[Ilugc] INDIA: FN's Eye on FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source
Frederick Noronha (FN)
fred at bytesforall.org
Mon Jan 2 02:03:22 IST 2006
FN's Eye on FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) 2JAN2006
Please forward this to FLOSS groups you know... help it grow -FN
LFY, DELHI AND LINUX ASIA... SEEKING COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:
LINUXForYou editor Rahul Chopra <rahul at efyindia.com> reminds us
of the forthcoming LinuxAsia event in Delhi. Rahul writes:
This email is w.r.t. LinuxAsia, and to seek your help
in building the community side to it. LinuxAsia has
managed to become the biggest B2B event, where top
industry players meet customers at a national level. I
am tempted to try and see if we can help drive the
community push further in Delhi through LinuxAsia.
We have planned the following community initiatives for
* The Dot.Org mela where [free software and] open source
projects will be provided a FREE booth space subject to
registration and approval by the technical committee.
* The [GNU]Linux Newbie sessions where new comers sit through a
one hour session, which is presented by the [GNU]Linux/[FL]OSS
community takes them through a series of presentations, which
would help the newbies to understand [free software and] open
source and Linux better, and the benefits associated. We need
good speakers who WANT TO TAKE LINUX TO THE MASSES, and can do
a good job at that.
* Free LUG booths where we want more and more LUGs to be
represented at Delhi to tell the world that India rocks when
it comes to [GNU]Linux/[FL]OSS.
MORE ABOUT LINUX ASIA: You can submit your conference
proposal for LinuxAsia 2006 till January 8, 2006. Deadlines
for speakers as below:
* January 8, 2006: Proposal deadline
* January 15, 2006: Notification of acceptance to speakers
* January 22, 2006: Final presentation materials due
* February 8, 2006: LinuxAsia 2006 Conference begins
Submit your conference proposal at http://www.linuxasia.net/speakers
LinuxAsia Conference & Expo 2006 February 8-10, 2006 | New
Delhi, India http://www.linuxasia.net
FREE SOFTWARE AND MEDIA, OPTIONS FOR B'LORE: Anivar Aravind
<anivar at gnu.org.in> an active member of the Free Software
Foundation of India has this to write: "I got a mail from
Jaromil (the creator of dyne:bolic, http://rastasoft.org/)
saying that he will be in Bangalore by March/April 2006 for some
programme of Mahiti. Can we plan some free software amd media
workshops at that time? Any one interested? Any collaborators?"
FSF-INDIA DIRECTOR Dr G Nagarjuna <nagarjun at gnowledge.org> of
the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education at the TIFR in
Mumbai, announces that the FSF is entering 2006 with a very
important task, drafting GPLv-3.
GPLv-2 was released in 1991, and it is the most widely
used free software license. During the course of time,
the computing environments are transforming,
particularly with the entrance of webservices and
embedded devices. In the context of these changes, it
is possible that user's freedom may not be preserved.
FSF says it is "committed to protect the software freedom even
under the transformed conditions in future." A draft of the
GPL-v3 will be released during the First International Public
GPL-v3 launch conference to be held at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT) on January 16 and 17, 2006. Dr
Nagarjuna is expected to represent FSF India.
He writes: "I invite the free software community in India to
actively participate in shaping the new license. If you would
like to share any specific inputs let us discuss them here in
the list. You may also want to send me your thoughts directly.
Wishing you all a success in protecting software freedom."
CHECK THE PROJECT RESOURCE CENTRE, which is meant to
be a network to discuss GNU/Linux and FLOSS projects
for students. It has recently been looking at the
Sarai.net offer for support for those taking up such
NepaLinux IS OUT: It was released on December 22, 2005.
NepaLinux is a Debian and Morphix based GNU/Linux distribution
focused for Desktop usage in Nepali language computing. It
contains applications for Desktop users like: OpenOffice.org,
Nepali Gnome Desktop, Nepali input systems etc.
It is drawing some early praise too. Our Greek friend Simos
Xenitellis <simos.lists at gmail.com> writes: "Congratulations to
everyone contributed in the work! I tried out the Live CD and I
must say I am really impressed with the level of integration and
completeness of localisation. You use a consistent colour theme
through out the LiveCD which means you went to great efforts to
update the icons/backgrouns/logos/etc. Also, every single
message in the menus was localised to Nepali; I had trouble to
navigate on the system :) I took some screenshots in PNG format
Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP) is the principal archive of
books and periodicals in the Nepali language, the mother tongue
(or lingua franca) of a little over 30 million people of South
Asia. It manages the largest archive in the Nepali language, and
supports the use of Nepali for the social, economic and cultural
advancement of all Nepali. Since January 2004, Madan Puraskar
Pustakalaya undertook the Nepal component of the 30-month long
PAN Localization Project (www.PANL10n.net), a multi-nation
localization project being conducted in Afghanistan, Bangladesh,
Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, with the support
of International Development and Research Center (IDRC), Canada.
