhir Gandotra,Openlx.com, Delhi, India, says:Linux and Open source software is the only way to create properly educated employable (also enterpreneurs) engineers. Linux offers students the only posisbility to look at the code and udnerstand how the software actually works - the only practical way to learn things in any field. Today, Linux is definately Affordable, Friendly and VirusFree and usable across the full spectrum of users. We at OpenLX.com have established over the last thre years that India can not only have its own Linux OS, but manage, upgrade and support it.
18 Dec 2007, 1759 hrs IST

yogesh,mumbai ,says:Yes of course we must support free software foundation
18 Dec 2007, 1754 hrs IST

RRR,Bangalore ,says: yes
18 Dec 2007, 1751 hrs IST

Steven Fernandez, Pune,says: Free software makes the most sense for a country like India because it empowers the users of the software by making them the *owners* not just licensees of something owned by a external overlord.
18 Dec 2007, 1751 hrs IST

Abhisht K Gupta, Delhi,says: This wave should not stop here. It should move ahead. For the same purpose, it requires new fuel, free software will provide the same.
18 Dec 2007, 1719 hrs IST

Dr Alka Irani, Mumbai,says: Free software will provide a million dollar opportunity to India to be at par with developing countries. The medium can be used to change educational scene in India by empowering children and youth by imparting diverse skills to suit their interests and capabilities.
18 Dec 2007, 1706 hrs IST

nalini, Delhi,says: It is free and it is wonderful
18 Dec 2007, 1706 hrs IST

Vineet Garg, Delhi,says: Software today is the core of the computing experience. We have always focussed on hardware as a measure of the ability to compute. Also, software cost is proportional to the value it provides to the consumer. If software is made free, so should hardware be. Then maybe we will see more PC adoption. Also, free stuff leads to misuse than use. India has shown that consumers are not interested in substandard, cheap and technologically outdated goods, whether they are automobiles or consumer durables or shoes. What they want is better value and are willing to pay for it.
18 Dec 2007, 1647 hrs IST

Debasish Das, Kolkata, India,says: This will compete against Microsoft's monopoly in software. Moreover it will help people to be more educated in computer science.
18 Dec 2007, 1626 hrs IST

P. Suresh, Delhi,says: Free software has its own horizons and limitations as well.
18 Dec 2007, 1625 hrs IST

Santosh Kumar, Jamshedpur,says: It is required for rapid development in the field of R & D.
18 Dec 2007, 1624 hrs IST

Allen Pais,Bangalore ,says: Yes, the Govt should go ahead and offer more support to Free/Open Source Software.
18 Dec 2007, 1549 hrs IST

Diva,India ,says: Free software is high quality software developed by the best software personnel. It not only is free to use, it gives you freedom from proprietary software licences. Today these proprietary software may be donated free but will capture the society and make it dependant forever. Free software gives you independence. Like buying your own house, no one can throw you out of your own house.
18 Dec 2007, 1525 hrs IST

Madhurima Chaudhuri, Navi Mumbai,says: It should provide for better results
18 Dec 2007, 1511 hrs IST

Ajit,Mumbai ,says: This will help India more to create its presence in Software Product development, in addition to s/w services which is primarily the s/w business in India as of now.
18 Dec 2007, 1510 hrs IST

Dinesh Shah, Mumbai-New Delhi,says: We had been political slaves for long in past. Do we want to be economical and information slaves using Closed Source Software? Choose freedom now, before it's too late.
18 Dec 2007, 1444 hrs IST

sandeep shedmake, Mumbai/Pune,says: Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Hence, I firmly believe free software is the need of the hour.
18 Dec 2007, 1424 hrs IST

RahulKrishna Gupta, Mumbai,says: I hope thar "free" here means free as in "Freedom" and not free as in "Beer" Rather than free software, you should be emphasizing on OpenSource software. There is a distinct difference between the two.
18 Dec 2007, 1415 hrs IST

