Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona

Kannada software has been buffeted between altruistic and business interests.

Program’s progress

The progress of Kannada software has been buffeted between altruistic and business interests.


IS THE question of the state of Indian language software always a defensive one, given the extraordinary power, reach, and attraction of English? A look at the Kannada software and its development down the years confirms such a sentiment. Is the Kannada software industry under pressure, and what are the immediate factors at work within the industry?

Early Kannada software, a script-enabling one, was largely geared towards desktop publishing (DTP). Shabdaratna, Venus, Prakashak, and Sediyapu were some of the software that brought publication activity to computers from manual typesetting. This was the mid-’80s when the PCs were just coming in.

While these packages were in use, two other major software — Srilipi and Akruti — made their entry. They were more advanced and Windows compatible. Then came Surabhi, and Winkey, the latter being an advanced version of the earlier Shabdaratna.

By the mid-’90s, Kannada software moved away from DOS-based systems to Windows, and firms producing Windows-based programmes made a kill. The Government, quite clearly, was the biggest customer. However, all was not well with the working of the software, especially in government departments, where a document in one software would not open in another. For instance, data in Akruti would not open in Srilipi. The problem was non-portability of data between software: each software worked well only as an isolate.

A few independent researchers then took it upon themselves to alert the Government to the problem of non-standardisation of Kannada software as well as keyboards. Each software having its own keyboard was bound to present problems. The number of keys and characters, and the modification of the existing English keyboard to ensure compatibility with Kannada characters were important issues to be addressed.

Another set of problems had to do with applications/data processing. Some researchers wondered why Kannada was used only in DTP and not in data processing or database applications. Why wasn’t there a single software that enabled data processing in Kannada? Srinath Sastry of the Ganaka Parishath points out: “If one were to take bus or train tickets, or examination forms, applications are in Kannada, but the data filled in is in English. The resulting output then is English. This was because of the absence of a software that would process the information in Kannada itself.”

A question related to the problem of data processing was then raised. How would one ensure alphabetical ordering — a very difficult proposition in Indian languages? For instance, the order of grammar in one Indian language may not match the order in another, or for that matter between English and other Indian languages.

To address these in some seriousness, the Government convened a conference, Kannada and Computers. Around that time, the Adivesha Co-operative Bank in Shimoga computerised all its transactions in Kannada using the Gistcard software developed by C-DAC. The bank was invited to make a presentation on the benefits of a complete Kannada software setting. Meanwhile, members of what came to be known as Ganaka Parishath, who had been observing these developments, brought pressure on the Government to move towards rationalisation. Dinesh Kumble, computer scientist and brother of the cricketer, had earlier, at a Computer Society of India conference, explained the benefits of Googly, the standardised software he had produced.

Impressed by the bank’s presentation and the Parishath’s call, the Government announced the need to create a technical atmosphere for standardisation of Kannada software and keyboard. If standardisation was achieved, the development of a Kannada database application would not be far behind. But steps towards standardisation were already being launched. K.P. Rao, a software developer, had come up with a brilliant layout. He used the existing English keyboard to devise characters for Kannada on just 26 keys. The swaras and vyanjanas were divided neatly on to the left and right of the keys so as to make it easy to learn and remember. The layout worked wonderfully, and some modifications later, it was announced that the K.P. Rao Keyboard Layout would be the standardised one. All software vendors were asked to stick to these standards by the Government to avoid confusion.

This done, the more important problem of non-portability of data remained. The Government asked software developers to follow the IISCI code on language, evolved by C-DAC, to enable portability. The code, however, was found unsuitable for transliteration purposes. It made navigation between different languages difficult as it could not address language-specific issues; for instance, the problem of vyakarana in Kannada. A technical committee was constituted in March 2000 to look into the problem, and the Ganaka Parishath came up with the Kannada Script Code for Language Processing, (KSCLP) “a milestone in the history of Kannada software”, in 2001. It was this glyph code that enabled some movement between different software. Developers were immediately asked to adhere to the code.

Having experienced the advantages of the code, the Government decided in October 2000 to have a benchmark software, its own Kannada script enabling software with standards fixed by itself. Nudi was really a product of this, a package that provided a variety of fonts around a common code. All private software vendors were then asked to adhere to standards set by Nudi. While implementing standards in Nudi, the Government came across problems in database, primarily language-related sorting issues. But the new Kannada code, a modification of that developed by the C-DAC, helped address the problem by evolving a standard set of characters. The Government adopted this code along with Nudi in 2001, by which time it had largely accepted the benefits of standardisation.

The Government felt that Nudi, which was then producing about 15 fonts, should be converted into a full-fledged software, from a benchmark one. The Parishath complied, and by 2002, Nudi was accepted as the official software and was ready to test other software.

In the midst of these developments, the six to eight private software developers who enjoyed a good market for their products, particularly in the Government, reportedly pressured the Government to put the standardisation decision on hold as they could no longer bank on a guaranteed clientele.

Users would switch over to Nudi and the firms could then survive only so long. A free offer on the standardised software, Nudi, threatened them further. Why would the Government or even a private user want to pay Rs. 10, 000 to Rs. 30,000 when a standardised software was being offered for free? The Ganaka Parishath did precisely that.

A classic market move! If other developers were to survive, they had to standardise their software in line with norms set by Nudi, and if they did, risk losing a guaranteed number of users (as users would choose from different software) or offer their software free of cost, which means they actually make no money/revenue. This was a serious factor that “brought the industry almost to a halt”.

And then came Baraha, a new standardised software, released free of cost from the US. Baraha carried properties similar to Nudi and portability of data was simply not a problem. Moreover, both Nudi and Baraha carried Software Development Kits out of which new customised software could be developed for database applications.

The temptation to choose from the two, therefore, would always be high. Baraha is now widely used by non-resident Kannadigas everywhere.

Why is it that a single private developer did not produce standardised software even after the rather ubiquitous Windows platform came about is a question that needs asking.

Whether this has to do with timing, chance, intelligence or a certain calculation that non-standardisation meant better clientele and revenues, or whether there was a software that did not work well, is not very clear.

And for the question why someone is offering a product free of cost, and why someone else is not, one can say safely that the former has been concerned about the development of Kannada language and culture, while the latter has largely been worried about running a business. The state of Kannada software lies somewhere between this linguistic and business intersection.

G.N. PRASHANTH

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2002/10/31/stories/2002103100190300.htm

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December 10, 2007 Posted by | Baraha, Sheshadri Vasu, Sheshadrivasu, VASU | 1 Comment

From font to data U B Pavanaja

Publication:Times Of India Bangalore; Date:Nov 4, 2006; Section:Times City; Page Number:4    

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=VE9JQkcvMjAwNi8xMS8wNCNBcjAwNDAw&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom

From font to data U B Pavanaja

Ajourney of thousand miles starts with a single step. The usage of Kannada on computers, like all other Indian languages, started with printing and p u bl i s h i n g , p o p u l a rly known as Desktop Top Publishing (DTP). The biggest challenge those days was to display and print the characters of our languages.

K P Rao, a Kannadiga, first started designing fonts for Indian languages, including Kannada. He also created an input mechanism for feeding Indic characters into computers. Indian languages are highly scientific in nature. Rao utilised this fact and devised the first phonetic keyboard driver for Indian languages. Later, he released a free software for Kannada called Sediyapu.

Then came so many DTP packages for Indian languages. All these were nothing but collection of fonts and keyboard drivers. Every vendor used his own proprietary encoding scheme leading to a bit of chaos. Files created using a particular vendor’s font were not readable using another vendor’s font. There was little standardisation.

The government of Karnataka took the initiative in standardising Kannada on computers and constituted a committee. As per its recommendations, it notified the standard font for Kannada and a keyboard layout in 2001. This layout is nothing but a slightly modified layout of the one devised by K P Rao. The government also released a free software called ‘Nudi’ which adhered to standards.

Kannada doesn’t lag behind other languages on the internet. Earlier, people who put up Indic websites gave fonts for download which had to be installed to browse the sites. Then came the dynamic font technology where the font stays on the server and there is no need to download and install it. Vishva Kannada (www.vishvakannada.com) is the first Indian language website to use dynamic fonts (1998).

In education and using IT, Kannada has made a mark. The state government’s Mahiti Sindhu programme and Azim Premji Foundation’s computer-aided education programmes are good examples. Teaching programming logic in Kannada and thereby developing programming skills are other important aspects which can be implemented by using the Kannada version of LOGO program. This is the first-ever Indian language version of the world-famous programming language for children. The Kannada LOGO has also been conferred with the Manthan Award.

It was cumbersome and next to impossible to create applications in Kannada — things like salary bill generation using the font and keyboard driver technology. The Operating Systems do not understand these fonts. This problem has vanished with the advent of the global standard called Unicode. It removes the need for a font standard. Since the OSs can now understand the data as Kannada, it is possible to sort as per Kannada sorting order and create database applications. These are made possible by the availability of Kannada Unicode enabled OS (Windows XP), Office suite, database and development tool (VS.NET) by Microsoft. The famous Bhoomi software of the state government, ration card application created by Comat Technologies are some pioneering examples of Kannada applications.

All tech constraints in implementing Kannada on computers and developing applications for Kannada have been removed. The only remaining hurdle impeding the use of Kannada in computers is the mindset of the people.