This project includes a Nepali GNU/Linux distribution
'NepaLinux' comprising of localized GNOME, OpenOffice.org,
Mozilla suite, and other utilities that include Nepali
Spellchecker, Thesaurus, Nepali Unicode support, etc. This
distribution can be used in Nepali as well in English
environment. Though NepaLinux is basically a live CD it can also
be installed in the computer. The work for the installation
process has been facilitated through the European Commission
supported Bhasha Sanchar Project -- http://www.bhashasanchar.org
-- which is led by the Open University (UK).
NepaLinux is a Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS), in
which the source code is open and the users have the freedom to
use, study, modify according to one's needs and redistribute it.
NepaLinux, being a Free/Open Source Software, does not charge
for its software unlike proprietary software, which cost a lot
and also do not allow the users to study, modify, or
Some of the packages included in NepaLinux are Linux Kernel
2.6.12, Gnome 2.10 Desktop Environment, OpenOffice.org 2.0, Gimp
Graphics Editor, IRC Client, Gaim Messenging Tool, Development
Tools (Includes C and C++), Mozilla Suite, GnomeBaker CD/DVD
Burning Utility, Firewall Security, Antivirus, Rootkit and
Sniffer Detection Tool, Image Viewers, Games, etc.
The official website for NepaLinux is www.nepalinux.org. Other
available places to look for assistance are:
- Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya support forum: www.mpp.org.np/forum
- NepaLinux Mailing List www.nepalinux.org/lists
- NepaLinux Wiki: www.nepalinux.org/wiki
- IRC for realtime queries (#nepalinux on irc.freenode.net)
CD OF THE GNU/LINUX KIND: Nelson Lobo
<lobonanc at gmail.com> offers a number of downloaded
distros for sale, at reasonable prices. See
http://linuxdvdsale.tripod.com Money raised goes to
support local GNU/Linux activities in North Goa.
GNU/Linux CDs offered at Rs 45 per CD plus courier charges.
Order via trueindian29 at yahoo.com or trueindian29 at gmail.com While
ordering please denote the name of distro with correct release
no and number of CDs wanted. Moserbaer/Equal CDs. Abilash
P.Alias Puthuvamkunnathu House, Pindimana P O, Kothamangalam,
Ernakulam, Kerala, Pin 686698 Phone 04852825951.
DP's TIPS ON IRC: Diabolic Preacher <pintooo15 at gmail.com> from
Goa has this to say: People new to using IRC should take a look
at http://irchelp.org/ a tutorial can be found at
A list of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) clients can be found at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IRC_clients IRC lets you
join the official channels of most open source projects and
interact with people for asking/answering queries in real time.
SEARCHING FOR A MEET VENUE? HOW ABOUT DOING IT ONLINE, VIA IRC?
This idea has been doing the rounds on LUGs, FSUGs and GLUGs
across India. It comes from Chennai-based software engineer
Shakthi Kannan <cyborg4k at yahoo.com> who moots having an
all-India online meet via IRC. Date: Jan 1, 2006. Time 1500 hrs
IST. Channel #gnu-india on irc.freenode.net
Sorry about the short (no?) notice from FN's side. But just
sharing this idea to be taken up in future. Shakthi says: "No
agenda as such. The idea is to get to meet folks from different
FSUGs/GLUGs, get to know what FSUGs/GLUGs have been and are
working on, free software ideas/suggestions/plans/activities for
2006." Useful concept. It was inspired, Shakthi says, after he
heard of Luggers in Mumbai discuss where the next meet be held.
Contact Shakthi Kannan, MS Software Engineer, Hexaware
Technologies [E]: cyborg4k at yahoo.com [M]: (91) 98407-87007 [W]:
http://www.shakthimaan.com [L]: Chennai, India
LUG.IN: Mitul Lambani <webmaster at lug.in> of Mumbai is
planning to activate and improve content levels on his
http://lug.in site. A site for user-groups working on
GNU/Linux. And if you'd like a listing of user-groups
in (and nearby) India, visit FN's
FLOSS GEEK'S BLOG: Check Prakash Advani's <advani at gmail.com>
blog: http://cityblogger.com Writes Prakash, a FLOSS proponent:
"I use Wordpress, I think it supports multiple domains. It is
open source thats the reason why I use it."
