Tag : latin

Εναλλακτικές διατάξεις πληκτρολογίου για ελληνικά

Ο Νίκος Μουτσανάς έφτιαξε δύο εναλλακτικές διατάξεις πληκτρολογίου που μπορεί να φανούν χρήσιμες σε όσους

  1. γράφουν συχνά σε διάφορες λατινικές (ευρωπαϊκές) διατάξεις πληκτρολογίου και θέλουν μια κοινή συγκεντρωτική διάταξη
  2. θέλουν μια ελληνική διάταξη που να επιτρέπει και αγγλικά με τη χρήση του AltGr (δηλαδή μια διάταξη για ελληνικά και αγγλικά)

Είναι πιθανό κάποιες από τις παραπάνω εκδοχές να μπορούν να υλοποιηθούν με χρήση παραμέτρων στη ρύθμιση πληκτρολογίου.

Ωστόσο, για τώρα, δείτε τις οδηγίες του Νίκου για τη ρύθμιση των δύο εναλλακτικών διατάξεων πληκτρολογίου. Διατηρήστε αντίγραφα ασφαλείας των αρχείων που θα τροποποιήσετε, σε περίπτωση που θέλετε επαναφέρετε τις προηγούμενες ρυθμίσεις. Δυστυχώς δεν υπάρχει ακόμα κάποιο σύστημα όπου να μπορούμε να προσθέτουμε εύκολα διατάξεις πληκτρολογίου στη διανομή μας.

Workaround for bad fonts in Google Earth 5 (Linux)

Update Jan 2010: The following may not work anymore. Use with caution. See relevant discussions at http://forum.ubuntu-gr.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=15607 and especially http://kigka.blogspot.com/2010/11/google-6.html

Older post follows:

So you just installed Google Earth 5 and you can’t figure out what’s wrong with the fonts? If your language does not use the Latin script, you cannot see any text?

Here is the workaround. The basic info comes from this google earth forum post and the reply that suggests to mess with the QT libraries.

Google Earth 5 is based on the Qt library, and Google is using their own copies of the Qt libraries. This means that the customisation (including fonts) that you do with qtconfig-qt4 does not affect Google Earth. Here we use Ubuntu 8.10, and we simply installed the Qt libraries in order to use some Qt programs. You probably do not have qtconfig-qt4 installed, so you need to get it.

So, by following the advice in the post above and replacing key Qt libraries from Google Earth with the ones provided by our distro, solves (read: workaround) the problem. Here comes the science:

If you have a 32-bit version of Ubuntu,

cd /opt/google-earth/
sudo mv libQtCore.so.4 libQtCore.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtGui.so.4 libQtGui.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtNetwork.so.4 libQtNetwork.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtWebKit.so.4 libQtWebKit.so.4.bak
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libQtCore.so.4.4.3  libQtCore.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libQtGui.so.4.4.3  libQtGui.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libQtNetwork.so.4.4.3  libQtNetwork.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libQtWebKit.so.4.4.3  libQtWebKit.so.4

If you have the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, try

cd /opt/google-earth/

sudo getlibs googleearth-bin
sudo mv libQtCore.so.4 libQtCore.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtGui.so.4 libQtGui.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtNetwork.so.4 libQtNetwork.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtWebKit.so.4 libQtWebKit.so.4.bak
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/libQtCore.so.4.4.3  libQtCore.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/libQtGui.so.4.4.3  libQtGui.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/libQtNetwork.so.4.4.3  libQtNetwork.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/libQtWebKit.so.4.4.3  libQtWebKit.so.4

Requires to have getlibs installed, and when prompted, install the 32-bit versions of the packages as instructed.

Now, with qtconfig-qt you can configure the font settings.

Looking into the symbol files

In the previous post, we talked about the ANTLR grammar that parses the XKB layout files.

The grammar is available at http://code.google.com/p/keyboardlayouteditor/source/browse. I’ll rather push to the freedesktop repository once the project is completed. Now it’s too easy for me, just doing svn commit -m something.

