Attended Marathi Sahitya Sammelan yesterday (27-12-2010) to meet and talk with people who create lots of content in Marathi Language in Thane. Following are the observations.
1) There is lots of content/books available in Marathi language, This covers almost all the topics. As compare to Last years Pune Sahitya Sammelan, In thane very few software/web development stall was available.
2) Digitization of these books is necessary activity, but due to cost of digitization
most of the books are still not digitized. I think OCR will be very helpful in this case.
3) Mostly people used InDesign on Windows for books, and they are still using 8-bit (non Unicode) fonts for it.
4) There was presentation about Unicode on Sunday and i missed it :(, While talking with some people i understood it covered most of the topic like how to enable Marathi on Windows, Linux. Enabling windows on Marathi shown with practical but Linux was not shown. Good thing is now users are aware of word Unicode but i think there is some misconceptions about it, people covers so many things under the name of Unicode ;)
5) I got one handout, it was about how to enable Marathi on windows and Ubuntu 9.10. for Ubuntu 9.10 it was about Installing Marathi Language support and selecting keyboard from Keyboard Preferences Tab (XIM)
In Fedora 14, Now there is no need to select even keyboard layout as well for your language, just select your language while log-in in GDM, ibus will auto detect your layout for your language, and by default it will enable all.
No one aware about this, i updated them about this and hopefully in there next release they will update notes about fedora as well.
6) I had a chat with Marathi Abhyas Kendra on recent development in Fedora i.e Updated in Lohit, Keyboards, Enhanced Inscript. One good point was they are Planning to host competition for Marathi font deigning i really appreciated that and agreed to give full support for same. Even today we do not have much active community around font development hopefully with such event people will be aware of font development process and start contributing.
Attended some talks on Marathi Libraries problems and possible improvements. One speaker (sorry forgotten name :() said agree that each person cant by iPAD/digital book reader but might be we can keep 5-10 ipad in each library and let people use them in library. this will be also a good start. He mentioned about Amazon.com that they not only sell soft copies but also courier the hard copies of book on demand as well.
The best thing i heard was he said don't give anything free to users, if we give it free user's does not value it well, always charge at least some/very little fee for same.
Attended one traditional dance event as well.
With respect to fedora
We are doing so much development for end-users/community, but sad to say very few are aware about it. Users are living in there own world. We should really start to do some event for people, who are developing contents in regional language, let them aware about to latest development happening in language technology. Try to bring them back from Windows proprietary world to open source collaborative world of Linux Fedora. I will be very happy to see and contribute to such events. I talked with some people on how we can reach these users and answer was to media/new papers/press conference are the best way to let them know what are the available stuffs.