IOSN STUDY: The International Open Source Network - A Case Study
is available at http://www.apdip.net/news/iosncasestudy
UNDP Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme
runs a Centre of Excellence for Free/Libre Open Source
Software (FOSS) in the Asia-Pacific region - the
International Open Source Network (IOSN). As part of
its myriad activities, IOSN hosts a community operated
portal at http://www.iosn.net. This case study
attempts to document and understand the community- and
technology-related dimensions of this portal. For more
information contact: Sunil Abraham and Khairil Yusof
info at iosn.net
FLOSS FOR GOVERNMENTS... SINGAPORE TOO: More and more countries
are embracing the collaborative model of open source on a
national level to fend off caged IT models. The Infocomm
Development Authority of Singapore’s (IDA) Technology Group has
positioned Linux as a medium term technology bet, which means
one to three years to mass adoption.
AN EXPAT-HINDU PRIEST-DEBIAN GEEK'S VIEW: Jaldhar H. Vyas
<jaldhar at debian.org> who has the unusual combination of Hindu
priest and Debian geek, is based in the US, and part of La Salle
Debain - http://www.braincells.com/debian/
A great guy to meet with, this 34-year-old was in Bangalore
recently. On going back, Vyas reported that one of the problems
GNU/Linux users in countries like India face is low bandwidth.
Therefore, he argued, a distribution on CD or DVD is preferred
over large network installations or updates. He has found a
sponsor and is looking for a 1-DVD version of the Debian system.
He wrote to FN'sEyeOnGNULinux: "This is for distribution with
the Linux For You Magazine. So 1 DVD is a must. However if you
want to also distribute DVDs I encourage you wholeheartedly. My
ultimate goal is that no one interested in Debian should be
prevented from trying it due to a lack of access."
GNU/LINUX FOR KIDS: If anyone is interested in
GNU/Linux for children, Liz Probert <liz at gn.apc.org>
has done an excellent piece on it:
Also see some FLOSS-in-education links at
http://del.icio.us/fredericknoronh [Specially FLOSSinEducation]
GIS AND OPEN OFFICE IN MARATHI: Jitendra Shah
<jituviju at gmail.com> announced via the
indic-computing-users at lists.sourceforge.net mailing list that
http://22.214.171.124 contains a few GIS applications and a few
web-based database application= s using FLOSS. Also, incudes
tenders of Maharashtra Government for rate-contracts where
OpenOffice.org with Marathi (Gargi) fonts as compulsory on
either platforms (proprietory or opensource). The Maharashtra
government buys an estimated 5000 PCs machines annually.
LIST FOR INDIC COMPUTING USERS: See this
FLOSS, IN THE REAL WORLD, A QUERY FROM INDIA: M
Sasikumar, NCST <sasi at ncst.ernet.in> asks: "Do any of
you know of any organisation in India actually using
[Free/Libre and] Open Source Software in practice? We
are trying to gather information on actual use of this
nature -- this is useful to build confidence in
potential users. Usage can include desktops/laptops
running Linux and other [Free/Libre and] Open Source
software, applications running on [GNU]Linux,
applications which are built using OSS, using OSS
applications (Koha, Compere, etc)?" M Sasikumar is at
the KBCS/ETU Division of CDAC Mumbai (formerly NCST).
G KARUNAKAR IS keen to map the FLOSS movement in India at the
URL below. See Karunakar's work at http://www.indlinux.org and
his blog at http://cartoonsoft.com/blog
FREE SOFTWARE, AS A SOCIAL MOVEMENT: An interesting interview
with RMS (Richard M Stallman) on Free Software as a social
Also slashdoted at
Thanks to Anivar Aravind <anivar at riseup.net> for this link.
CONVERGENCE OF MOVEMENTS TO FIGHT IPRs ON INFORMATION: GRAIN has
recently been taking an interest in what we have been calling
‘convergence’: the ways in which people are resisting the push
for monopoly rights over information in different sectors. In
this time of unprecendented centralisation of power and control,
resistance is building on many fronts. We couldn’t help
wondering if our various struggles might be more effective if we
found some common ground. http://www.grain.org/convergence/
GIS FOR EVERYONE: Raj <rajganesh at eth.net> recently came up with
a proposal for the project 'GIS for everyone'. He says this is
"about implementing GIS application/tool, making it
user-friendly, and to make it appealing to users visually and
functionally based on feedback from implementation."