Palashendu Bhattacharya, Kolkata,says: OSS will take computing environment into new era through democrataization of knowledge and skills. It helps us to create local resources and enterprenure without having dependencies on multinationals.
18 Dec 2007, 1412 hrs IST

sachin deshpande, india,says: Open and free source softwares are a welcome step to get rid from propritary onces.
18 Dec 2007, 1411 hrs IST

Anurag, New Delhi,says: Free software is the way to liberate the computer from piracy.
18 Dec 2007, 1410 hrs IST

pravin s,Mumbai, Pune ,says: Using free software India can achieve whatever they want very quickly. Since the developers will be not any company or person it will be indian community which will do the task. So whole India can be a developer in that case :)
18 Dec 2007, 1408 hrs IST

Jaideep Kumar, Delhi,says: Open Source not only brings down the cost of software but also provides a superior offering.
18 Dec 2007, 1408 hrs IST

Amitakhya Phukan, Dibrugarh,Assam.,says: India should definitely support free software and free formats.This should be done by both Central and State Governments but there should be proper steps for creating its awareness first.
18 Dec 2007, 1406 hrs IST

Amit Bhoraskar, Mumbai,says: This is extremely important to achive a higher PC penetration. Free and Open Source software will trigger innovation, freedom from proprietory lock-in, flexibility, choice.
18 Dec 2007, 1404 hrs IST

Krishna K, AndhraPradesh,says: Yes i belive this. Free software only can achive this.
18 Dec 2007, 1402 hrs IST

vinod Kutty, Mumbai,says: For the country to grow it needs lot of these initiatives.
18 Dec 2007, 1351 hrs IST

Venkatesh Hariharan, Mumbai,says: Without Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), India will always be dependent on others for the most critical technology components neccessary for building an information society. The Tata Group's Eka supercomputer, which was recently rated as the fourth fastest supercomputer may never have been possible using proprietary technology. Indian language user groups have localized Linux, Open Office and many other free/open source software to Indian languages and this has been possible only because of the freedom that is part of FOSS.
18 Dec 2007, 1351 hrs IST

Ranganathan, Bangalore,says: Free (Open-Source) Software is the easiest and the most benign way to improve PC penetration and computer literacy.
18 Dec 2007, 1350 hrs IST

Gautam Jha, Mumbai,says: Free and open source softwares will make it easier to propogate in lower levels of society without requiring much help in terms of Money or Licences etc.
18 Dec 2007, 1348 hrs IST

Vishal, Pune,says: Let's get the proprietry stuff out for good.
18 Dec 2007, 1345 hrs IST

Shankar Iyer,Mumbai ,says: India needs to support free software as has been done in all developing nations. Brazil, China and Russia are moving quite fast on this. Reaching out to the rural India should be economical , painless and have localized facilities. These have been made available in free software today by leading IT companies like Red Hat etc.
18 Dec 2007, 1340 hrs IST

pravin mishra, mumbai,says: Yes, India support free software.
18 Dec 2007, 1144 hrs IST

Ashish Nigam, Gurgaon,says: Free software will not be a legal entity and many consumers may start it for false use and for every licensed software a cost is associated, thus is important to control the price of software.
18 Dec 2007, 1027 hrs IST

shekhar teji, australia,says: Private sector should give financial support to Government to introduce free software for a normal consumer. By this way computer literacy will increase rapidly.
18 Dec 2007, 0955 hrs IST

Jayaraman.S.G., Dubai/Chennai.,says: Yes. This is a necessity to activate better P C Penetration. Thanks.
18 Dec 2007, 0925 hrs IST

Pooja Sharma, Sydney, Australia,says: India needs to increase its IT awareness and IT usage to keep itself in line with the international trends. A whole lot of people are lacking upgrade due to cost constraints. Free softwares will create a higher awreness and userbase and hence it is desirable.
18 Dec 2007, 0842 hrs IST

