News: Tamil computing, blogging made easier!

Workshop discusses technological developments in the field

Catching on: A blogger at work at the workshop on Tamil computing in Puducherry on Sunday — Photo: T. Singaravelou.

PUDUCHERRY: The next edition of e-Kalappai, a keyboard driver for using Tamil in computers, will be ready by January 2008, S. Muguntharaj, a software developer and coordinator of the e-Kalappai Project told The Hindu on Sunday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for bloggers on Tamil computing, he said e-Kalappai did not require a separate keyboard to type Tamil. “We developed the first version in 2001 and the second in 2002. We took a license from Keyman, an Australian company that has developed a driver (software) that can be used for all languages and have adapted it to incorporate Tamil,” he explained.

The software, which can be used on all Microsoft Windows applications, takes just about a minute to install. It will appear as an icon on the task bar for easy access. The driver can be downloaded for free from

“ The software takes up just 1.2 MB of space. A team of persons interested in popularising Tamil computing have created it. Technology does not know language. So we thought language must not be a constraint for people who don’t know English,” he added.

Bloggers were also introduced to Ubuntu, an easy-to-install Gnu/Linux based operating system. M. Ramadoss, founder of the Ubuntu Tamil community list, said it was a community-maintained software developed by people from India, Sri Lanka and the U.S. “There are about 20 active members in the project. The source code of this software can be seen, changed and developed by anyone who is interested in it,” he added.

According to R. Sugumaran, coordinator of Puducherry Bloggers Wing, those who attended the workshop were also taught how to create blogs in Tamil, use Tamil e-mail (minn anjal), chat (arattai), attach pictures and how to link web pages.

Ko. Sukumaran, an active blogger, explained that there were about 3,000 Tamil bloggers. Thamiz manam, Thamiz veli and Thenkoodu were some of the popular blog aggregates (Thirattugal).

The Hindu / 10.12.2007.

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