Below you can see the relevant layout files for each country (and in some cases, language), and how the grammar deals with them. First column is filenames from the CVS XKB symbols subdirectory (to be moved eminently to GIT). Last’s week discussion with Sergey helped me figure out issues with the symbol files, simplify what information is needed, and what can be eliminated. Second column has Not OK if something is wrong. Third column tries to explain what was wrong.

ad
af
al
altwin
am
ara
az
ba
bd
be
bg
br
braille
bt
by
ca
capslock
cd
ch
cn
compose
ctrl
cz
de
dk
ee
epo
es
et
eurosign
fi
fo
fr
gb NOK Non-UTF8
ge
gh
gn
gr
group NOK virtualMods= AltGr
hr
hu NOK Non-UTF8
ie
il NOK key.type=”FOUR_LEVEL” (typically: key.type[something]=….)
in NOK key.type=”FOUR_LEVEL” (typically: key.type[something]=….)
inet
iq
ir
is
it
jp NOK key <BKSP> {
type=””,   // empty?
symbols[Group1]= [ bracketright, braceright ]
};
keypad NOK overlay1=<KO7> }; // what’s “overlay”?
kg
kh
kpdl
kr
kz
la
latam
latin
level3 NOK virtual_modifiers LAlt, AlGr; virtualMods= Lalt
level5
lk
lt
lv
ma
mao
me
mk
mm
mn
mt
mv
nbsp NOK Non-UTF8
ng
nl
no
np
olpc
pc NOK key <AA00> { type=”SOMETHING” } instead of { type[Group1]=”SOMETHING” }
pk
pl
pt
ro
rs
ru
se
shift NOK actions [Group1] = [
si
sk
srvr_ctrl NOK key <AA00> { type=”SOMETHING” } instead of { type[Group1]=”SOMETHING” }
sy
th
tj
tr
ua

Non-UTF-8 are the files that have characters that are not UTF-8 (are iso-8859-1).

Some layouts have key.type = “something” and others key.type[SomeGroup] = “something”. Apparently, the format allows to infer which is the group that the type acts upon? That’s weird. Would it be better to put the group information? Is it required that the group is not set?

Some files have virtualMods, which I do not know what it is. Is it used?

Parsing XKB files with antlr

antlr (well, antlr3) is an amazing tool that replaces lex/flex, yacc/bison.

One would use antlr3 if they want to deal with Domain-Specific Languages (DSL), an example of which are the text configuration files.

In our case, we use antlr3 to parse some of the XKB configuration files, those found in /etc/X11/xkb/symbols/??.

Our aim is to be able to easily read and write those configuration files. Of course, once we have them read, we do all sorts of processing.

The stable version of antlr3 is 3.0.1, which happened to give lots of internal errors. It has not been very useful, so I tried a few times the latest beta version 3.1b, and eventually managed to get it to work. If I am not mistaken, 3.1 stable should be announced in a few days.

When using antlr, you have the choice of several target languages, such as Java, C, C++ and Python. I am using the Python target, and the latest version that is available from the antlr3 repository.