Rajasekar. R, Coimbatore,says: At present knowledge power is the key factor for India's growth story. In order to increase this power the govt should provide this facility to all people. Then only an average man in India can be a skilled worker in terms of knowledge.
18 Dec 2007, 0823 hrs IST
Frederick Noronha http://fn.goa-india.org Ph +91-832-2409490
Links from Goa: http://goalinks.livejournal.com/

Unknown | 17 Dec 18:27 2007

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] Taking a look... at some recent developments in Urdu computing (from BytesForAll, South Asia)


Some useful and interesting links from the UrduComputing mailing list


Huda Sarfraz huda.sarfraz@...: The current release of
the Nvu localization includes the Urdu Nvu installer for
Windows, which has it's GUI in Urdu. Work to be done for
future releases includes changing the layout direction of
Urdu Nvu to right-to-left. For download and installation
details, please go to Urdu Nvu Windows Installer.

Nvu (pronounced "N-view") is a WYSIWYG HTML editor, based on
the Composer component of Mozilla Application Suite and Gecko
1.7. It is a common WYSIWYG editor for Linux and is intended
to be an open source equivalent to proprietary software like
Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver (although to
date it is missing many features they possess). As a WYSIWYG
editor, it is designed to be easy for novice users and does
not require any knowledge of HTML or CSS to use. The project
was started by and sponsored by Linspire. Linspire hired
Daniel Glazman, former Netscape Communications Corporation
employee and CEO/Founder of Disruptive Innovations, to be
lead developer. Nvu is available for Linux, Mac OS X and
Microsoft Windows, and it can be built successfully on any
platform with the Netscape Portable Runtime. (Source: Wikipedia)

* * *


Aijaz Akhtar aijazakhtar@...: A very good
Dictionary is now available on line. Its huge database,
Unicode nature, and Nafees Web Naskh font give it an edge
over other on line dictionary sites. Visit here:

[Works fine in FireFox, on Windows XP-SP2 with Urdu
fonts and phonetic keyboard installed for MS Office.  When
doing Urdu to English search, you will need to switch your
keyboard to Urdu from the language bar.]

* * *


Aijaz Akhtar aijazakhtar@...: Very good news. A
low end yet powerful window maker for Linux is now translated
into Urdu by Makki. XFCE may not be as beautiful an interface
as KDE or Gnome for Linux, yet it is powerful and consumes
less processor power and is light on RAM requirements, making
it suitable even on a pentium-1 or 2 machine with 400-500 MHZ
processor (Correct me if I am wrong). So now one can download
this, and configure your Linux (with XFCE preloaded, since it
is not bundled with in some Linux disros) to use Urdu
interface of Linux. Download presently from here:
Soon to be uploaded in the download section of
http://urduweb.org. Mohammed Ali Makki had already translated
and made available Urdu Slax earlier that is available here:

* * *


Abdur Radhid: arnandan@... A beta version of Hindi to
Urdu Transliterator is available on line. Please give your
feedback. Visit here: http://hindi2urdu.tripod.com

* * *


Ali Hussnain Shah: hussnain_shah@... as a starting point
you can use crulp's Urdu Layout for Linux at

There should be one text file containing the key mappings.
You can us it to learn and change it as you like and use that
on linux.

After you have developed a standard keyboard and if this
should be included in all Linux distributions, submitting it
to xorg (opensource implementation X Window System, on which
KDE,Gnome are based) would be better.. their mailing list is
at http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/xorg

After submission to xorg it will be included in all linux
distributtions (debian, suse, ubuntu ...) as soon the
distribution uses a new version of the X system. I think
Sergey Udaltsov is responsible for handling of the X input
system there in the list.