(The writer is an expert on

Kannada and computers)

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December 10, 2007 Posted by | Baraha, Pavanaja on NUDI, Baraha and KGP, Sheshadri Vasu, Sheshadrivasu, VASU | 1 Comment

ellaKAVI GOOGLE PAGES

 

http://ellakavi.googlepages.com/home

SHESHADRIVASU BARAHA LETTER, Dr. KAMBAR LETTER TO CM,
PURNACHANDRA TEJASVI LETTERS ON KSD KGP KANNADA,
Dr. KAMBAR LETTERS
KANNADA FONTS PIRACY,
KHALITHA NUDI BARAHA,

NUDIDANTHE NADEYADAVARU,
FONT ISSUES AKRUTHI BARAHA NUDI
ME, Kannada and IT- KGP and Good, Bad and Ugly of it.

KANNADA KEYBOARD Dr. K. P. RAO, CIIL KSD MAY 2004 MEETING,

SOME INNER DETAILS ON KSD NUDI KAGAPA GOK,

I FEEL SORRY FOR KSD KANNADA,

MONOPOLY OF KGP-KAGAPA,
KGP’s MONKEY BUSINESS,

http://ellakavi.googlepages.com


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December 9, 2007 Posted by | Anand of Akruthi Fonts on Baraha, NUDI and KGP, Anbarsan on NUDI, KAGAPA and KGP, Baraha, Google Kannada, kagapa, Pavanaja on NUDI, Baraha and KGP, Sheshadri Vasu, Sheshadrivasu, VASU | Leave a comment

Dr.U.B.Pavanaja writes- BARAHA VASU is giving WRONG INFORMATION to press and to kannadigas. Also VASU is quoting a WRONG COURT CASE to prove what has done by stealing IPR from AKRUTHI is correct.

BARAHA Vasu’s interview to Deccan Herald in 2004

and Dr. U. B. Pavanaja’s comments

Vasu’s interview to Deccan Herald and comments by Dr. U. B. Pavanaja

Vasu gave an interview to Deccan Herald during his visit to Bangalore in June 2004. Here are some excerpts and my comments on them:-

 

> “Then, I, along with Ganaka Parishad and the State Government worked to bring Kannada software for official use”, he (Vasu) said.


I don’t remember any of such efforts by Sheshadri Vasu. In fact Vasu was very reluctant to implement the GoK standard for font and keyboard. There was a heated argument between Dr Panditharadhya and K T Chandrashekharan, father of Vasu, in this connection. All along the time Shasthry, Narasimha Murthy and Panditharadhya were advocating that Baraha killed Kannada while Nudi saved it!   Vasu did implement the keyboard and font standards after repeated appeals by Shrinatha Shasthry and Narasimha Murthy.

> Baraha 4.0 was the first software that was implemented in Government offices with font styles.


I don’t think this statement of Sheshadri Vasu is true. There were many Kannada software being used in state govt much much before KGP, Nudi or Baraha came into existence.


> But the Ganaka Parishad and the State Government have introduced Nudi software as a benchmark system.


If Vasu were to introduce the GoK standards much earlier than the release of Kalitha (Nudi), Nudi would not have come into existence.


VASU said:  > Unfortunately for me, the government is insisting the use of Nudi software.


Why should be unfortunate to him? He is not selling Baraha.


> While Baraha has fulfilled the terms and conditions put forth by the Government, including stipulations such as keyboard and transliteration, I wonder why they are forcing departments to use only Nudi”, he said. One of Baraha’s many advantages, according to Vasu, is that it allows a person who knows Kannada to type it in English fonts. He felt preference of software (Baraha or Nudi) should be left to end user.


Why the choice should be only between Nudi and Baraha, both of them are obsolete in the current and future time where Unicode is the world standard?

Actually the choice should be between Windows XP/2003, Mac, Linux, Solaris, Java Desktop, Unix, etc. all are having Unicode compliance.


Meeting with Vasu in June 2004

Vasu was felicitated by Upasana in Bangalore during his visit in June 2004. I met him during that function. I discussed many things in general like Unicode features, facility needed in Baraha to convert RTF and HTML documents into Unicode, etc. Casually I asked him where from he is getting the fonts for his Baraha package. As per his answer, there is an artist in Bangalore who draws the shapes on paper and sends them to him. He (Vasu) scans, digitizes and  makes them into fonts. I did not discuss anything about the Akruti font issue.

_______________________________________________

PLEASE READ THESE KANNADIGAS will know what VASU saying to DECCAN HERALD in 2004 is FALSE.


VASU of BARAHA was NOT TRUTHFUL to reporters in 2004. Now also !!!

SHABDRATNA, the first Kannada Word processing Software developed in 1987 by SRG Systems. Now SRG is not in business because of NUDI and KAGAPA and BARAHA.

NUDI  Fonts has COPIED BARAHA Fonts

VASU is the CULPRIT here for KSD


SHABDRATNA, the first Kannada Word processing Software was
launched by the then Director of Karnataka Govt. Computer
Center during January 1987. This was used extensively by
almost all Offices & Depts of the Govt. of Karnataka.

SRG Systems Letter to V. M. Kumaraswamy in 2004.

___________________________________________________________

VASU sends the following email to kannadigas all over the world.

WHY ? Because VASU got Caught for STEALING the IPR.

This following information is also FALSE according to some sources.

___________________________

Dear friends,

Recently I have read some forwarded emails mentioning that Baraha has used fonts copied from other software. This statement is not true and I would like to clarify the same in this mail. As of Baraha 6.0 (to be released shortly), the following fonts are available for use.

BRH Amerikannada

BRH Bengaluru

BRH Kailasam

BRH Kannada

BRH Kasturi

BRH Sirigannada

BRH Vijay

BRH Devanagari

BRH Tamil

BRH Telugu

BRH Malayalam

All the above fonts are designed and hand-written on the paper by the artist Sri. Lingadevaru and digitized (conversion to TrueType Fonts) by me. “Except for “BRH Kannada” all the other Kannada fonts are totally new styles which don’t exist in any other Kannada software“. Most of the Kannada font styles that we see on computers today existed and used in the books, magazines and news papers much earlier. The “BRH Kannada” style follows one such classic type face that was used much before the computers came into existence as shown in the following examples.

Gnana Gangotri – 1971

Amara Chitra Katha – 1978

The above style is a kind of de-facto standard for Kannada, which is used by almost all the publications today. Every Kannada font vendor has created this style using re-digitization (re-digitization is the process of creating a digital font based on an existing font either by scanning a printed letter or extracting from an existing font) and has given his own name. The following are some of the fonts, which have this style. There are many other generic type face styles for Kannada, which can be found in all the software packages.

BRH Kannada – Baraha

Nudi Akshara 09 – Nudi

AkrutiKndPadmini – Akruti

Shree-Kan-0850 – ShreeLipi

SHREE_DECCAN – Prajavani

KPNEWS – Kannada Prabha

Kan Badami – PhonScript Systems

so on…

All these fonts use the style shown in the above examples. We may find a few minor differences, when we compare these fonts. In most cases, this difference is introduced automatically during the digitization process. Some vendors deliberately introduce a few changes to certain glyphs, to be able differentiate from others. Some times, a different character or line spacing is used so that the font looks different when displayed on the screen or printed. Some times, the font size, thickness is modified to give a different look. Whatever may be the difference, they all derive from a common design, which cannot belong to any one individual or company.

The common font styles that existed much before the computers cannot be copyright protected by any one person or company. This is the rule followed for English fonts. The English fonts such as “Arial”, “Times New Roman”, e.t.c belong to this generic category. Here only the brand names such as “Arial” is copyright protected and that name can’t be used for other styles. But the actual character styles (or outlines) in the Arial font may be copied and re-produced by anybody. Font copyright laws vary from one country to another. In Germany for example, only the new font styles that are created after 1981 can be copyright protected by filing a special registered design with the patent offices. I am not aware if any such laws exist for fonts in India.

USA courts have long back decided that fonts can’t be copyrighted AT ALL! Here, the digital outline can never be protected. According to them there can’t be any original font style, because, every font is created by slightly modifying some other font, and there aren’t really “new” font designs! See the following excerpts from the law…

“The Copyright Office has decided that digitized representations of typeface designs are not registerable under the Copyright Act because they do not constitute original works of authorship. The digitized representations of typefaces are neither original computer programs (as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101), nor original databases, nor any other original work of authorship.”

So, in a font, the name, any programming code not describing the font design are all that can be copyrighted. This leaves the door open in the USA to have anyone pay for the output of each character from a typesetter and re-digitize it or extract the design from a font program (and rename it), easily duplicating the design. Most foundries have very similar fonts derived from work largely designed by others. More information about font/copyright can be found at http://ssifonts.com/Myths.htm

When I started developing Kannada software in 1998, I had no knowledge of fonts at all. I had to do a lot of research and analysis on various Kannada fonts freely available in the Internet, which helped me to understand the current technology and the various issues. I am sure the other software vendors created their software only after doing such a research. This is not against any law.