Here is the tree of the gb layout file,

tree = (SECTION (MAPTYPE (MAPOPTIONS partial default alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols) (MAPNAME “basic”)) (MAPMATERIAL (TOKEN_INCLUDE “latin”) (TOKEN_NAME Group1 (VALUE “United Kingdom”)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE02) (KEYSYMS 2 quotedbl twosuperior oneeighth)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE03) (KEYSYMS 3 sterling threesuperior sterling)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE04) (KEYSYMS 4 dollar EuroSign onequarter)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AC11) (KEYSYMS apostrophe at dead_circumflex dead_caron)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX TLDE) (KEYSYMS grave notsign bar bar)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX BKSL) (KEYSYMS numbersign asciitilde dead_grave dead_breve)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX LSGT) (KEYSYMS backslash bar bar brokenbar)) (TOKEN_INCLUDE “level3(ralt_switch_multikey)”))) (SECTION (MAPTYPE (MAPOPTIONS partial alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols) (MAPNAME “intl”)) (MAPMATERIAL (TOKEN_INCLUDE “latin”) (TOKEN_NAME Group1 (VALUE “United Kingdom – International (with dead keys)”)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE02) (KEYSYMS 2 dead_diaeresis twosuperior onehalf)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE03) (KEYSYMS 3 sterling threesuperior onethird)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE04) (KEYSYMS 4 dollar EuroSign onequarter)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE06) (KEYSYMS 6 dead_circumflex NoSymbol onesixth)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AC11) (KEYSYMS dead_acute at apostrophe bar)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX TLDE) (KEYSYMS dead_grave notsign bar bar)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX BKSL) (KEYSYMS numbersign dead_tilde bar bar)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX LSGT) (KEYSYMS backslash bar bar bar)) (TOKEN_INCLUDE “level3(ralt_switch)”))) (SECTION (MAPTYPE (MAPOPTIONS partial alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols) (MAPNAME “dvorak”)) (MAPMATERIAL (TOKEN_INCLUDE “us(dvorak)”) (TOKEN_NAME Group1 (VALUE “United Kingdom – Dvorak”)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX BKSL) (KEYSYMS numbersign asciitilde)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE02) (KEYSYMS 2 quotedbl twosuperior NoSymbol)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE03) (KEYSYMS 3 sterling threesuperior NoSymbol)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE04) (KEYSYMS 4 dollar EuroSign NoSymbol)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX LSGT) (KEYSYMS backslash bar)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AD01) (KEYSYMS apostrophe at)))) (SECTION (MAPTYPE (MAPOPTIONS partial alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols) (MAPNAME “mac”)) (MAPMATERIAL (TOKEN_INCLUDE “latin”) (TOKEN_NAME Group1 (VALUE “United Kingdom – Macintosh”)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE02) (KEYSYMS 2 at EuroSign)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE03) (KEYSYMS 3 sterling numbersign)) (TOKEN_INCLUDE “level3(ralt_switch)”)))

When traversing the tree, we can then pretty-print the layout at wish:

partial default alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols “basic” {
name[Group1] = “United Kingdom”;
include “latin”
include “level3(ralt_switch_multikey)”
key <AE02> = { [ 2 , quotedbl , twosuperior , oneeighth ] };
key <AE03> = { [ 3 , sterling , threesuperior , sterling ] };
key <AE04> = { [ 4 , dollar , EuroSign , onequarter ] };
key <AC11> = { [ apostrophe , at , dead_circumflex , dead_caron ] };
key <TLDE> = { [ grave , notsign , bar , bar ] };
key <BKSL> = { [ numbersign , asciitilde , dead_grave , dead_breve ] };
key <LSGT> = { [ backslash , bar , bar , brokenbar ] };
};
… snip …

The code is currently hosted at code.google.com (keyboardlayouteditor) and I intend to move it shortly to FDO.

FOSDEM ’08, summary and comments

I attended FOSDEM ’08 which took place on the 23rd and 24th of February in Brussels.

Compared to other events, FOSDEM is a big event with over 4000 (?) participants and over 200 lectures (from lightning talks to keynotes). It occupied three buildings at a local university. Many sessions were taking place at the same time and you had to switch from one room to another. What follows is what I remember from the talks. Remember, people recollect <8% of the material they hear in a talk.

The first keynote was by Robin Rowe and Gabrielle Pantera, on using Linux in the motion picture industry. They showed a huge list of movies that were created using Linux farms. The first big item in the list was the movie Titanic (1997). The list stopped at around 2005 and the reason was that since then any significant movie that employs digital editing or 3D animation is created on Linux systems. They showed trailers from popular movies and explained how technology advanced to create realistic scenes. Part of being realistic, a generated scene may need to be blurred so that it does not look too crisp.

Next, Robert Watson gave a keynote on FreeBSD and the development community. He explained lots of things from the community that someone who is not using the distribution does not know about. FreeBSD apparently has a close-knit community, with people having specific roles. To become a developer, you go through a structured mentoring process which is great. I did not see such structured approach described in other open-source projects.

Pieter Hintjens, the former president of the FFII, talked about software patents. Software patents are bad because they describe ideas and not some concrete invention. This has been the view so that the target of the FFII effort fits on software patents. However, Pieter thinks that patents in general are bad, and it would be good to push this idea.