* * *


Lateef Sagar Shaikh lateef_sagar@...: I have created
PakType Naskh Basic 1.0 font, which is available at:


This font supports following languages: Amazigh, Arabic,
Balochi, Balti, Berber, Brahui, Burushaski, Farsi, Fulani,
Gojri, Hausa, Hindko, Kalami, Kanuri, Kashmiri, Khowar,
Kurdish, Ladakhi, Maba, Malay, Mandinka, Ormuri, Pashto,
Pathwari, Punjabi, Saraiki, Shina, Sindhi, Somali, Swahili,
Torwali, Turkish, Urdu and Uyghur and others.

This font is free for distribution and modification under
GPL.  Glyphs taken from ArabEyes.org font KacstQurn, having
following copyright notice; KACST holds the copyright of the
included Arabic font which is donated under GPL by KACST. URW
Design and Development holds the copyright of the included
Latin font which is donated under GPL by URW.

* * *


Sarmad Hussain sarmad.hussain@...: In 1980 Mr. Ahmad
Mirza Jamil developed a ligature based Nastaleeq writing
system. He has written about 18,000 valid ligatures of Urdu
and developed a Noori Nastaliq font.

Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing (CRULP) is
releasing a soft copy of these ligatures in Unicode format.
CRULP has extensively used these ligatures for testing the
fonts developed at the center and realised that it will be a
valuable resource for other font developers. These ligatures
are grouped in 2 to 8 characters and are sorted in the end
character order.  The ligatures can be downloaded from

Reference: "Noori Nastaliq computerised Urdu calligraphy
(list of ligatures)," calligraphically designed and compiled
by Ahmad Mirza Jamil, Elite Press, Karachi.

* * *


Imran Ahmed imran1@...: Why Urdu isn't supported in
Photoshop CS2:

* * *


Imran Ahmad imran1@...: For the past couple of
years I have been trying to find easy way to type in Urdu on
computer. For these reasons I tried several Urdu keyboard
layout such as pakUrdu, Bhurgri, NLA, Phonetic, phonetic-2,
Ishaque, Olympia, Urdu Mahir, and MS_UR_KB. The fact that
there are so many Urdu keyboard layouts while not having any
standard set, made it more complex to achieve my goal.
Finally I end up sticking with Microsoft Urdu keyboard, but
the options for clear fonts type still lacks.

* * *
Frederick Noronha http://fn.goa-india.org Ph +91-832-2409490
Links from Goa: http://goalinks.livejournal.com/
** To subscribe to this list, please visit the URL below...
http://www.freelists.org/cgi-bin/list?list_id=linuxinindia * * 

Unknown | 30 Aug 21:00 2007

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] Memo to Microsoft: Stop wasting our time! (Venky Hariharan's blog...)

Feedback to: venkyh@...

Thursday, August 30, 2007
Memo to Microsoft: Stop wasting our time!

Finally word is out and the Bureau of Indian Standards has confirmed
that it will be submitting a "No with comments" vote to International
Standards Organization on Microsoft's OOXML proposal. This brings to a
temporary close five to six months of hectic
legwork to prevent a sub-standard proposal from getting the coveted
tag of an ISO standard.

I doubt if Microsoft realises it, but its actions are only making it
the Union Carbide of the global IT industry. Microsoft is the world's
largest software company but if you flip through their 6000+ pages of
OOXML documentation, you'll be justified in wondering how they grew so
big if the rest of their work is as shoddy as OOXML.

The extremely flawed proposal certainly does not befit its stature in
the IT industry. But, does Microsoft learn from all the feedback given
to it or does it learn anything from it. No. Humility and Microsoft
are like oil and water -- never shall they mix.

According to reports coming in from countries that are involved in the
ISO vote on OOXML, Microsoft is busy stuffing the ballot boxes. Read
Andy Updegrove's blog post The OOXML Vote: How Bad Can it Get? (Keep
Counting). Originally, only 30 ISO members were supposed to vote on
OOXML. However, as the September 2nd date for the final voting comes
close, another ten more countries have joined the committee.

