[fosscomm] Letter to e-Governance department, Government of Karnataka

vinay ವಿನಯ್ vinay at itforchange.net
Thu Jul 23 00:30:35 PDT 2009

Gora Mohanty wrote:
> On Wed, 22 Jul 2009 20:59:05 +0530
> vinay ವಿನಯ್ <vinay at itforchange.net> wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> One of the key goals of FOSSCOMM was to be able to write to
>> various departments/agencies relating to adoption of FOSS and to
>> engage with the department and persuade them to adopt FOSS.
>> One of the fundamental issues in Karnataka is that the 'official'
>> font of the Government - Nudi, does not work (well) on GNU/Linux.
>> This is preventing government departments/agencies from adopting
>> FOSS.
> How is this an official font? Why the quotes around "official"?
This is the official  in the sense that all government offices use this 
software only and refuse to accept any other Kannada Input Method. But 
yes, I do not know for sure if any government order was issued mandating 
it. In practice though everyone uses only Nudi, and will refuse to use a 
OS which does not support Nudi.
> Firstly, we should now be promoting Unicode-encoded fonts, and
> pushing for 8-bit fonts not to be used and certainly not in
> the capacity of an "official font for a language", whatever
> that means. Although it does make sense for the government to
> standardise on one font, the idea of mandating one official font
> dates back to pre-Unicode days, and now is usually an excuse to
> ensure lock-in to that font.
Absolutely. We want to push for unicode-encoded fonts only which is why 
we have asked them to make the software fully unicode compliant. As to 
whether the government should promote only one font or more than font, I 
guess it does not make sense to promote only font. So, now in the 
letter, should we explicitly demand multiple official fonts?
> Our position should be that the production of several libre,
> high-quality fonts in any given Indian language should be
> a publicly-funded exercise.

Agree. The demand for public investment to create several high-quality 
fonts should be added .
>> We have drafted a letter for the e-Governance secretary of the
>> Govt of Karnataka, discussing the issues relating to Nudi and
>> requesting that they address the issue .
>> As a consequence of our Bangalore FOSSCOMM meeting, some of the 
>> Bangalore organizations are already working on the technical
>> aspects of Nudi, this letter is to get the government also into
>> this process and own up/complement  work done by the FOSS
>> community.
> The letter is a little confusing, as it says not fully Unicode
> compliant, whereas from other statements in the annexure, it
> seems that the font is completely non-compliant with Unicode.
Well, the thing is the software has some features where you can conver 
the text to unicode. But the thing is, after you convert it to unicode, 
you cannot even edit is using the same software. But since they do allow 
conversion to unicode, if we say "software does not comply to Unicode at 
all", they might say its not true.
> It is also not correct to say that the font is ASCII-encoded.
> Rather, from what I understand from the letter, the font
> follows some non-standardised encoding that is guaranteed to
> break on Unicode-compliant platforms.
did'nt understand this. But can call you off-line to understand better.
> We should make a big deal about ensuring that the font follows
> open standards (Unicode in this case), and is available under an
> open licence. What is Unicode, and why it is important needs to
> be brought out more clearly. 
> I will put in some time tonight to
> redraft this letter. 
That will be great. Thanks a lot Gora!
> I think this can be an important tool in
> pushing for the actual adoption of the government of India policy
> on FOSS in e-governance.
> _______________________________________________
> network mailing list
> network at lists.fosscom.in
> http://lists.fosscom.in/listinfo.cgi/network-fosscom.in


Vinay Sreenivasa
IT for Change
vinay at itforchange.net


More information about the network mailing list