CMake is a build system, similar to what one gets with automake/autoconf/makefile. I have not seen this project before, and from what I saw, they look quite ambitious. Apparently it is very easy to get your compilation results on the web when you use CMake. In order to make their project more visible, they should make effort on migration of existing projects to using CMake. I did not see yet a major open-source package being developed with CMake, apart from CMake itself.

Richard Hughes talked about PackageKit, a layer that removes the complexity of packaging systems. You have GNOME and your distribution is either Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora or something else. PackageKit allows to have a common interface, and simplifies the workflow of managing the installation of packages and the updates.

In the Virtualisation tracks, two talks were really amazing. Xen and VirtualBox. Virtualisation is hot property and both companies were bought recently by Citrix and Sun Microsystems respectively. Xen is a Type 1 (native, bare metal) hypervisor while VirtualBox is a Type 2 (hosted) hypervisor. You would typically use Xen if you want to supply different services on a fast server. VirtualBox is amazingly good when you want to have a desktop running on your computer.

Ian Pratt (Xen) explained well the advantages of using a hypervisor, going into many details. For example, if you have a service that is single-threaded, then it makes sense to use Xen and install it on a dual-core system. Then, you can install some other services on the same system, increasing the utilisation of your investment.

Achim Hasenmueller gave an amazing talk. He started with a joke; I have recently been demoted. From CEO to head of virtualisation department (name?) at Sun Microsystems. He walked through the audience on the steps of his company. The first virtualisation product of his company was sold to Connectix, which then was sold to Microsoft as VirtualPC. Around 2005, he started a new company, Innotek and the product VirtualBox. The first customers were government agencies in Germany and only recently (2007) they started selling to end-users.

Virtualisation is quite complex, and it becomes more complex if your offering is cross platform. They manage the complexity by making VirtualBox modular.

VirtualBox comes in two versions; an open-source version and a binary edition. The difference is that with the binary edition you get USB support and you can use RDP to access the host. If you installed VirtualBox from the repository of your distribution, there is no USB support. He did not commit whether the USB/RDP support would make it to the open-source version, though it might happen since Sun Microsystems bought the company. I think that if enough people request it, then it might happen.

VirtualBox uses QT 3.3 as the cross platform toolkit, and there is a plan to migrate to QT 4.0. GTK+ was considered, though it was not chosen because it does not provide yet good support in Win32 (applications do not look very native on Windows). wxWidgets were considered as well, but also rejected. Apparently, moving from QT 3.3 to QT 4.0 is a lot of effort.

Zeeshan Ali demonstrated GUPnP, a library that allows applications to use the UPnP (Universal Plug n Play) protocol. This protocol is used when your computer tells your ADSL model to open a port so that an external computer can communicate directly with you (bypassing firewall/NAT). UPnP can also be used to access the content of your media station. The gupnp library comes with two interesting tools; gupnp-universal-cp and gupnp-network-light. The first is a browser of UPnP devices; it can show you what devices are available, what functionality they export, and you can control said devices. For example, you can use GUPnP to open a port on your router; when someone connects from the Internet to port 22 on your modem, he is redirected to your server, at port 22.

You can also use the same tool to figure out what port mapping took place already on your modem.

The demo with the network light is that you run the browser on one computer and the network light on another, both on the local LAN (this thing works only on the local LAN). Then, you can use the browser to switch on/off the light using the UPnP protocol.

Dimitris Glezos gave a talk on transifex, the translation management framework that is currently used in Fedora. Translating software is a tedious task, and currently translators spent time on management tasks that have little to do with translation. We see several people dropping from translations due to this. Transifex is an evolving platform to make the work of the translator easier.

Dimitris talked about a command-line version of transifex coming out soon. Apparently, you can use this tool to grab the Greek translation of package gedit, branch HEAD. Do the translation and upload back the file.

What I would like to see here is a tool that you can instruct it to grab all PO files from a collection of projects (such as GNOME 2.22, UI Translations), and then you translate with your scripts/tools/etc. Then, you can use transifex to upload all those files using your SVN account.