Updegrove says:

As someone who has spent a great part of my life working to support
open standards over the past 20 years, I have to say that this is the
most egregious, and far-reaching, example of playing the system to the
advantage of a single company that I have ever seen. Breathtaking, in
fact. That's assuming, of course, that I am right in supposing that
all of these newbie countries vote "yes."

I guess we'll just have to wait and see a few more days to learn
whether that assumption is true. Want to place your bets?

Sitting here in India, it is difficult to influence countries like
Malta, Cyprus, Ecuador, Jamaica, Lebanon, Pakistan, Trinidad and
Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela in the two days left before the
final votes are submitted, but we shall try. I checked with the IT
ministry in Pakistan and brought to their attention that Pakistan is
now a "P" member of ISO which entitles it to vote on OOXML. This was
news to them as they were not consulted on the OOXML issue. I hope
that Pakistan's vote will be cast only after thoroughly reviewing the
arguements for and against OOXML.

Coming back to India, I am extremely proud of the fact that my country
has voted against this proposal. To accept such a poor document would
have been to denigrate the very meaning of "standards." The academia,
the government bodies, industry organizations and non-profits like the
Free Software Foundation spent countless hours debating and discussing
this issue. Some of the best brains in India burnt the midnight oli to
review this 6000 page proposal and the final consensus was that none
of Microsoft's answers to the 201 technical issues raised was found
satisfactory. I hope the Microsoft bosses in Redmond take note of this
and make a genuine attempt to rectify the issues instead of trying to
stuff the ballot boxes.

For wasting the collective intellect of India's best IT brains,
Microsoft and ECMA must be blacklisted. Just as a person with a bad
credit history has to redeem himself or herself before applying for
subsequent credit, any standards proposal submitted by these two
organizations should be thoughly vetted before it is even accepted for
review or voting in India. India has more pressing problems to tackle
than OOXML. Therefore, Microsoft, please do us a big favor and stop
wasting our time. Next time, do your homework before you submit
something to India.

PS: This is an old joke in the IT industry and shows how little
Microsoft has changed in decades.
Q. How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None. Microsoft declares Darkness(TM) an industry standard.

End of forward...
Frederick Noronha  Journalist http://fn.goa-india.org
E: fred@... or fredericknoronha@...
P: +91-832-2409490 M: +91-9970157402
Yahoo: fredericknoronha Skype: fredericknoronha GTalk: fredericknoronha
Saligao 403511 Goa India http://www.linkedin.com/in/fredericknoronha
** To subscribe to this list, please visit the URL below...
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Unknown | 24 Aug 12:47 2007

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] War of formats: India shows thumbs-down to Microsoft

Posted by Vinayak Hegde <vinayakh@...> at GII-India

(url has wrapped)

 NEW DELHI: India on Thursday gave Microsoft a thumbs-down in the war
of standards for office documents. In a tense meeting at Delhi's Manak
Bhawan, the 21-member technical committee decided that India will vote
a 'no' against Microsoft's Open Office Extensible Mark Up Language
(OOXML) standard at the International Standards Organisation (ISO) in
Geneva on September 2.

"We unanimously agree on the disapproval of OOXML with comments. The
same will be submitted to ISO," National Informatics Centre head and
BIS technical committee chairperson Nita Verma said after a marathon
meeting that lasted over six hours. There was no need for a voting as
only Infosys Technologies and CSI supported Microsoft.

The Open Document Format (ODF) alliance, enjoying widespread support
from academia and corporates like Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, Sun
Microsystems, Google, were in a jubilant mood having succeeded in
stalling OOXML from being accepted as a standard in India.

Microsoft said it respect's the government's decision. "There were
only three options `Yes', `No' and `Abstain' to be taken and we
respect the government's decision," Microsoft's legal affairs head
Rakesh Bakshi said. He, however, added that India's 'No' vote will
become a 'Yes' if Microsoft is able to resolve all technical issues
with OOXML before the ballot resolution committee of ISO.