Some Kannada software vendors complained that Baraha has hurt their business because of its free nature. I still believe that the only way Kannada can compete with English is by a user-friendly, quality, free software. If not me, some other individual would have done the same work later. It is unfortunate that no Kannada software vendor utilized this great opportunity. The initial version of Baraha was just an experiment (not so serious…), which I wanted to share with my family and friends. I didn’t know it would become so popular and used by many people. When Baraha gained popularity, I introduced new Kannada fonts in the versions that followed, as mentioned above. I could have easily re-produced the common font styles that existed in other software and competed with them. Instead, I came up with only new styles, which didn’t exist before. My intention is only to provide a free facility for the basic documentation needs of Kannada. I have focused more on standardization issues and portability of data to various formats and Operating Systems, which was ignored (deliberately for business interests?) by other software vendors. Since I don’t have any business interest regarding Baraha, the only motivation for me is quality, usability, portability and the interest in Kannada. Through Baraha, I have made a lot of friends throughout the world, which are more valuable for me than the financial benefits.

Baraha is not a rocket technology! I have simply put together many things that existed already. While doing so, I haven’t violated any copyright laws concerning font software.

Many software vendors and individuals have created Kannada software either out of business interests or personal interest in Kannada culture. Whatever may be the reason, my personal thanks to all of them because they formed the foundation for Kannada in IT. They kept Kannada alive so that it can be rejuvenated today. The credit goes to software companies such as C-DAC, ShreeLipi, Akruti, KGP and many others. KGP did a good work by standardizing Kannada fonts and the keyboard. Some individuals such as Sri. Kasturi Rangachar and Sri. Vishweshwara Dixit here in USA, had attempted to create Kannada software much before the introduction of Baraha. The list goes on… Without the efforts of above companies and Individuals, Kannada on computers would not have grown to the extent it is today.

-Vasu

______________________________

_____________________________________

Dr. U. B. Pavanaja’s comments on VASU’s ABOVE assertions:
 Vasu’s justification and the realities

With this background let me discuss a bit of what Vasu has written in a document and widely circulated in mailing lists. This document is also present in his Baraha discussion group (groups.msn.com/baraha). Let me quote from this document-

—————– Begin ———————————

USA courts have long back decided that fonts can’t be copyrighted AT ALL! Here, the digital outline can never be protected. According to them there can’t be any original font style, because, every font is created by slightly modifying some other font, and there aren’t really “new” font designs! See the following excerpts from the law…

“The Copyright Office has decided that digitized representations of typeface designs are not registerable under the Copyright Act because they do not constitute original works of authorship. The digitized representations of typefaces are neither original computer programs (as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101), nor original databases, nor any other original work of authorship.”

So, in a font, the name, any programming code not describing the font design are all that can be copyrighted. This leaves the door open in the USA to have anyone pay for the output of each character from a typesetter and re-digitize it or extract the design from a font program (and rename it), easily duplicating the design. Most foundries have very similar fonts derived from work largely designed by others. More information about font/copyright can be found at http://ssifonts.com/Myths.htm

———————- End —————————-

Vasu is very cleverly and conveniently quoting from a web-site put up in the year 1997 and has not been updated afterwards.

There is a reason for this site not being updated afterwards. This refers to the classic legal battle between Adobe and SSI. Southern Software Inc. (SSI) used to copy and rename fonts from Adobe and others. They thought they were safe from prosecution because, though they had directly copied the points that define the shapes from Adobe’s fonts, they had moved all the points just slightly so they were not technically identical. Nevertheless, in his 1998 judgment, the judge determined that the computer code had been copied:

The evidence presented shows that there is some creativity in designing the font software programs. While the glyph dictates to a certain extent what points the editor must choose, it does not dictate every point that must be chosen. Adobe has shown that font editors make creative choices as to what points to select based on the image in front of them on the computer screen. The code is determined directly from the selection of the points. Thus, any copying of the points is copying of literal expression, that is, in essence, copying of the computer code itself.

SSI lost the legal battle at the courts. Judgment was in favor of Adobe. Hence SSI did not update their web-site.

Vasu is conveniently quoting from this web-site. One can read in detail about this case in the following web-sites:-

http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.ph…UNESCO_Font_Lic

http://directory.serifmagazine.com/Ethics_…/judgement.php4

http://www.ipcounselors.com/19980309.htm

When we conducted a opentype font workshop at Bangalore during March 2003, there was a talk on IPR issues related to fonts by Lawrence Liang, who is an expert on cyber laws. He had discussed this Adobe vs SSI case.

_______________________________________________________

November 10, 2007 Posted by | Baraha, Sheshadri Vasu | 1 Comment

Tejasvi and Kambar Memorandum to Shri S.M.Krishna regarding Kannada Software

Memorandum to Shri S.M. Krishna regarding Kannada Software:

October 21, 2004

Shri S.M. Krishna,

Former Chief Minister and
Senior Leader Karnataka Congress Party,
Bangalore.
Respected Sir,
As you very well know, Kannada is a language with tremendous richness and antiquity and
resilience with over 2000 years of spoken and written history. There has been an
uninterrupted growth of its literature and art in various mediums like stone and metal
etchings, palm leaf inscriptions and on paper. In keeping with the modern times and
technologies, the latest medium on which it has adapted itself is the computer and electronic
mediums as evident in the usage of Kannada in electronic publishing, multimedia and
educational content, internet websites and emails, discussion groups, e-books, government
administration, word processing and office applications.
There are however some dark clouds hovering over Kannada in these newest electronic
mediums and it faces grave danger due to some harmful developments over the past few
years as a result of which, independent software developers for Kannada software have
virtually been eliminated and a stage has been created for the subservience of Kannada
language to some elements who may not have the interest of Kannada as their prime focus.
Background:
a. A passionate bunch of entrepreneurs had for over two decades pioneered and
provided the facility of using Kannada on computers, when even operating systems
vendors like Microsoft had not provided such a facility.
b. These developers also enabled book and newspaper publishers to avail of the latest
facilities like DTP and Electronic pre-press facilities to produce quality books and
periodicals in Kannada. (Refer Appendix for details)
c. Survival was always a challenge for these developers, for they had to fight piracy,
obsolescence and restricted market volumes but they fought on with love for
Kannada as their main inspiration hoping that some day when Kannada is used
widely on computers their pioneering efforts would pay back.
d. Three key developments have completely shattered the morale and the finances of
these developers and they are reduced to the state of despondency, looking to clutch
on to something else for survival. If the situation persists, the few who remain may
vanish.
These developments are:
·  A so called free software called Baraha was released by an NRI having appropriated
some key Intellectual Property vested in Kannada Fonts developed after great effort
and expense by one of the developers. This has completely killed the potential NRI
Kannadiga market and also the one for casual users of Kannada on computers.
·  On the pretext of standardization and development of a bench marking software,
Government of Karnataka (GOK) encouraged a group of private individuals and
amateurs to develop (or rather dubiously misappropriate and re-engineer) a Kannada
software called NUDI and this against all norms was allowed to monopolize the
Government departments and undertakings thus completely cutting off the main
source of sustenance for these developers.

·  The major operating system vendor, Microsoft has now announced the embedded
Kannada in their Windows XP / 2003 operating system and their Office productivity
suite. The GOK as per the e-Governance Secretary has clearly indicated a
preferential switch to this new system (based on the global standard called Unicode)
even if it means a huge expense in upgrading the existing non Win XP/2003
compliant systems like Windows 98 based systems.
With the independent software developers in a precarious condition and the Microsoft
emerging as the major Kannada software provider on the latest Win XP / 2003 systems, the
vast majority of Kannadigas who cannot afford switching over from Win 98 based computers
will be left high and dry. For many of them the current hardware and software procured by
them at substantial expense are more than adequate for their needs and they have no
pressing need to changeover unless forced to because of incompatibility with the emerging
global standard of Unicode in Kannada.
While Linux may have a sobering influence on Microsoft, considering their global dominance
in the desktop and server operating systems market, it can be reasonably expected that
whatever Microsoft does will greatly influence the future course of usage of Kannada on
computers.
It should be borne in mind that unlike the proliferation of the IT industry in Karnataka (driven
mainly by a flourishing export market and primarily in English), IT usage within Karnataka
and especially the Government will have a deep influence and impact on the culture and
heritage of Karnataka because it hits at the very root of culture, its language, Kannada. Also
the welfare of the masses is at stake if their main medium of communication is in danger.

Recognizing the great danger this development posed to the Kannada language and hence
its cultural and artistic roots, visionary writers and litterateurs like Dr. Purnachandra Tejasvi
and Dr. Chandrashekhar Kambara and others have recognized the grave threat that these
alarming developments are posing and called for some introspection and correction of the
slow poison eating away into the vitals of our state by threatening to destroy its source of
nourishment, the beautiful and expressive language Kannada, which forms the very core
and reason for Karnataka to exist as a separate cultural identity.
The solution:
The future of Kannada is too important for bureaucratic GOK departments or a few
individuals or corporations to mess around with and so it is imperative that an academic
institution like a university working in partnership with technologists be entrusted with the
proper development considering all factors like language, culture, aesthetics, technology
and heritage.
It is essential that a group of individuals passionately concerned about Kannada and having
all the above sensibilities be in charge of guiding the flowering and growth of Kannada in the
new age of Information technology.
It is also important to find funds to ensure that technological problems, which are peculiar to
Kannada in the computer and electronic devices, are researched upon and solutions
developed for them to stimulate and further the growth of the language.

