Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Malayalam in GNU/Linux

Finally, Malayalam has become one of the official languages supported by the K Development Environment, or KDE, one of the most popular desktops in GNU/Linux. The youth in the Swatantra Malayalam Computing (SMC) movement, which is becoming a registered society, have exceeded the minimum amount of translation needed for KDE to accept Malayalam as an officially supported language. Congratulations, friends!

The other most popular desktop, GNOME, or GNU Network Object Model Environment, has already got Malayalam as an official language. But, as in the case of KDE too, we have to be alert and active continuously so that translations are added as and when the desktops come out with new versions. It is already almost time to start on the next version of GNOME.

This is the advantage, and the problem, with Free Software. Anyone can modify it to include one's own language or to suit it to one's own needs. At the same time, one has to do it. No one else is going to do it. This is a very good example of how freedom comes with responsibility. For example, in the case of, say, Windows, we can say that Microsoft is not doing it and blame them for any problems and be happy. We cannot do that in the case of Free software. I am saying this because many people do not understand this simple fact and blame Free Software for such things. This is something like decentralised planning. As a consequence of decentralised planning, it became necessary for people to attend meetings, decide on priorities of development activities to be taken up and get things done. There are a group of people who still live in an older era when it was convenient to blame officials for the state of the road and remain idle. That era has gone, goodness me.

We have other things to be got done. The Malayalam Wiktionary is quite light, with very few words. We have to put more words into it. Because, like Free Software, the Wiktionary also belongs to us. If we want it to be usable, it is our job to add sufficient words. So, friends, let us fall to it. And just as we made a success of localising KDE, let us make the Malayalam Wiktionary also usable by including sufficient words. And, as the saying in Malayalam goes, if we pull together, even a hill will fall! So let us wish ourselves success and take up the task.


കോരുണ്ണി മാഷു് said...

മലയാളത്തിലെഴുതൂ സാറെ

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