Prof DB Phatak of IIT Mumbai, who was instrumental in conducting the
meetings, looked relieved after being flooded with calls from both
camps over the week.

Speaking to ET outside the BIS premises, the Microsoft camp complained
that when ODF was being standardised by ISO, they did not oppose it
and now the ODF camp refused to return the favour. ODF supporters said
they would have no problems with OOXML if all the 200 technical issues
were taken care of.

Amongst hectic lobbying from both camps, the US government on Thursday
said that it will abstain from voting. China has already voted a 'No'
against Microsoft, while Malaysia, Denmark and Switzerland are
supporting the software major.

A global alliance of Sun-IBM, Oracle, Google, Red Hat have ganged up
against Microsoft which is being supported by Apple, Quark, Accenture
and Novell. On Indian soil, Infosys, HCL, Skelta, Sonata Software and
Sify have come out in support of Microsoft.

September 2 is the last date to submit the vote with comments to ISO.
About 123 counties are participating in the vote. Votes from most are
still to come. Canada, Czech Republic, Iran, Japan, Libya, Cuba, New
Zealand, UK are likely to back the IBM-Sun's ODF Alliance. On the
other hand, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Singapore, Korea,
France and Australia are likely to abstain from voting.

Frederick Noronha  Journalist http://fn.goa-india.org
E: fred@... or fredericknoronha@...
P: +91-832-2409490 M: +91-9970157402
Yahoo: fredericknoronha Skype: fredericknoronha GTalk: fredericknoronha
784, Sonarbhat, Near Lourdes Convent, Saligao 403511 Goa India
** To subscribe to this list, please visit the URL below...
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Unknown | 14 Aug 07:34 2007

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] INDIA: Tamil Nadu gets dual-boot Win-Linux desktops


Tamil Nadu gets dual-boot Win-Linux desktops
By Aaron Tan, ZDNet Asia
Thursday, March 01 2007 06:50 PM

The Indian state of Tamil Nadu has finalized a tender for 40,000
Lenovo desktops which can be installed with both Novell's Suse Linux
and Microsoft's Windows XP Starter Edition.

According to C. Umashankar, managing director of Electronics
Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot), the desktops will be deployed
across schools and government departments in the state. Elcot is Tamil
Nadu's state-owned IT supplier.

Umashankar said the desktops will be installed with either Suse Linux
or dual-boot Windows XP Starter Edition/Suse Linux configurations,
depending on the needs of the organization.

For instance, schools will be provided with Suse Linux desktops, while
government employees who still require Windows in their work will get
dual-boot machines, he told ZDNet Asia.

Dual-boot machines will cost 22,000 rupees (US$497) each, though this
was not the initial price point quoted by the vendors, Umakshankar
said, adding that Chennai-based IT company Origin Infosys will supply
the Lenovo desktops.

He said that Elcot was originally quoted 21,800 rupees (US$492) for
each Lenovo system, whether the preloaded OS was Suse Linux or Windows
XP Starter Edition. After some negotiation, Elcot secured the final
price of 22,000 rupees (US$497) for dual-boot systems, Umashankar

Suse Linux is a full-fledged OS with no restrictions on how the
platform is used, while Microsoft's Windows XP Starter Edition does
not allow users to run more than three software applications at one

According to Umashankar, users will be "encouraged" to use Suse Linux
as far as possible.

Earlier this year, Tamil Nadu announced plans for all government
agencies across the state to switch from Microsoft Windows desktop to
Linux and the OpenOffice productivity suite. The move is expected to
slash the local government's IT cost by 15 to 25 percent.


Frederick Noronha  Journalist http://fn.goa-india.org
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Unknown | 12 Aug 14:22 2007

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] Some links you might find useful (FLOSS in education)

Some links you might find useful (FLOSS in education):

* FOSS Education (Wikibooks)

* Comics... to teach FLOSS?