The workflow would be something like

$ tfx --project=gnome-2.22 --collection=gnome-desktop --action=get
Reading from http://svn.gnome.org/svn/damned-lies/trunk/releases.xml.in... done.
Getting alacarte... done.
Getting bug-buddy... done.
...
Completed in 4:11s.
$ _

Now we translate any of the files we downloaded, and we push back upstream (of course, only those files that were changed).

$ tfx --project=gnome-2.22 --collection=gnome-desktop --user=simos --action=send
 Reading local files...
Found 6 changed files.
Uploading alacarte... done.
...
Completed uploading translation files to gnome-2.22.
$ _

Berend Cornelius talked about creating OpenOffice.org Wizards. You get such wizards when you click on File/Wizards…, and you can use them to fill in entries in a template document (such as your name, address, etc in a letter), or use to install the spellchecker files. Actually, one of the most common uses is to get those spellchecker files installed.

A wizard is actually an OpenOffice.org extension; once you write it and install it (Tools/Extensions…), you can have it appear as a button on a toolbar or a menu item among other menus.

You write wizards in C++, and one would normally work on an existing wizard as base for new ones.

When people type in a word-processor, they typically abuse it (that’s my statement, not Berend’s) by omitting the use of styles and formatting. This makes documents difficult to maintain. Having a wizard teach a new user how to write a structured document would be a good idea.

Perry Ismangil talked about pjsip, the portable open-source SIP and media stack. This means that you can have Internet telephony on different devices. Considering that Internet Telephony is a commodity, this is very cool. He demonstrated pjsip running two small devices, a Nintendo DS and an iPhone. Apparently pjsip can go on your OpenWRT router as well, giving you many more exciting opportunities.

Clutter is a library to create fast animations and other effects on the GNOME desktop. It uses hardware acceleration to make up for the speed. You don’t need to learn OpenGL stuff; Clutter is there to provide the glue.

Gutsy has Clutter 0.4.0 in the repositories and the latest version is 0.6.0. To try out, you need at least the clutter tarball from the Clutter website. To start programming for your desktop, you need to try some of the bindings packages.

I had the chance to spend time with the DejaVu guys (Hi Denis, Ben!). Also met up with Alexios, Dimitris x2, Serafeim, Markos and others from the Greek mission.

Overall, FOSDEM is a cool event. In two days there is so much material and interesting talks. It’s a recommended technical event.

The Google Highly Open Participation Contest

One more initiative by Google to reach out to the community and promote free and open-source software is the The Google Highly Open Participation Contest 2007/2008.

The purpose of the competition is to enable young students older than 13 years old but have not entered yet the tertiary education, to participate in open-source development.

To get started, read the Official Contest Rules and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages.

There are ten projects to choose to work from, one of which is GNOME, the desktop environment found in Linux distributions such as Ubuntu Linux and Fedora.

The current list of items to work on for GNOME include several documentation and translation tasks. If there is interest to work on the Greek localisation, leave a comment at this post. The direction I propose is to help with translating the documentation of GNOME applications.

Open-source software progresses by having more people contributing. This effort by Google and also previous efforts (Google Summer of Code) help tremendously towards the wider participation.

Localisation issues in home directory folders (xdg-user-dirs)

In new distributions such as Ubuntu 7.10 there is now support for folder names of personal data in your local language. What this means is that ~/Desktop can now be called ~/Επιφάνεια εργασίας. You also get a few more default folders, including ~/Music, ~/Documents, ~/Pictures and so on.

This functionality of localised home folders has become available thanks to a new FreeDesktop standard, XDG-USER-DIRS. xdg-user-dirs can be localised, and the current localisations are available at xdg-user-dirs/po.

A potential issue arises when a user logs in with different locales; how does the system switch between the localised versions of the folder names? For GNOME there is a migration tool; as soon as you login into your account with a different locale, the system will prompt whether you wish to switch the names from one language to another. This is available through the xdg-user-dirs-gtk application.

Another issue is with users who use the command line quite often; switching between two languages (for those languages that use a script other than latin) tends to become cumbersome, especially if you have not setup your shell for intelligent completion. In addition, when you connect remotely using SSH, you may not be able to type in the local language at the initial computer which would make work very annoying.