Like for many other computer related areas a very strong Open Source Group needs to be
created and nurtured which will suggest and work on Kannada related technologies without
commercial or financial constraints.
Summary:
There is little time to lose and hence we request Shri S.M. Krishna to persuade the GOK to
constitute a standing group comprising of interested and eminent Kannadiga litterateurs and
technologists to set up a mechanism along with the various universities in Karnataka and
academic institutions like IISC, IIIT and to work towards the noble goal of ensuring that
Kannada flourishes for years to come in the electronics and computer mediums like it has in
the traditional mediums for over 2000 years.
Some of the immediate measures required are:
1. Ensure that Unicode based solutions in Kannada is made available to the existing
base of computers without need to upgrade them at a huge cost and that the
switchover creates the least amount of discomfort by ensuring portability of existing
content.
2. Constitute a two-tier group to look into all aspects of Kannada development in
computer and convergent electronic mediums. The guiding group will look after the
overall development for Kannada software and also ensure funds and right
conditions are created for the same, while a technical group can go into the technical
details and give technical advice.
3. GOK Departments like Department of Information Technology and e-Governance
Secretariat should correct their policy towards Kannada software development by
modifying any G.O. or notification, which stymies competition or favours a particular
group and should stop funding them and withdraw any unutilized funds given without
following proper procedures.
4. Ensure that the existing developers of software for Kannada are given due support
and market access and a level playing field is created for Kannada software
development so that more developers are encouraged to enter the field both in the
commercial area as well as the Open Source Groups.
5. Developments like Nudi, which were funded by GOK can be put in Open Source for
further development.
6. Taxes and levies on Kannada software should be removed.

Submitted on behalf of:
Dr. Purnachandra Tejasvi,
Handpost Mudigere,
Chikkamagalur – 577132
Dr. Chandrashekara Kambara
BSK 3rd Stage
Bangalore – 560085

by Anand S.K.
Managing Director,
Cyberscape Multimedia Ltd.
941, 21st Main, 22nd “A” Cross.
BSK 2nd Stage,
Bangalore – 560070

November 6, 2007 Posted by | Baraha, Kannada Software Development -KSD, Sheshadri Vasu | Leave a comment

VASU’s email 2004 to AKRUTHI Owner and What VASU is quoting afterwards is WRONG and read What Dr. U. B. Pavanaja says about VASU.

VASU’s email 2004 to AKRUTHI Owner and What VASU is quoting afterwards is WRONG and What Dr. U. B. Pavanaja says about VASU.

VASU email to Anand of Akruthi

—————–
Forwarded Message:

Subj:

Fw: From Sheshadrivasu Chandrasekharan

Date:

6/28/2004 11:01:59 AM Pacific Daylight Time

From:

anand@cyberscapeindia.com

To:

novamed@aol.com

Sent from the Internet (Details)

Shri Kumarswamy,

Namaskaara,

I think largely due to your relentless efforts to ferret out the truth behind the sad state of affairs in the area of Kannada software and the domination of false icons of the so called free software like KGP Nudi and Sheshadrivasu’s Baraha, a lot of bitter truth and hidden information is coming out from various quarters, which is exposing the nasty skullduggery by which these false icons have sucked on the blood of the real workers in the Kannada software arena who have never claimed that they and they alone have done a great service to Kannada, but have been contributing silently in the background.

I am forwarding here, an admission by one such icon, the Guru of free Kannada software, who, perhaps due to the fear of getting exposed by these revelations, very belatedly realised the need for acknowledging the unabashed piracy. More than six years after his misdeed, he meekly apologises for having pirated our “Akruti” fonts. This is a charge we have also made on KGP. How many more years, do we have to wait for them to come clean?

Anyway, I hope you keep churning the murky waters of the Kannada software world for more such nuggets. I sincerely hope at the end of this great “Samudra Manthan“, finally some true gems emerge and adorn our beloved “Kannada Maate” who must be hanging her head in eternal shame at the present state of affairs. All the behind the scene workers like us should be thankful for your fearless crusade against all the wrong doers.

Hoping for a positive outcome for the sake of Kannada,

Anand S.K.

Managing Director

Cyberscape Multimedia Ltd.

—– Original Message —–

From: Sheshadrivasu Chandrasekharan < baraha@hotmail.com>

To: < anand@cyberscapeindia.com>

Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 10:18 PM

Subject: From Sheshadrivasu Chandrasekharan

Ø Dear Mr. S.K. Anand,
>
> I recently saw a remark from you in one of the postings in an Internet
> newsgroup which goes as follows…
>
> “We who have been developing such fonts (AKRUTI) well over two decades would
> not like a repeat of the experience, we had when our fonts were pirated off
> the Web and used without acknowledgement, first by an individual who went on
> to release a free software…”
>
> I thought you may be referring to Baraha software in the above remark, and
> hence is this email.
>
> When I started developing a Kannada software, I had no knowledge of fonts at
> all.
I experimented a lot with various Kannada fonts available in the
> Internet, including Akruti. This research helped me to understand the
> technology behind the Kannada fonts and I learnt a lot from these software.
> Initially, I wanted Baraha compatible with other Kannada fonts. But due to
> various limitations of such fonts, I had to come up with my own encoding. I
> honestly admit that I have used the glyphs from one of the Akruti fonts in
> Baraha 1.0, and I was not very serious to mention about it. When I released
> Baraha 1.0, I didn’t know it will become popular and used by many people. It
> was only an experiment which I wanted to share with my family and friends.

> But later, when Baraha became popular, for copyright reasons, I had to add
> my own fonts for Kannada and other languages. I have created many new font
> styles, which don’t exist in any other Kannada software. My intention was to
> provide the facility for basic documentation needs of Kannada. It was not my
> intention to copy or re-create various Kannada font styles that are
> available in other packages. Instead I have focussed more on portability of
> Kannada text from Baraha to other software such as Akruti, ShreeLipi, e.t.c.
>
> Through this mail I would like to express my grattitude to various other
> Kannada software for helping me to acquire the knowledge. My acknowldgements
> to Akruti software for providing the glyphs which were used in the intial
> releases of Baraha.
I apologise for this delayed acknowledgement.
>
> Regards
> Vasu
> ***********************************************************
> Free Kannada/Devanagari software – http://www.baraha.com

***********************************************************
_______________________________________________________________________

VASU sends the following email to kannadigas all over the world.

WHY ? Because VASU got Caught for STEALING the IPR.

This following information is also FALSE according to some sources.

___________________________

Dear friends,

Recently I have read some forwarded emails mentioning that Baraha has used fonts copied from other software. This statement is not true and I would like to clarify the same in this mail. As of Baraha 6.0 (to be released shortly), the following fonts are available for use.

BRH Amerikannada

BRH Bengaluru

BRH Kailasam

BRH Kannada

BRH Kasturi

BRH Sirigannada

BRH Vijay

BRH Devanagari

BRH Tamil

BRH Telugu

BRH Malayalam

All the above fonts are designed and hand-written on the paper by the artist Sri. Lingadevaru and digitized (conversion to TrueType Fonts) by me. “Except for “BRH Kannada” all the other Kannada fonts are totally new styles which don’t exist in any other Kannada software“. Most of the Kannada font styles that we see on computers today existed and used in the books, magazines and news papers much earlier. The “BRH Kannada” style follows one such classic type face that was used much before the computers came into existence as shown in the following examples.

Gnana Gangotri – 1971

Amara Chitra Katha – 1978

The above style is a kind of de-facto standard for Kannada, which is used by almost all the publications today. Every Kannada font vendor has created this style using re-digitization (re-digitization is the process of creating a digital font based on an existing font either by scanning a printed letter or extracting from an existing font) and has given his own name. The following are some of the fonts, which have this style. There are many other generic type face styles for Kannada, which can be found in all the software packages.

BRH Kannada – Baraha

Nudi Akshara 09 – Nudi

AkrutiKndPadmini – Akruti

Shree-Kan-0850 – ShreeLipi

SHREE_DECCAN – Prajavani

KPNEWS – Kannada Prabha

Kan Badami – PhonScript Systems

so on…

All these fonts use the style shown in the above examples. We may find a few minor differences, when we compare these fonts. In most cases, this difference is introduced automatically during the digitization process. Some vendors deliberately introduce a few changes to certain glyphs, to be able differentiate from others. Some times, a different character or line spacing is used so that the font looks different when displayed on the screen or printed. Some times, the font size, thickness is modified to give a different look. Whatever may be the difference, they all derive from a common design, which cannot belong to any one individual or company.

The common font styles that existed much before the computers cannot be copyright protected by any one person or company. This is the rule followed for English fonts. The English fonts such as “Arial”, “Times New Roman”, e.t.c belong to this generic category. Here only the brand names such as “Arial” is copyright protected and that name can’t be used for other styles. But the actual character styles (or outlines) in the Arial font may be copied and re-produced by anybody. Font copyright laws vary from one country to another. In Germany for example, only the new font styles that are created after 1981 can be copyright protected by filing a special registered design with the patent offices. I am not aware if any such laws exist for fonts in India.