LINUXCHIX, a network for women in Free/Libre and Open
Source Software. Check out the mailing list at
KERNEL JANITORS IS A PROJECT to help persons wanting to be
kernel hackers, to get their feet wet, while doing something
useful for the community. URL: http://janitor.kernelnewbies.org/
(Thanks Ringo and Bharathi Subramanian)
ONE DAY ONE COMMAND is a useful service put out by Bharathi
Subramanian <sbharathi at MidasComm.Com>. If you'd like him to post
this direct to your user-group's mailing list, contact Bharathi.
Specimen posts: http://www.livejournal.com/community/ilugc/
A great way of keeping your mailing-list active, and also
sharing information on the nuts and bolts of FLOSS technologies.
HACKING THE HURD, INDIAN TECHIES GO FOR IT: Praveen A
<pravi.a at gmail.com> recently announced a GNU/Hurd BoF.
It's for you, if you are a GNU/Hurd user/developer or
simply want to know more about GNU/Hurd. It was
organised by India GNU/Hurd User Group (I-Hug), #i-hug
at irc.freenode.org and i-hug.sarovar.org on December
20. If you missed the event, get in touch with Praveen
FSF FRIENDS IN DELHI: A new mailing list announced by Arun M
<arun at gnu.org.in> who says, "In order to bring together friends
of FSF India in Delhi, we are creating a new mailing list. If
you are from Delhi or interested in FSF India activities in
Delhi join our new mailing list.
ONE COMMENT ON FLOSS AND EDUCATION: "Most distributions contain
simple games. But only a few contain programs that are really
good for use with young kids (see the following section). SuSE
Linux has probably the widest selection of games and educational
software. Mandrake is also fairly good, closely followed by
Debian. But Red Hat tends to be the worst of all the major
distributions as it concentrates on being a more technical Linux
system rather than a user-friendly desktop system. Of all the
distributions I've tried."
A friend from Redhat replies: "We are aware of this and are
working on alternatives. We are also working on trimming down
the OS so that it can run on older hardware."
UBUNTU IN ASIA: The Ubuntu team is planning to have business
tour around Asia next year. If they visit your country and if
you are interested in it with some extra time/energy, feel free
to contact them. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/AsiaBusinessTour
INDIAN CONTRIBUTION to the world of FLOSS: Check these URLs
Writes prominent hacker Anand Babu <ab at gnu.org.in> -- see his
-- blog at http://ab.freeshell.org comments: "My main
motivation to compile this list is to bring together
potential free software hackers from India and recognize
their work. We should also make sure that this directory is
contributed back to mainstream DIRECTORY.FSF.ORG".
PONDICHERRY LUG IS active again. Check
PUBLIC-INTEREST LITIGATION AGAINST BANGALORE ONE: A PIL
against the Bangalore One project's alleged irregularities
has been admitted by the Karnataka High Court, according to a
post from the eGov INDIA <egovindia at yahoo.com> mailing list.
This Dec 17, 2005 post said what had been challenged was "the
legality of prescribing Microsoft technology which is
proprietary and costed when [Free/Libre and] Open Source
Software was available free. The MoU entered into between the
Government of Karnataka and Microsoft had been challenged in
the Writ Petition." See also:
FREE SOFTWARE ON THE SCREEN: V. Sasi Kumar
<sasi.fsf at gmail.com> explains how bridges are being built
between FLOSS and film-makers: "On December 15, we did a
short demonstration of Free Software related to media at the
International Film Festival of Kerala. We showed Blender,
Audacity, Kino, Adore, etc., although we could not really
demonstrate all features of the applications since we did not
have anyone who was experienced in using them. However,
Blender and Adore attracted some attention and a few
professionals talked to us after the demo. I understand that
a couple of other people collected our contact details from
the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (organisers of the
Festival) later. We had put up a few posters at the major
venue (Kairali-Sree theatre complex) earlier. IFFK is
considered as one of the top ten Film Festivals in the world,
and we are happy that we could get an entry there. We hope to
plan and conduct similar demonstrations in the coming years.
A report on the demo with a couple of photographs will be put
up on our web page soon."
BOOK IN BENGALI: Dipankar Das has been at this book for a
long time now aiming to provide a holistic idea of GNU-Linux
in Bengali. Some dated information is here:
Copyleft verbatim copying, with credits is both allowed and
encouraged. We invite you to ILUG-Goa, the friendly GNU/Linux
user group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ilug-goa/join
JOIN THE GNU/Linux in India network, for useful information, at
More information about the ilugc