Furthermore, there have been reports with KDE applications not working; if someone can bug report it and post the link it would be great. The impression I got was that some installations of KDE did not read off the filesystem in UTF-8 but in a legacy 8-bit encoding. This requires further investigation.

Moreover, OpenOffice.org requires some integration work to follow the xdg-user-dirs standard; apparently it has its own option as to which folder it will save into any newly created files. I believe this will be resolved in the near future.

Now, if we just installed Ubuntu 7.10 or Fedora 8, and we got, by default, localised subfolders in our home directory (which we may not prefer), what can we do to revert to non-localised folders?

The lazy way is to logout, choose an English locale as the default locale for the system and log in. You will be presented with the xdg-user-dirs-gtk migration tool (shown above) that will give you the option to switch to English folder names for those personal folders.

Clarification: It is implied for this workaround (logout and login thing), you then log out again, set the language to the localised one (i.e. Greek) and log in. This time, when the system asks to rename the personal folders, you simply answer no, and you end up with a localised desktop but personal folders in English. Mission really accomplished.

If you are of the tinkering type, the files to change manually are

$ cat ~/.config/user-dirs.locale

el_GR

$

and

$ cat ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

# This file is written by xdg-user-dirs-update
# If you want to change or add directories, just edit the line you’re
# interested in. All local changes will be retained on the next run
# Format is XDG_xxx_DIR=”$HOME/yyy”, where yyy is a shell-escaped
# homedir-relative path, or XDG_xxx_DIR=”/yyy”, where /yyy is an
# absolute path. No other format is supported.
#
XDG_DESKTOP_DIR=”$HOME/Επιφάνεια εργασίας”
XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR=”$HOME/Επιφάνεια εργασίας”
XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR=”$HOME/Πρότυπα”
XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR=”$HOME/δημόσιο”
XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR=”$HOME/Έγγραφα”
XDG_MUSIC_DIR=”$HOME/Μουσική”
XDG_PICTURES_DIR=”$HOME/Εικόνες”
XDG_VIDEOS_DIR=”$HOME/Βίντεο”

Personally I believe that having localised names appear under the home folder is good for the majority of users, as they will be able to match what is shown in Locations with the actual names on the filesystem.

There will be cases that software has to be updated and bugs fixed (such as in backup tools). As we proceed with more advanced internationalisation/localisation support in Linux, it is desirable to follow forward, and fix problematic software.

However, if enough popular support arises with clear arguments (am referring to Greek-speaking users and a current discussion) for default folder names in the English languages, we could follow the popular demand.

Also see the relevant blog post New Dirs in Gutsy: Documents, Music, Pictures, Blah, Blah by Moving to Freedom.

OOXML voting process and controversy

By the end of this month, the ITC 1/SC 34 Technical Committee (ISO) will be voting on whether to accept or not OOXML as an ISO standard.

The voting countries (Participating countries) are

  Brazil (ABNT)
Bulgaria (BDS)
China (SAC)
Colombia (ICONTEC)
Cyprus (CYS)
Czech Republic (CNI)
Côte-d’Ivoire (CODINORM)
Denmark (DS)
Finland (SFS)
France (AFNOR)
Germany (DIN)
India (BIS)
Italy (UNI)
Japan (JISC)
Kazakhstan (KAZMEMST)
Kenya (KEBS)
Korea, Republic of (KATS)
Netherlands (NEN)
Norway (SN)
Sweden (SIS)
Switzerland (SNV)
Thailand (TISI)
Trinidad and Tobago (TTBS)
Turkey (TSE)
USA (ANSI)
United Kingdom (BSI)

In addition, the following countries have observer status (Observer countries),

Australia (SA)
Chile (INN)
Greece (ELOT)
Hong Kong, China (ITCHKSAR)
Hungary (MSZT)
Ireland (NSAI)
Israel (SII)
Lithuania (LST)
Mexico (DGN)
Romania (ASRO)
Spain (AENOR)
Sri Lanka (SLSI)
Ukraine (DSSU)

The observer countries, though the cannot vote, they can submit comments.