USA courts have long back decided that fonts can’t be copyrighted AT ALL! Here, the digital outline can never be protected. According to them there can’t be any original font style, because, every font is created by slightly modifying some other font, and there aren’t really “new” font designs! See the following excerpts from the law…

“The Copyright Office has decided that digitized representations of typeface designs are not registerable under the Copyright Act because they do not constitute original works of authorship. The digitized representations of typefaces are neither original computer programs (as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101), nor original databases, nor any other original work of authorship.”

So, in a font, the name, any programming code not describing the font design are all that can be copyrighted. This leaves the door open in the USA to have anyone pay for the output of each character from a typesetter and re-digitize it or extract the design from a font program (and rename it), easily duplicating the design. Most foundries have very similar fonts derived from work largely designed by others. More information about font/copyright can be found at http://ssifonts.com/Myths.htm

When I started developing Kannada software in 1998, I had no knowledge of fonts at all. I had to do a lot of research and analysis on various Kannada fonts freely available in the Internet, which helped me to understand the current technology and the various issues. I am sure the other software vendors created their software only after doing such a research. This is not against any law.


Some Kannada software vendors complained that Baraha has hurt their business because of its free nature. I still believe that the only way Kannada can compete with English is by a user-friendly, quality, free software. If not me, some other individual would have done the same work later. It is unfortunate that no Kannada software vendor utilized this great opportunity. The initial version of Baraha was just an experiment (not so serious…), which I wanted to share with my family and friends. I didn’t know it would become so popular and used by many people. When Baraha gained popularity, I introduced new Kannada fonts in the versions that followed, as mentioned above. I could have easily re-produced the common font styles that existed in other software and competed with them. Instead, I came up with only new styles, which didn’t exist before. My intention is only to provide a free facility for the basic documentation needs of Kannada. I have focused more on standardization issues and portability of data to various formats and Operating Systems, which was ignored (deliberately for business interests?) by other software vendors. Since I don’t have any business interest regarding Baraha, the only motivation for me is quality, usability, portability and the interest in Kannada. Through Baraha, I have made a lot of friends throughout the world, which are more valuable for me than the financial benefits.

Baraha is not a rocket technology! I have simply put together many things that existed already. While doing so, I haven’t violated any copyright laws concerning font software.

Many software vendors and individuals have created Kannada software either out of business interests or personal interest in Kannada culture. Whatever may be the reason, my personal thanks to all of them because they formed the foundation for Kannada in IT. They kept Kannada alive so that it can be rejuvenated today. The credit goes to software companies such as C-DAC, ShreeLipi, Akruti, KGP and many others. KGP did a good work by standardizing Kannada fonts and the keyboard. Some individuals such as Sri. Kasturi Rangachar and Sri. Vishweshwara Dixit here in USA, had attempted to create Kannada software much before the introduction of Baraha. The list goes on… Without the efforts of above companies and Individuals, Kannada on computers would not have grown to the extent it is today.

-Vasu

______________________________

_____________________________________

Dr. U. B. Pavanaja’s comments on VASU’s ABOVE assertions:

 Vasu’s justification and the realities

With this background let me discuss a bit of what Vasu has written in a document and widely circulated in mailing lists. This document is also present in his Baraha discussion group (groups.msn.com/baraha). Let me quote from this document-

—————– Begin ———————————

USA courts have long back decided that fonts can’t be copyrighted AT ALL! Here, the digital outline can never be protected. According to them there can’t be any original font style, because, every font is created by slightly modifying some other font, and there aren’t really “new” font designs! See the following excerpts from the law…

“The Copyright Office has decided that digitized representations of typeface designs are not registerable under the Copyright Act because they do not constitute original works of authorship. The digitized representations of typefaces are neither original computer programs (as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101), nor original databases, nor any other original work of authorship.”

So, in a font, the name, any programming code not describing the font design are all that can be copyrighted. This leaves the door open in the USA to have anyone pay for the output of each character from a typesetter and re-digitize it or extract the design from a font program (and rename it), easily duplicating the design. Most foundries have very similar fonts derived from work largely designed by others. More information about font/copyright can be found at http://ssifonts.com/Myths.htm

———————- End —————————-

Vasu is very cleverly and conveniently quoting from a web-site put up in the year 1997 and has not been updated afterwards.

There is a reason for this site not being updated afterwards. This refers to the classic legal battle between Adobe and SSI. Southern Software Inc. (SSI) used to copy and rename fonts from Adobe and others. They thought they were safe from prosecution because, though they had directly copied the points that define the shapes from Adobe’s fonts, they had moved all the points just slightly so they were not technically identical. Nevertheless, in his 1998 judgment, the judge determined that the computer code had been copied:

The evidence presented shows that there is some creativity in designing the font software programs. While the glyph dictates to a certain extent what points the editor must choose, it does not dictate every point that must be chosen. Adobe has shown that font editors make creative choices as to what points to select based on the image in front of them on the computer screen. The code is determined directly from the selection of the points. Thus, any copying of the points is copying of literal expression, that is, in essence, copying of the computer code itself.

SSI lost the legal battle at the courts. Judgment was in favor of Adobe. Hence SSI did not update their web-site.

Vasu is conveniently quoting from this web-site. One can read in detail about this case in the following web-sites:-

http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.ph…UNESCO_Font_Lic

http://directory.serifmagazine.com/Ethics_…/judgement.php4

http://www.ipcounselors.com/19980309.htm

When we conducted a opentype font workshop at Bangalore during March 2003, there was a talk on IPR issues related to fonts by Lawrence Liang, who is an expert on cyber laws. He had discussed this Adobe vs SSI case.

_______________________________________________________


November 6, 2007 Posted by | Baraha, Sheshadri Vasu | Leave a comment

BARAHA Vasu’s interview to Deccan Herald in 2004 and Dr. U. B. Pavanaja’s comments

BARAHA Vasu’s interview to Deccan Herald in 2004

and Dr. U. B. Pavanaja’s comments

Vasu’s interview to Deccan Herald and my comments by Dr. U. B. Pavanaja

Vasu gave an interview to Deccan Herald during his visit to Bangalore in June 2004. Here are some excerpts and my comments on them:-

> “Then, I, along with Ganaka Parishad and the State Government worked to bring Kannada software for official use”, he (Vasu) said.

I don’t remember any of such efforts by Sheshadri Vasu. In fact Vasu was very reluctant to implement the GoK standard for font and keyboard. There was a heated argument between Dr Panditharadhya and K T Chandrashekharan, father of Vasu, in this connection. All along the time Shasthry, Narasimha Murthy and Panditharadhya were advocating that Baraha killed Kannada while Nudi saved it!   Vasu did implement the keyboard and font standards after repeated appeals by Shrinatha Shasthry and Narasimha Murthy.

> Baraha 4.0 was the first software that was implemented in Government offices with font styles.

I don’t think this statement of Sheshadri Vasu is true. There were many Kannada software being used in state govt much much before KGP, Nudi or Baraha came into existence.

> But the Ganaka Parishad and the State Government have introduced Nudi software as a benchmark system.

If Vasu were to introduce the GoK standards much earlier than the release of Kalitha (Nudi), Nudi would not have come into existence.

VASU said:  > Unfortunately for me, the government is insisting the use of Nudi software.

Why should be unfortunate to him? He is not selling Baraha.

> While Baraha has fulfilled the terms and conditions put forth by the Government, including stipulations such as keyboard and transliteration, I wonder why they are forcing departments to use only Nudi”, he said. One of Baraha’s many advantages, according to Vasu, is that it allows a person who knows Kannada to type it in English fonts. He felt preference of software (Baraha or Nudi) should be left to end user.

Why the choice should be only between Nudi and Baraha, both of them are obsolete in the current and future time where Unicode is the world standard? Actually the choice should be between Windows XP/2003, Mac, Linux, Solaris, Java Desktop, Unix, etc. all are having Unicode compliance.

Meeting with Vasu in June 2004

 

Vasu was felicitated by Upasana in Bangalore during his visit in June 2004. I met him during that function. I discussed many things in general like Unicode features, facility needed in Baraha to convert RTF and HTML documents into Unicode, etc. Casually I asked him where from he is getting the fonts for his Baraha package. As per his answer, there is an artist in Bangalore who draws the shapes on paper and sends them to him. He (Vasu) scans, digitizes and  makes them into fonts. I did not discuss anything about the Akruti font issue.

_______________________________________________

PLEASE READ THESE KANNADIGAS will know what VASU saying to DECCAN HERALD in 2004 is FALSE.
VASU of BARAHA was NOT TRUTHFUL to reporters in 2004. Now also !!!

SHABDRATNA, the first Kannada Word processing Software developed in 1987 by SRG Systems. Now SRG is not in business because of NUDI and KAGAPA and BARAHA.

NUDI  Fonts has COPIED BARAHA Fonts

VASU is the CULPRIT here for KSD

SHABDRATNA, the first Kannada Word processing Software was
launched by the then Director of Karnataka Govt. Computer
Center during January 1987. This was used extensively by
almost all Offices & Depts of the Govt. of Karnataka.


SRG Systems Letter to V. M. Kumaraswamy in 2004.

SRG Systems Pvt. Ltd. (Software Research Group) is one of the
leading research and development oriented software company in
India. SRG was started in 1984 by T. S. Muthu krishnan who is a
B.Tech from IIT Madras. He has more than 35 years of experience.