* Skolelinux 3.0 Terra available for free

* Roadmap for next merging of LinEx and Debian-Edu:

* Tech to the aid of autistic children: Recent research has
 shown that computer/digital technologies can help children
 with autism (and other disabilities) learn and communicate
 better. A computer training workshop for parents and
 children was held recently at Bangalore. Shuchi Grover
 reports. Mehta and colleagues shared various software and
 hardware by which children could communicate with the
 computer through non-traditional means. Also shared were
 several other software tools such as a 3-D and role-play
 software developed by C-DAC, simple visual programming
 environments such as Scratch (recently released by MIT
 Media Lab), simple image and audio manipulation using
 everyday Windows software, and Edubuntu â?? a free and open
 source Linux-based operating system designed specially for
 children that comes packaged with several child-friendly
 games and educational software.

* TELECENTRES IN THE MADRASA: The school based telecenter
 project of RI SOL has launched internet-enabled telecenters
 in two Bangladeshi madrasas (Islamic religious schools), in
 Khulna and Dhaka. See Khulna Alia Madrasa Advocates for an
 Inclusive Information Society on World Information Society
 Day Link to the news story and photos of the celebration:
 Source: Nazrul Islam <nazrul07 <at> gmail.com>

* Richard D'Souza is based at St Paul's in Belgaum, with the
 mandate to extend the school's computer centre there. This
 educator is very pro-GNU/Linux....

* Create a comprehesive set of education tools customised for
 Indian environment. This include localization, improving
 features, adding new features, developing new tools... The
 project is co ordinated by FOSS Community India

* Reclaiming ICT education: why free software is a necessity
 in schools? Tim Cowlishaw talks about education and free
 software?and why IT education shouldn't be a how-to for
 using the Microsoft suite.

* "K12OS.org is all about open source news in education.
 You'll find news, links, resources and discussion here to
 help promote the use of open source software in schools."

* Speaker Name, K. K. Subramaniam. Company. Type, Talk.
 Scope, General. Slides, Click to download. FOSS tools in
 primary schools.  This talk is aimed at FOSS enthusiasts
 promoting its adoption in their local community,
 particularly in primary education. It presents the
 experience of deploying a FOSS desktop in a small public
 primary school in Bangalore. It presents the initial
 approach for FOSS deployment, the steps which worked and
 those that didnt in getting the teachers in the school to
 use FOSS desktop and tools like KDE, Kile and LaTeX to
 enhance the quality of teaching and integrate a PC into
 daily sessions in the school.

 In India, most deployments of computers in primary schools
 use canned 'games' software on PCs to teach students or
 expect teachers to use office automation software. For
 already overburdened primary class teachers, PCs became
 just another distraction. In a grassroots experiment, a
 FOSS desktop was offered to a small public school in
 Bangalore to use it for any task of their choice. The
 teachers had no prior experience with computers or software
 and their medium of instruction was Kannada. Two teachers
 in the school chose to automate preparation of term
 question papers in Kannada and English as this was a
 recurring and time-consuming manual process. The desktop
 was provisioned with KDE, Kile and LaTeX (with Kannada
 types and styles) but not localized in Kannada. Starting
 from scratch, the teachers took over 100 hours to learn to
 use the tools and complete the first set of
 publication-ready term papers for classes I through IV. The
 second cycle took them less than 20 hours and they continue
 to improve on their time. The FOSS desktop has empowered
 the teachers to generate their own content quickly and
 easily without compromising quality. The system has worked
 without a single crash/breakdown over eighteen months of
 use by curious young children.

* The Family Guide to Digital Freedom will explain, in one
 place and in normal language, what everybody should know
 about software and other digital technologies, and above
 all the real reasons why they should care: in this modern
 world, our rights and quality of life heavily depend from
 how software is being used around us. The website
 associated to the book, http://digifreedom.net, is now open
 to visitors: besides sample chapters of the book it will
 also host related news, links to existing resources for new
 users of Free Software and a database of Digitally Free
 Schools. For further information, please read

* ClassroomCoders: Building Analytical Capacity through
 Peer-Taught: The goal of this project is to create a
 comprehensive curriculum for learners aged 8 to 18, which
 develops their analytical skills through the use of
 software and software engineering tools.