The current stage that OOXML is at, is 40.20, which means is the period that leads to the voting whether to accept or not as an ISO standard.

This proposed document format is controversial because an existing document format exists, the OpenDocument document format, ISO/IEC 26300, Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.0, since 2006.

OOXML is a controversial document format. Read more on this regarding OOXML.

In addition, see the Technical White Paper on OpenDocument and OOXML by the ODF Alliance UK Action Group. Another whitepaper, ODF/OOXML technical white paper by Edward Macnaghten.

Open Malaysia is also valuable resource (includes blog contributions relating to open standards). For example, in spreadsheets in OOXML one cannot write dates before the 1st March 1900!

Finally, Achieving Openness: A Closer Look at ODF and OOXML by Sam Hiser.

Update #1: Microsoft is Outmuscling OOXML Opposition in Spain

Update #2: It is important to vote NO rather than abstain. It is sad that Spain decided to abstain rather than voting NO. UPDATE: Spain is an observer, thus cannot cast a vote. Somewhat lost en la traduccion.

Update #3: Czech comments on OOXML.

Translating OLPC software

The core OLPC software is developed at http://dev.laptop.org/ using the GIT source code management system.
For the tasks of the translator, one needs to look into the different projects and locate any po/ subdirectory. The existence of this subdirectory show that the piece of software is internationalised (=can be translated).

For example, the core component sugar can be translated. In the main sugar page, and locate the po/ subdirectory that shows up. Click on it and you get the sugar po/ subdirectory with a few translations. Specifically, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Italian. The italian translation is sadly useless. The translator made a mistake; he saw

msgid “Hello”

msgstr “”

and changed to (WRONG)

msgid “Ciao”

msgstr “”

instead of (CORRECT)

msgid “Hello”

msgstr “Ciao”

Normally, one would need to regenerate the Template PO (POT) file before translating, instead of working on one of the existing translated files. To do so, one needs to download the source code of sugar using the git tool and then use intltool-update -P to create the fresh sugar.pot file.

Translating the OLPC

In a previous post, we covered how to install fonts and enabling writing support on the OLPC. The OLPC contains a limited number of applications that are available to be translated. These applications include

  1. NetworkManager, part of the GNOME project (HEAD, extras)
  2. alsa-utils, ???
  3. aspell, external
  4. atk10, part of the GNOME project (GNOME 2.18, developer)
  5. chkconfig, part of the Fedora Project
  6. diffutils, external
  7. glib20, part of the GNOME project (GNOME 2.18, developer)
  8. gst-plugins-base-0.10, external
  9. gst-plugins-good-0.10, external
  10. gstreamer-0.10, external
  11. gtk20-properties, part of the GNOME project (GNOME 2.18, developer)
  12. gtk20, part of the GNOME project (GNOME 2.18, developer)
  13. hal, external
  14. initscripts, part of the Fedora Project
  15. libc, part of the Translation Project (reduced version?)
  16. libuser, part of the Fedora Project
  17. libwnck, part of the GNOME Project (GNOME 2.18, desktop)
  18. stardict, external
  19. vte, part of the GNOME Project (GNOME 2.18, desktop)
  20. wget, part of the Translation Project

The links provided point to the latest available version. The versions that the OLPC using are not the latest with the upstream project, therefore keep in mind that the translated files may differ. It would be good to establish the exact .PO files from the OLPC project (URL to source?).

The OLPC and Greek

(oh, I am writing this through a lousy Net connection; thanks Engelados)

I tried out the latest OLPC image, specifically build 218, on Qemu and my aim was to get Greek support configured, if it was not there already.

The OLPC does not currently come with a good set of Greek fonts; you will need to install a set of fonts such as DejaVu or GFS Didot.
Installing means adding the font files in the directory /usr/share/fonts/. The current font configuration files in the OLPC favour Bitstream Vera, therefore you would need to move the bitstream subdirectory outside the fonts directory. DejaVu is based on Bitstream Vera and therefore you will not notice any change once you upgrade. Also, Fedora Core 6 and Ubuntu Linux are based on DejaVu. You need DejaVu, as Bitstream Vera does not currently support Greek. Both DejaVu and GFS Didot are free and open-source fonts.