S R G was the first Indian company to produce and export packaged
software to European countries like West Germany, Holland,
Belgium, East Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia & Taiwan
and Middle East countries.

S R G, a professionally managed company, was the first to develop
packages in Indian Languages namely Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu,
Malayalam, Marathi, Gujrati & Bengali using Indigenous Knowhow
based on extensive experience in the field of Software
development.

SRG has developed several application Software Products and
Packaged Software Packages.

First developed a Word processing Software on Apple System
in USA for a Client in 1983-84.

During 1984-85 SRG had been developing application Software
for various Customers.

Subsequently developed WORDLORD on IBM PC which was later
Exported to Europe in 1985-86 and Far Eastern Countries in
1987.

SHABDRATNA, the first Kannada Word processing Software was
launched by the then Director of Karnataka Govt. Computer
Center during January 1987. This was used extensively by
almost all Offices & Depts of the Govt. of Karnataka.

Kannada DTP Software VENUS Publisher was launched in 1989.
This was used extensively by several Publishers of Kannada
books including NAL Mr. Srinatha Sastry. Govt. of Karnataka
is still using our DTP S/W for Budget presentation.

CHITRAKALA was specially developed for Door Dharshan Kendra,
Bangalore for Kannada Titling and graphics during 1990.

Several other Language Softwares were also released.

During 1993 developed DATA BASE Software Package INEX which
is a Kannada-English Business Software using which various
applications like Financial Accounting, Inventory, Payroll,
MRP, PPC etc. were released. INEX was launched by the then
Minister for Higher Education, Govt. of Karnataka.

During 1994 developed WINKEY Kannada interface for
Windows applications. This was also used extensively by most
of the Offices & Depts of the Govt. of Karnataka.

During 1999 developed KARYALAYA 2000 Multi-lingual office
suite.

During 2001 developed BANK SCRIPT Multi-lingual interface
for Data Processing Applications.

During 2003 developed SRG BROWSER Multi-lingual Internet /
Intranet Browsing Interface.

We had struggled hard to promote Kannada usage in Computers for
more than a decade without any assistance from Govt. of Karnataka
or any other body and even ignoring the more lucrative Commercial
Software development.

In fact we had spent more money for Research & development,
Training and Support for Kannada than we had earned. It was other
Language Softwares particularly Hindi & Tamil which helped us to
make some profit.

We had even provided our Kannada Software free of cost to several
Individuals including Mr. Srinatha Sastry for personal use and
thereby encouraged Kannada usage in Computers.

It is only after Kannada usage in Computers had fully spread as a
result of our promotion, suddenly some individuals found that they
can use the slogan “Kannada promotion” as a ploy to syphon out
Govt. funds which can be shared among them. They had even used
some good persons like Dr. Pavanaja for achieving their goal.

As we were already promoting Kannada without any Govt. funds and
also these individuals had no Technical or Linguistic expertise,
they had decided to use the “Back-door approach”.

First these vested interests formed a group with a catchy name
“Kannada Ganaka Parished” and entered themselves in the books of
Karnataka Govt. claiming to promote Kannada thru’ Computers.

They had implanted the idea of “Kannada Standards” in the minds of
un-suspecting Govt. Officials. They influenced the formation of
Standards committee without including the real users like Typists
or the Kannada Software Developers.

They had wasted Govt. money and time by establishing two
“Redundant Standards” for “Keyboard” which is harmful to
KANNADIGAS, as well as “Mono Lingual font” which is totally
useless as NUDI itself is using Bi-lingual font.

Thousands of POOR UNEMPLOYED KANNADIGAS spend what little money
they have on Kannada typing diploma courses and pass typing exams
using manual typewriter where the speed & accuracy are important.
By adopting a keyboard other than typewriter keyboard would defeat
the very purpose and completely destroy their future.

One can not Promote Kannada at the expense of POOR KANNADIGAS.
It is for this reason we had adopted typewriter keyboard for the
qualified Typists and at the same time provided phonetic typing
for other users.

Further we had written to D.I.T. on 30-6-2000 that most of the
Customers use Bi-lingual fonts and demanded the Standards for
Bi-lingual font. This was totally ignored by them.

After the NUDI Software was rejected by almost all Govt. Staff,
they came out with their own “Non-Standard” Bi-lingual font
thereby making the “Font Standard” as Redundant by themselves.

This was the level of intelligence at KGP.

Then they had influenced the Govt. to appoint themselves (KGP) as
the “Certifying Agency” for these “Redundant Standards” and forced
the Govt. to part with more than Rs. 2 Lakhs for this purpose.

They had also used certain Corrupt Govt. Officials to sanction
funds to the tune of Rs.27.65 lakhs for the Kannada Software
Development, which even a well established S/W Company will find
it difficult to achieve.

No standard procedure like Tender or Multiple Quotations was
followed by D.I.T. The KGP is not a Govt. body either.

KGP without any infrastructure for Software development, not even
a proper office or a Computer, was awarded such a huge Software
Contract. This also shows the level of Corruption and the
Influence they had used.

In fact we have not earned so much money during the last 17 years
of Kannada Software development.

KGP had already Certified our Software earlier. After the
“Contract” was awarded, KGP had no Idea of “How to go about”.

Hence, the second certification “Drama” was enacted jointly by
Corrupt Officials of the D.I.T. and the vested interests in KGP
with the sole aim of pirating the Kannada Software Technology of
the Software Developers.

They had asked the un-suspecting Software Developers to
demonstrate and explain the Language Technology to the “KGP team”
which included the part-time programmer who had later “developed”
NUDI.

It is humanly impossible for a part-time programmer to do Research
& development and come out with an Original Software in such a
short time. The Truth is simple common sense, obvious and glaring.

Then the “Certifying” Agency themselves “Certified” their own
“developed” Software NUDI and “sold” it to D.I.T. at a huge cost.

Obviously the vested interests in KGP would not have spent more
than Rs. 15,000/= for the part-time programmer. But they had
managed to syphon out Lakhs of Rupees of Govt. funds which was
obviously shared by these vested interests with those Corrupt
Officials of the D.I.T.

The claim of “saving money for the Govt.” is a fraud. As there is
no support or service, which the Software Developers provide, the
NUDI Software will be dumped by the user and entire money “spent”
for NUDI will go down the drain. If the Govt. wants to provide the
support or service, the cost will be enormous and will run into
crores of Rupees.

If at all the D.I.T. Officials wanted to save money for the Govt.
they should have called for Tender or Competitive Quotations
instead of accepting the “fancy prices” quoted by KGP. Or atleast
they should have approached CDAC or NCST which are Govt. bodies.

The main aim of this Corruption and Nepotism is to destroy Kannada
Software development in Karnataka. Such a rampant Corruption and
Nepotism has never happened in any other State in India.

This has totally destroyed small and medium Software Developers.
This has also resulted in the retrenchment of staff thereby
creating unemployment.

Later the half baked NUDI Software did not find any taker as almost
all Govt.Staff had rejected it. After finding that the resistance is too
strong, they had used the Hon’ble Chief Minister himself as a
“tool” to push the NUDI Software and thrust it down the throats of
the resisting Govt. Staff.

If this is called “KANNADA PROMOTION”, then I feel sorry for
KANNADA.

In addition to the above I have come across more documentary
evidences to prove the SWINDLING OF PUBLIC FUNDS by KGP with help
of D.I.T. namely :

1. Letter from Registrar of Societies about KGP.

2. Audited Financial Statements of KGP.

3. “Donation Receipt” for Selling of Govt. Property by KGP.

From the Letter from Registrar of Societies it is obvious that the
KGP is a DEFUNCT SOCIETY and is not entitled to receive any funds
from the Govt. However the KGP has already received Rs. 12,36,040
from the Govt. as of 31-3-2002. Further, they are also Selling the
Govt. Property and earning Interest from Govt. funds.

D.I.T. had stated that “The ownership of the software vests with
the Department and KGP has no right over it”. However KGP has been
selling the software CDs and had already earned Rs. 18,800 as of
31-3-2002 and still continuing to do so. This selling is being
done in a clandestine manner by calling it a “Donation”.

It is also evident from the Financial Statements of KGP that a sum
of Rs. 6.14 Lakhs, which was in excess of actual expenditure, is
being held in Bank deposits. While the Govt. is facing paucity of
funds and borrowing at high Interest, a DEFUNCT SOCIETY is holding
excess funds from the Govt. and earning Interest on Govt. funds.

Further, the Section 3 of THE KARNATAKA TRANSPARENCY IN PUBLIC
PROCUREMENT ACT 1999 exempts only the projects funded by
International Financial Agencies, which obviously means that all
other Govt. funded projects including this “DEAL” are
automatically covered by the ACT.

D.I.T’s repeated claim that KGP is a “NON PROFIT ORGANISATION”
itself amounts to cheating as Rs.27.65 Lakhs is virtually a
ransom. Even PROFIT making commercial establishments like ours can
develop for Rs.16.00 Lakhs and still make PROFIT.

The allegation of creation of Monopoly is also proved by the G.O.
Dated 27.12.2001 in which virtually all possible Kannada Softwares
are covered leaving NOTHING for other Software Developers thereby
depriving the Software Developers their right to survive and
“physically eliminating” them so that no body will be there to
question the illegal procurement of Kannada Software from the
KGP and the misuse of public fund.

