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Tamil open source_survey_2016_final

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TOSS -
Survey, Challenges and Opportunities


October 20th, 2016
Muthu Annamalai

Published in: Technology
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Tamil open source_survey_2016_final

  1. 1. Tamil Open-Source Software Developments TOSS - Survey, Challenges and Opportunities October 20th , 2016 Muthu Annamalai Tamil Open Source Developers Meeting, Oct 22nd , 2016 Co-hosted in Bay Area, CA and via Internet conferencing
  2. 2. Challenges for Tamil Software ● Limited market for Tamil – Market needs to be educated on digital Tamil products ● Lack of reusable, ready s/w components for Tamil ● Cost of development, production and post-production are limiting ● Tamil origin Tech workers are indifferent to TOSS cause – Barriers to entry ● Software not addressing the market – What about other adults, young-adults, teenagers, boys and girls ? ● Sometimes CS challenges are hard ● Yet to be discovered/invented solutions for IVR etc.
  3. 3. Market Challenges ● Slow innovation from technical community – Few shareable components – Code quality, availability, and pull-requests ● TOSS is not a back seat activity ● TOSS to respect Tamil dialectic speakers seriously ● Cue from other language software development models
  4. 4. Growth Challenges ● Guide more people into TOSS projects – Signup for GSOC – Offer bounties – Attract developers regardless of Tamil ability ● Few women; lack of diversity ● Lack of TOSS for Apple, iPhone environment ● Lack of documentation on TOSS development – On-boarding is hard!
  5. 5. Success Recipe ● Sustained development, Publish on Popular Platforms, Advertise to users ● Attracting and keeping contributors ● Finding useful problems to solve ● Monetizing, sponsorship ● Keeping it FUN!
  6. 6. TOSS – Future (as I see it) ● We build Culturally Relevant Tamil Software ● Develop (OSS) common components that we can share – Better library support in major languages ● Build apps on top of this common-core – Tap into Global Tamil market of 80+ million people in 10+ countries – Expand to other avenues ● See more language skill development games, intelligent apps ● Market will attract even non-Tamil speaking developer – Tamil-first ideas will be come to fore But how to prime the pump ? Who will bell the cat ?
  7. 7. TOSS Culture ● Documenting success and failures – Challenges facing TOSS contributors – Motivations sustaining contributors – Inspiring next generation contributors ● Publish a collection of essays on issues – Several of our blog posts maybe curated for longer term – Published in CC NC-SA ● Zeitgeist – Tamil auto-complete gone astray; n-grams suggest unspeakable words as alternatives. Spam. – 'Ak', 'Ai' etc are used as emojis!!!
  8. 8. Conclusions ● GitHub is active and vibrant source for Tamil devs – a core community has formed ● Prototype → Product – direct our efforts at releasing libraries and products ● Sustain and grow development – add new members (younger) to our community ● TOSS 2.0 – Smoothly begin development of Tamil software
  9. 9. Backup Slides !! Happy Deepavali 2016 !!
  10. 10. TOSS Past Successes ● TamilLinux – KDE localization (l10n) ● Zha Kanini – OpenOffice l10n ● Drupal, Wordpress, GNOME, Firefox - l10n ● Project Madurai ● Successful projects in present – Tamil Wikipedia – Thamizha – Freetamilebooks.com
  11. 11. TOSS Projects - GitHub (1) ● Tamizha group (ekalapai, spell checker : langtool), ● Open-tamil: Shrini, Arulalan, Sathia, Muthu ● Shrini – sorkandu, freetamilebooks, Google OCR tools, Kaniyam ● (Korkai) Sankar - Go-lang Tamil processing tools ● Elango - CLJ-Thamil ● Vel - Java Tamil ● Arun - Python / Tamil summarizer, open-tamil ● Ezhil – Kracekumar, Arunram and Muthu
  12. 12. TOSS Projects (2) ● Avalokitam (Yaapu checker) ● Venba parser (??) ● Tamil Wikipedia used MediaWiki ● TTS - Festival, Espeak ● OCR - Tesseract, Shrini's Google OCR library, ● Tamil type design : Tamil fonts - open fonts – Thiru. Selva Murali (Entrepreneur/INFIIT) – Prof. Ila. Sundaram (SRM University)
  13. 13. Open-Source semantics ● Open-Source ecosystem as form of shared reusable components to build – software for Tamil language focused applications ● DRY - don't repeat yourself ● Open-source licenses are common good – “Kooturavu sangam” – “Stand on shoulders of giants” ● Longterm interest in making a marketplace for Tamil apps – ["Land","Labor","Capital"] vs "Cathedral and Bazzar"
  14. 14. TOSS today (2) ● Poor market adoption for digital products from broader public ● Goodwill of several western universities, gov't and commercial giants like Google, Microsoft. Etc, many private individuals, drives Tamil software today ● Private co's are moderately successful; KaReFo, MurasuAnjal, MenThamizh, etc. – Usually need to rely on gov't, industry contracts – Very few make software for actual end-user use
  15. 15. Contributing to TOSS ● You don't have to be a coder ● Art and Sound design ● Theme design ● Evangelize ● Write docs ● Usability test ● Bug report ● Make/manage websites, surveys ● Request features ● and if you can, CODE!
  16. 16. New Technology Platforms ● Tamil in mobile computing is well established ● What do these technologies hold for Tamil ? – AI applications – VR applications – AR applications

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