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

tb dinesh dinesh at servelots.com
Thu Jul 23 00:55:47 PDT 2009

Gora, if you are going to edit the doc, the following might help:

Nudi (pronounced phonetically - i mean u as in underwear not as in
unicorn, i as in e) is a movement by Kannada activists from 2002. A
search of "nudi kgp 2002" could result in a blast from the past.


Also Karnataka government website


has a document dated 2003 on how to make new fonts.


On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 10:16 AM, Gora Mohanty<gora at srijan.in> 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"?
> 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.
> http://www.indlinux.org/wiki/index.php/IndicFontsList#Kannada
> lists several fonts, but I do not know Kannada enough to be
> able to evaluate the completeness, or suitability of each.
> Several of them are free in the true sense of the word, and
> we should ask that the government use them as a starting point.
> Our position should be that the production of several libre,
> high-quality fonts in any given Indian language should be
> a publicly-funded exercise.
>> 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.
> 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.
> 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. 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.
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