Note: This screenshot shows DejaVu Sans, not GFS Didot. Sorry for the typo.
This is the OLPC running the cut-down version of the Abiword wordprocessor. Click on the image to view the full size.

This is the OLPC showing the same document above with GFS Didot. The font looks quite nice and similar to old greek textbooks. There is a small issue however, it does not have the character coverage of DejaVu. For example, notice that the Euro sign is missing from GFS Didot. Also, other glyphs such as fancy bullet characters are missing as well. Normally, the OLPC software should replace those missing characters with the correct characters from another font. Apparently something is wrong here and needs further investigation.

Writing support for the Greek language has to be configured separately in the OLPC. The case with other languages appears to be that the default layout is that of the language; apparently there is no need to switch between Brazilian Portuguese and English. For the Greek language it appears that it is good to be able to switch between Greek and English.

There are several places that you can add Greek writing support. The most common is in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Having gone through the configuration files, I think that /etc/X11/Xkbmap is also a good place and saves us from touching the core Xorg configuration file.

To write the full set of Greek letters, one needs to set the extended variant for the Greek layout, and also try to set the Compose key (for ano teleia). These things should be simplified…

I am not sure how the OLPC looks like (the only photos I saw where not focusing on the keyboard). Perhaps it would be useful to have a test machine at my disposal (hint, hint).
Jim Gettys wrote at his blog about the different languages that the first generation of the OLPC should support. Both Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili use the latin alphabet, therefore there are no significant issues with font support or writing support.

p.s.
Greece will carry out a pilot with OLPC laptops next September.

Διάθεση των γραμματοσειρών DejaVu 2.8

Πριν από λίγο ανακοινώθηκε η νέα έκδοση των γραμματοσειρών DejaVu 2.8.

Μεταξύ των βελτιώσεων είναι η προσθήκη hinting στη DejaVu Sans Bold για τα ελληνικά. Όπως ήταν μέχρι τώρα, είχαμε hinting μόνο στη DejaVu Sans.

Το hinting στη DejaVu Sans Bold έγινε από τον Ben Laenen ενώ για τη DejaVu Sans από τον Keenan Pepper.

Είναι πολύ σημαντικό που έχουμε τις DejaVu Sans (Book) και DejaVu Sans Bold με πληροφορίες hinting διότι αυτές οι δύο είναι οι πιο βασικές γραμματοσειρές στο γραφικό περιβάλλον στο Linux. Στους τίτλους των παραθύρων καθώς και στους τίτλους στο Evolution εμφανίζονται χαρακτήρες στη μορφή bold. Τώρα, οι ελληνόφωνοι χρήστες θα έχουν ένα ποιοτικό αποτέλεσμα σε ένα τυπικό γραφικό περιβάλλον. Δίχως πληροφορίες hinting στην ίδια τη γραμματοσειρά, οι ελληνικοί χαρακτήρες bold φαίνονται αχνοί σε οθόνες TFT (π.χ. φορητοί) όταν το μέγεθος της γραμματοσειράς είναι ~12pt ή μικρότερο.

Αυτό το θάμπωμα στους χαρακτήρες προέρχεται από το αυτόματο hinting που κάνει το σύστημα οπότε αν δεν μπορείτε να αναβαθμίσετε, δοκιμάστε να μειώσετε το επίπεδο αυτόματου hinting που κάνει το σύστημα από Σύστημα/Προτιμήσεις/Γραμματοσειρά/Λεπτομέρειες…/Hinting (από Πλήρες σε π.χ. Ελαφρύ).
Άλλη σημαντική προσθήκη στις γραμματοσειρές DejaVu είναι η προσθήκη περισσότερων dingbats στη DejaVu Sans Mono.

Στη Fedora Core 6 κατά πάσα πιθανότητα θα μπει η DejaVu LGC 2.8, που δεν περιλαμβάνει κάποιο μέρος από τους χαρακτήρες (αραβικά). LGC σημαίνει Latin, Greek και Cyrillic.