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Friday, December 02, 2005

Software Projects for Urdu

A few days ago I wrote an email to my brothers and I realized that I was writing it in English. In fact, I don't have support for Urdu on my Solaris machine at Chalmers. Besides, I am not sure if they would be able to read Urdu on their machines. Not only the state of Urdu computing is pathetic, we speak a mixture of Urdu and English to the extent that pure Urdu seems funny.

I have been using Urdu fonts from CRULP, FAST Lahore for some time now but I face letter joining problems in writing it in HTML textboxes, for example. There are several other barriers.

I am interested in expressing in Urdu more than reading Urdu poetry on web or translation to English or seeing Open Office translated to Urdu. The first point to seek guidance can be Urdu Computing Yahoo! group. I have also found a list of true type fonts for Urdu. CRULP has also prepared a Spell Checker for Urdu.

I could go on and keep updating my list of resources but I have found a better approach: somebody has already started an Urdu Wiki. I hope to become an active member of the community there focusing more on open content and messaging (wikis, IMs, phpBB, tex and other related stuff).

But at the same time there is a more important project: SAATFASE. I should be putting in more effort as I can see a very clear need for such a resource. The closest similar effort is iAgora but that is commercial. Why do people think of ripping students of money?

Meanwhile, I should also get back at learning industry stuff (yes, I have been living in a cave for more than a year). What is this Ajax thing everybody seems to be talking about? And Web 2.0? Was there a 1.0? Oh...there is Visual Studio 2005 in the market now! The last I saw was 2003 and people were talking of Whidbey at that time!

The transition is going to be tough for me.