Technology for Conserving Language: Presented at Kannada Sahitya Sammelana

81th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana (Jan 31st – 3rd Feb) happening here in Shravana Belagola, Hasana District, Karnataka. I was fortunate to have got invited to talk about Information technology for Language chaired by Dr. Chidananda Gowda. Dr. U.B Pavanaja and Ram Prakash H from Tachyon Technologies (Quillpad) presented on Kannada Wikipedia and Kannada OCR respectively.

In-spite of unavailability of technology solutions such as projector, internet connectivity etc., I could say we did our best to explain how technology can make difference to the way we look at language and how we can work together to save from reaching extinction.

Here are my slides in which I have tried to explain challenges of Kannada Language survival and solutions explored, invented and developed by few of us. First few slides talk about the carvings found in our ancient sculptures and how Kannada Computing Expert Shri K.P Rao’s Kadamba & Chalukya Fonts helping us to be able to continue researching on these. His work around ‘Apara‘ font which helps the non-kannadiga’s or those who cannot read Kannada scripts to read Kannada in their own language was also an highlight.

Inaccessible sources of data, government websites, libraries and physical status of many archives across country were the source of inspiration to think of mirroring our literary treasure on Internet. Kannada Sanchaya projects such as Vachana Sanchaya, Samooha Sanchaya, Pustaka Sanchaya and others were highlighted to showcase why we need to ensure that the literature should be made available in internet using Unicode and other standards to enable the researchers, students and also common people to experience and continue researching on it forever.

I spoke about the support we got from FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and Free Culture which made the work around Kannada Sanchaya, Wikipedia etc. possible. I also recalled how FOSS helped us make digital libraries reachable/usable to common man. Samooha sanchaya had just done over a week to complete its first milestone of having transliterated 2252 books and the same books can be searched at http://pustaka.sanchaya.net directly in Kannada. “Fuel Project‘ (FUEL – Frequently used entries for localization) which helps us get the community consensus to standardize the localization efforts for language was mentioned how FOSS communities can set standards and also ensure the language projects can take the best out of the resources.

Mobile solutions built by many Kannada IT professionals, Google Transliteration and Guesture search app capability of identifying Kannada on Android, Mozilla Firefox browser and Firefox OS phone were also the highlights of my talk to help understand where we stand today with mobile technology. Also the work that needs more attention here on.

My talk ended with a highlight on the Open Knowledge initiatives, Wikipedia Contributions, Books re-licensed under creative commons by Government of Karnataka’s Cultural department, Niranrajan’s works by Tejaswini Niranjana, and Mysore University etc.

Kannada should never be on endangered language list and It is possible for us to enrich the language for next generation through knowledge sharing, collaboration and by motivating each other by acting responsibly.

Here are my slides in Kannada. Hope I have tried my best to summarize the entire talk in English for my other friends who can’t read and understand Kannada. I shall make my talk transcript available online shortly.

Thank you,


Eiffel Tower & Vivekananda @ Lalbagh Flower Show

We were bit worried to be late for the flower show as it becomes too much crowded and we never enjoy even walking around the flower monuments created at Lalbagh.

From year to year and show to show, authorities have been making big changes to flower show. Good and bad both are the ultimate outcomes.

To say a few good things, avoiding zig-zag traversals of visitors, now there is a single lane to get in and get out. If you want an another side view, please go out and get back in from the other end. It really saved me today and I think this system was introduced in August 2012 for the first time.

Secondly and the most happiest thing to be seen at Lalbagh during flower show – NO EATABLES and SHOPS selling food and NO MESS in the garden. It was really surprising but a much needed one. We always felt bad to get back to Lalbagh after the last day of any such events. Less number of stalls and easy and smooth sailing comes at a Cost. The entry ticket costed 40 Rs. 10 Rs more compared to last years fare. That doesn’t include parking though.

Those who are visiting from far away places, had to park the vehicles in JC Road. – Good again. There was not much traffic in roads except few days. But surely many might have cribbed to get back to Lalbagh from parking place. There is no easy way back except Nataraja service.

The most and worst thing that happened to Lalbagh because of this Flower show is the empty barren land created by authorities to create a large scale parking lot right in side the park. What a shame and an idiotic decision to cut down trees inside our historic garden of Bangalore. The work has stalled due to PIL filed. Hoping to see a green patch there again soon. Find more pictures from flower show on my Flickr Stream.

Arivina Alegalu 2012 released

Arivina Alegalu sees its second release on August 15th as expected. You can now download the book from project page (http://arivu.sanchaya.net/ebook).   10 articles from enthusiasts have participated in our program to spread the waves of Knowledge for Common Man.

2012 release saw a change in the subjects that were covered. We have articles talking about nature, science, society, community, hacking, technology and our favorite subject FOSS.

“Arivina Alegalu” is now available on Android phones and Tablets. Don’t forget to download them via Google Play!

Cover Images were contributed by Pavithra and Mansore (http://belakindi.com) gives it a pleasant look.

Senior Journalist and writer Shri Chamaraj Savadi writes forward for the issue and encourages new writers to continue writing.

E-Book is released under Creative Commons. So go ahead, read, share and distribute….

You’re also welcome to write articles to Arivina Alegalu to spread your knowledge to other Kannadiga’s.

 

Arivina Alegalu – 2012 – You too can write

 An e-book on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) that makes technology accessible to even those who are confirmed e-illiterate.

Arivina Alegalu (which literally means “Waves of Knowledge”) is conceived as a project that will kick off a series of materials written in Kannada not only about FOSS but also on various other aspects of technology and science. “All these materials will be written, edited, reviewed by people working or researching on the respective areas and released under Creative Commons.

Project was initiated in year 2011 to celebrate Indian Independence day in a unique way.  This e-book is a collection of 14 essays by young software professionals to educate laymen on all things FOSS.

The participants write their experience about science & technology , FOSS etc in Kannada. Selected articles will be posted on http://arivu.sanchaya.net from 1st August to 14th August. Finally on 15th August, all the articles will be released as an eBook under Creative Commons license to reach out to people who love learning and making use of technology.

Its again a time to revisit this project this year and the Team Sanchaya invites articles for 2012 issue.

Last date for writing an article for being part of this project is 28th July 2012. 

Send your entries to : [email protected]

Press release – Arivina Alegalu 2012