* Linux Spreads its Wings in India: Windows is still No. 1,
 but open-source software is moving into schools and
 government offices.

* GOA: BASIL FERNANDES had a long and interesting discussion
 on teaching young kids programming, the possibility of
 encouraging schools to do the same, and whether schools
 could have Computer Clubs that work on a build-them-young
 approach. He is keen to get involved with such a programme.

* Kerala logs Microsoft out of schools

* India State to Dump Windows for Linux

* Riza's desktop... it's not just about eye-candy

* OpenKiosk is an open-source multi-platform kiosk system.
 OpenKiosk is ideally suited for use in locations where a
 controlled computing environment is paramount such as
 public access systems, libraries, school computer

* Content Creation competition for school and college
 teachers: OSSRC is organising a competition for
 school/college teachers in creating content. Details of the
 event can be found at http://www.ossrc.org.in/c3t.html

* When Free Software ideas spreads to education... see the
 first link

* Site <at> School is a Content Management System (CMS) to manage
 and maintain the website of a primary school. It is Open
 Source Software, licensed under the General Public license.
 Site <at> school main features are: * Manage a website without
 technical knowledge. * Editors with a high "Word processor
 look and feel" rate. * Pupils/teachers can have personal
 pages on the website. Teachers can check pupil pages before
 publication. * An intranet for teachers (not accessible by
 the public). * E-mail alerts can be sent to admins when
 pages are updated/created. * Comprehensive manual with over
 300 screenshots. * Extensive number of available modules,
 see Available Modules * Possible to create your own
 template see downloadable example(s).

* Linux in Education: Two Years Later by Peter D. St. Onge

* Education... lessons from South Africa

* Gnu and tux go to primary school....

Frederick Noronha  Journalist http://fn.goa-india.org
E: fred <at> bytesforall.org or fredericknoronha <at> gmail.com
P: +91-832-2409490 M: +91-9970157402
Yahoo: fredericknoronha Skype: fredericknoronha GTalk: fredericknoronha
784, Sonarbhat, Near Lourdes Convent, Saligao 403511 Goa India
Unknown | 11 Aug 21:17 2007

[GNU/LinuxInIndia] KERALA: Students develop new GNU installer


Students develop new GNU installer
Monday July 30 2007 13:02 IST

KOZHIKODE: The final-year Information Technology students at
Kuttippuram MES College of Engineering have developed a new installer
for GNU operating system. The GNU is the operating system envisaged by
Free Software Foundation and is composed entirely of free software.

The new installer 'LX installer' was developed based on a microkernel
architecture. The 15-member group, comprising four girls and 11 boys,
had taken nearly an year to develop the new installer.

"The installer was developed as part of their one-year academic
project," said Prof. C K Raju, head, department of IT, MES College.

The new series was developed on the background that the preceding
K-series installer which was developed and maintained by Philip
Charles in New Zealand was very difficult to handle even for a

"The idea of developing sophisticated installer emerged during the
frequent dialogues we had with Philip Charles," said Raju. The new
installer has all features which will meet the requirements of
education and research activities. With the development of new
installer, resources of more than one machine can be shared including
the memory and micro process computing resources. It also enhances the
system's efficiency and it can be installed very easily.

"The developed installer LX series of advanced Debian GNU Hurd is
available in the CD format. It makes the installation task much simple
and easy to boot," said Raju. The students were assisted by two
lecturers P Badarudeen and A.Ragesh of the IT department, besides the
guidance by Philip Charles.


Frederick Noronha  Journalist http://fn.goa-india.org
E: fred@... or fredericknoronha@...
P: +91-832-2409490 M: +91-9970157402
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