While the crooks in KGP are syphoning out the Govt. Funds as
“Honourarium” to already employed / retired persons, the “Real
Promoters” of Kannada are forced to face the unemployment. This
amounts to “making the Rich Richer, the Poor Poorer”

It is highly deplorable to “monopolize” the Kannada Software
developments by encouraging the “Middle men” as KGP can not
develop any Software themselves .

As these vested interests were not really interested in promoting
Kannada, they had also indulged in playing politics by creating
Regional bias as some of the Developers including me are not
KANNADIGAS. It is in fact a good sign to note that NON-KANNADIGAS
are promoting Kannada and one should feel happy about that.

With Kind Regards,

T. S. Muthukrishnan
Managing Director
SRG Systems Pvt. Ltd.

November 6, 2007 Posted by | Baraha, Sheshadri Vasu | Leave a comment

How to work for getting this Nudi as a FREE software? Or is it opensourced already?

Sada Kannada <sadakannada@yahoo.com> wrote August 3rd 2006,
maanyarE

I guess, there are too many things and many people involved in stalling the progress of Kannada language implementation on computers. More sad is that they happen to be Kannadigas themselves. Since it happened sometime back we can forgive them and forget about all that. What we can do now is:

1) Make the Nudi, a FREE software so that our own Government funding does not create a software body which neither creates a good software nor allow others do it. Let the KGP work like a standardisation body with conforming to open standards and stressing the need for FREE software.
Let us all work towards getting this happen. Let us not worry about who all are behind this and their murky deeds. Let us concentrate on Kannada, our language than tarnishing some foolish people.

2) There should be scope for anyone to involve in the Kannada work, if someone volunteers. The font problem, problem of understanding some closed standards, problem of not having some existing codebase to start with should not be there. There should be enough opportunities for Kannadigas to learn more about the language and its implementation on computers.

3) There should be level playing business in the market as far as the Kannada software development is concerned. Let someone not take neither the false credit for their derived work nor should they kill a person who is into legitimate business. Since every software vendor should share the software, the competition should be among who gives a better service rather than who is good at keeping the software closed, so that his / their murky deeds are kept secret. The KGP should oversee this (can this happen).

All this is only my opinion. Since I am not a legal person, I don’t know how these things can be brought to effect or if all I have said are viable.

In any case, the foremost thing that has to happen is getting the Nudi software as FREE software, so that someone, somewhere when he/she gets interest can work with the existing code base. Let it work like reference code. How to work for getting this Nudi as a FREE software (with source code available, not like BARAHA)? Or is it opensourced already?

These are my opinions. Please pour in your comments. I guess we all will be happy to see more comments on this.

Sada Shiva

_______________

Read the following, you will know about KSD ISSUES and What some KANNADIGAS wanted to happen in KSD and do for KSD.


Minutes of the meeting on Kannada Software Development “KSD”

A meeting was convened on 16-07-04 at Vijayanagara Club, Bangalore, to discuss some of the issues related to Kannada Software. Following members had attended the meeting.

1. Sri. Purnachandra Tejaswi – Famous writer, Mudigere

2. Dr Chandrshekhara Kambara -MLC and famous writer, Bangalore

3. Prof. G. Venkatasubbayya – Lexicographer and famous writer, Bangalore

4. Sri R. S. Rajaram, Proprietor, Navakarnataka Publications, Bangalore

5. Sri S. K. Anand, MD, Cyberscape, Bangalore

6. Dr. Pavanaja – CEO, Vishwa Kannada Softech, Bangalore

7. Sri. Gyanesh – Software Engineer, Bangalroe

8. Sri. Satyanarayana – Software Engineer, Bangalore

9. Sri K Krishna Kumar, Software Engineer, Bangalore

10. Dr. Lingadevaru Halemane – CIIL, Mysore, Convener of the meeting

11. Sri K.T. Satheesh Gowda – EKAVI, Bangalore Chapter and Software Engineer

12. Sri Somashekhar – Software Engineer, Bangalore

In addition to the above participants, we had invited the following persons.

1. Prof. B.N. Sreeram – Publisher, Mysore

2. Sri. Srinatha Shastry – Chief Secretary, Kannada Ganaka Parishat, Bangalore

3. Sri. G.N. Narasimha Murthy, Secretary, Kannada Ganaka Parishat, Bangalore

4. Dr. Panditharadhya – Kannada Ganaka Parishat, Mysore

5. Dr. B. Mallikarjun – CIIL, Mysore

6. Shivakumar – Editor, Aparanji

7. Dr. Sharada – CIIL, Mysore

However, they did not attend the meeting.

Dr. Lingadevaru started by welcoming everyone for the meeting and explained the background for conducting the meeting. He circulated the minutes of the meeting held at Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, on May 25, 2004. He explained the necessity to call this meeting of technical experts and linguists to take the advice on the issues concerned about Kannada Software Development.

Dr Lingadevaru thanked Sri Poornachandra Tejasvi, Dr Chandrashekhara Kambara, Prof G Venkatasubbayya, Sri R S Rajaram, ministers Sri Siddaramayya & Sri M P Prakash and all others for showing keen interest and extending support. He also thanked Sri V M Kumaraswamy, founder of E-KAVI organization and its Bangalore chapter members Satheesh Gowda, Somashekhar and his team for taking all the troubles. He felt that this entire culmination is due to the extra efforts of E-KAVI.

Dr Lingadevaru started the discussions. There should be free and level playing field for Kannada software developments. We should use and encourage the software developed by the developers. Writers and artists have passion for the language but have limitations in understanding the technologies. But they can not be silent spectators when Kannada language is becoming extinct due to the onslaught of technological enhancements. Everyone felt on the May 25th meeting that things are not alright in Kannada Software Development. Members felt that the Govt should be pressurized to take steps to create enough opportunities for Kannada software developments and encourage such developments. At the same time no body should feel that this is a fight against Kannada Ganaka Parishat.

Sri K P Poornchandr Tejasvi took up the issue of lack of availability of good fonts for printing and publishing. Govt feels that it is the biggest customer. Even though it is correct, it is also important to have good fonts and related technologies for commercial printing. It is not enough if the software development is done targeting only the Govt requirements. All Kannadigas should get the benefit of technology. The problems of adapting technology for Kannada should end. If we don’t solve these problems Kannada will become extinct very soon. The monopoly of any one organization or Govt is hindering the growth of Kannada software development. Kannada software development should strive in an area of healthy competition. We can’t expect anything good from Kannada Ganaka Parisht which consists of technically unqualified people. Govt should withdraw the notification making Kannada Ganaka Parishat as the certifying body for Kannada software. Govt should also withdraw the notification making it mandatory for Govt departments to use only Nudi software. These steps are a must for encouraging all software developers.

He appreciated all those developers who foresaw the requirements for Kannada at the early stages and developed the software as per the need. Rajaram felt that there should be free and open market for Kannada software development and selling. Any monopoly is not good for the development. He also remembered the scientific research and development done by Dr Reddy, Prajavani newspaper for keyboard layout for Kannada and the font design by Kamalesh under the guidance of Prof G Venkatasubbayya.

Whatever be the internal problems of Kannada Ganaka Parishat, we should appreciate the passion for Kannada of their office bearers, felt Rajaram. He felt that we should invite the office bearers of Kannada Ganaka Parishat for the meeting. It was brought to the notice that the invitation has gone to the office bearers of Kannada Ganaka Parishat, but no one has turned up. Tejasvi appreciated the good work done by Kannada Ganaka Parishat in digitizing the pampabharatha. But he added that such works can be done by anyone and this kind of jobs should not be the priority of Kannada Ganaka Parishat. They should not forget their primary aim of developing basic tools and technologies needed for the Kannada software development. He opined that Kannada Ganaka Parishat is incompetent bear the responsibility and taking forward the Kannada Software development.

At this time Lingadevaru drew the attention of the people towards a letter sent by Kannada Ganaka Parishat in reply to the minutes of the meeting of CIIL meet of May 25, 2004. He read out the letter written by the chief secretary of Kannada Ganaka Parishat. He mentioned that according to this letter the issues discussed at CIIL meet are not issues at all and they have been taken care already. S K Anand reacted saying that Kannada Parishat expects software developers to co-operate with them. But how can one co-operate with an organization which pirates the fonts developed by others and cheats the Govt, he felt. He added that the situation wherein Kannada Ganaka Parishat, which is the certifying agency for Kannada software, making its own software, is like a referee himself running the race and then declaring himself as the winner. Dr Lingadevaru opined that the points mentioned in the letter written by Kannada Ganaka Parishat are nothing but a ploy to divert the attention. He read out a portion of the letter wherein Kannada Ganaka Parishat has asked as to what is the wrong recommendation sent to Unicode. Dr Pavanaja reacted to this questioning the wisdom of Shrinatha Shasthry and Dr Panditharadhya who were present at CIIL meeting wherein he (Pavanaja) had explained in detail about this. Pavanaja also wondered why these two gentlemen did not clarify this during the CIIL meeting itself.

Computer field is changing at a rapid pace. Nudi has already become obsolete in the context of Unicode. Representing Kannada at national and international level is the need of the hour. Unicode is must for this. These were the opinion of Dr Pavanaja. Windows 98 does not support Kannada Unicode. But there could have been a facility in Nudi to save the typed text as Unicode. Then it is not possible to open and edit such a text in Windows 98. But there could have been a facility in Nudi to convert the Unicode text back into the old technology for editing on Windows 98. This is quite easy to accomplish and Pavanaja wondered why such a small facility has not been included in Nudi software. There is no solution for the problems faced while using Nudi. If the source code of Nudi is put in the public domain interested people can work to improve it, opined Pavanaja. Gyanesh questioned what the benefits of making Nudi opensource are. He also asked about the standardization vis-a-vis making Nudi opnesource. Pavanaja replied that opensource concept works under the purview standardization. At present Nudi has only some standardization but there are not many useful features. There are so many bugs in Nudi. This is the opinion of majority of the application software developers who are using Nudi Software Development toolkit. There are lots of doubts about the professionalism in making and maintaining the Nudi software. For once it is doubtful about Govt possessing the source code of Nudi. Then there is doubt about proper documentation of Nudi. What happens to Nudi if the programmer of Nudi, K M Harsha, goes to some foreign country? Nobody has thought in these lines. If the sourcecode of Nudi is avilable in public domain, the bugs present in it can be fixed by passionate experts. Moreover, Nudi is funded by Govt, hence every citizen has a right on its source code. In case of Linux enthusiasts, some parts of the code of Nudi which deals with Windows API might not be useful, but all other code which deals with core concepts like keyboard handling, sorting, etc. will be definitely useful. In fact Kannada Linux enthusiasts are desperately looking for the source code of Nudi for implementing Kannada sorting.

Gyanesh suggested that there should be a consortium similar to the Unicode consortium consisting of technologists, writers, consumers of software and Govt representatives which will address the issues concerned with Kannada software development. That consortium should evolve and publish all standards pertaining to Kannada software development. All works should be carried out as per these standards. Pavanaja replied that there was such a committee. But it looked into the standardization of glyphset for monolingual truetype font only. Afterwards there were no activities towards any standardization at Govt level. That committee did not standardize glyphset for bi-lingual font. But Kannada Ganaka Parishat included bi-lingual fonts in Nudi versions 3 & 4. A myth has been created that whatever made by Kannada Ganaka Parishat is the standard. But Ganaka Parishat has failed in this endeavor. Hence there should be a permanent committee at the Govt level to look into standardization, opined Pavanaja.

Rajaram continued the discussions about fonts from where he had left it earlier. There were very good foundry types prior to the advent of DTP. In computers everyone gave importance to text fonts and no body bothered about headline fonts. We need good headline fonts for Kannada, opined Rajaram. Pavanaja replied to this highlighting the technical advancements that have been made in the concept of fonts by the availability of opentype fonts. In opentype fonts, there is no limitation of number of glyphs as in the case of truetype fonts. We can have thousands of glyphs to address every specific need. The need of the hour is to make 10-12 very high quality opentype fonts for Kannada. This needs investments in the form of resource, time and money. There is no mechanism to protect the fonts from not being copied by some means. Creating and selling opentype fonts is not a commercially viable business. Hence the stake holders like Govt, printers and publishers, newspapers, etc have to mobilize the necessary resources and fund the devlopment of opentype fonts for Kannada, opined Pavanaja. Rajarama seconded this suggestion. Tejasvi added that Govt must support and fund this activity. If they can spend crores of Rupees for Sahithya Sammelanas why can’t they fund these really useful and absolutely necessary activities, he wondered.

Dr Chandrashekhara Kambara told to the members that he has taken initiative at Govt level and has already done preliminary rounds of talks. He mentioned that he has brought to the notice of Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Shri M P Prakash. He promised to help in all respects for step by step implementation of the resolutions of this meeting. Let us inform everyone through media. Then let us submit a memorandum to the Govt. I will bring this issue in the forthcoming session of the assembly. Let us also invite all Kannada associations to join hand. Govt has opened a separate department for E-Governance. All computerization work at the Govt level must include Kannada and it should follow standards, opined Dr Kambara.

A Sthyanarayana took up the issue of computerization of Govt departments. He explained the steps taken by Kannada Development Authority in this regard. Due to the interest of Chandrashekhara Patil, then President of Kannada Development Authority, notification was issued for the standardized keyboard layout. Prof Baragooru Ramachandrappa made the Computer Kannada action plan. This action plan was supposed to be implemented through Dept of Information Technology. They gave the responsibility to Kannada Ganaka Parishat. It is a big question as to what happened to this action plan. Nudi was made during the period of Prof Bargooru. There was no proper training to the Govt staff in using it. The aim of implementing Kannada in all administrative work is getting backstabbed in the name of computerization. He gave the example of computerization of treasury. Prior to computerization all the works of treasury department were being carried out in Kannada. Now the things have changed after computerization. Now everything is in English due to computerization. Kannada Devlopment Authority can only issue guidelines and memos. But the implementation of these guidelines depends on the respective departments. There is no training at all for the Govt staff on using Kannada on computers. This training is very important. The present computer training policy of Govt has no place for Kannada. Govt has awarded the training contract to big names. It is important that the medium of instruction of these training and the usage of computer must be Kannada. Likewise the medium of instructions and the examples used in the “mahiti sindhu” project of the Govt should be in Kannada.

Members took serious view of the fact that as per some report of experts, Kannada is in the forefront of dying languages of South India. We are in the critical juncture of saving and giving long life to Kannada language. If we don’t act now Kannada will remain as a spoken language in villages. In the context of these, the following resolutions were adopted unanimously.

Resolutions:

1. There should be a permanent committee to look into various aspects of standardization and implementation of Kannada on computers. This committee should also take care of various aspects of the technical problems faced, their solutions, the software to be developed, their priorities, etc. This committee should be constituted by the Govt immediately. This committee should consist of computer experts with good knowledge of Kannada, Kannada experts with knowledge of computers, printers and publishers, newspaper owners/journalists, Kannada writers and Kannada software experts.

2. All Kannada software developers should be encouraged. Kannada software development should happen in a healthy competitive environment. Kannada Ganaka Parishat also should compete with other commercial vendors. Since Kannada Ganaka Parishat is also into Kannada software development, the Govt notification appointing Ganaka Parishat as the certifying agency for Kannada software should be withdrawn.

3. The source code of Nudi software which is developed by Govt funding should be kept in public domain by making Nudi as opensource software.

4. Pressure should be applied to Govt to implement these resolutions.

—————————————————————————————-

PRESS RELEASE

There is a need for a substantial improvement of Kannada Language Software from a usability perspective. In context of the problems arising in the usage of Kannada Language Software it is essential for all the software vendors, government bodies & language experts to form a consortium to solve the issues and technical hitches in the usage of Kannada Language Software. The usage of Kannada language software should not be constrained by or be dependent on a particular entity or a body for certification. The consortium or governmental body must evolve the standards so that the usage of Kannada language software is not at the mercy of a monopoly.

The Kannada language software ‘NUDI’ must be distributed, as “Open Source Code” for the development, enhancement and modification according to the user needs

Since not much importance given to Kannada language software or its vendors, it is lagging behind all the others southern languages in India. Kannada language software is in a perilous condition much behind other southern Indian languages.

The Government of Karnataka reposes complete faith in Kannada Ganaka Parishath (KGP), which is monopolizing all software development in Kannada related to the governmental departments or undertakings. KGP, which has developed NUDI software and for distribution to all governmental departments, uses bilingual fonts, which are against GOK standards and of a poor quality. Research and development pertaining to Kannada software has come to a stand still due to the monopoly of the KGP, which as seen above are not standards compliant. The advice given by KGP to governmental bodies with respect to Kannada software is of unconstructive nature, and it leads to confusion, confrontation and conflict between the independent Kannada software developers and the authorities.

The development of Kannada Language Software should not be restricted to a sole monopolistic body. Other independent software vendors must be given an opportunity for research & development of Kannada Language Software. Certification of Kannada software must not be given to the same monopoly which also develops it, instead the standards must be set by the government and approval of all Kannada language software must be channelised through the consortium authorized by the Government of Karnataka.

Though the government of Karnataka had identified the list of key thrust areas where Kannada language software development is necessary, the responsibility for development was handed over to KGP, which has only managed to develop NUDI software whereas other major and critical areas requiring research / development has been neglected.

Future research & development in Kannada language software should be given to independent Kannada language software developers who have already developed and implemented the same in various institutions / organisations etc.

KGP has failed to properly represent the interests of Kannada software nationally and globally, which is an indicator that KGP is not capable of handling such responsibilities.


Under the guidance of a society dedicated to Kannada the government of Karnataka should authorise the consortium to undertake and oversee all the activities pertaining to Kannada software development nationally and globally.

A society must be created by the government of Karnataka, dedicated only to the development of Kannada language software comprising of software engineers, publishers, eminent writers, journalists and litterateurs.

Shri. K P Poornachandra Tejaswi

Dr Chandrashekar Kambhar

Prof. G Ventakasubbaiah

Dr. Lingadevaru Halemane

Bangalore

July 16, 2004

August 26, 2006 Posted by | Baraha, Kannada and Open source, Sheshadri Vasu, Sheshadrivasu, VASU | 24 Comments