- Where does the name, Rebati, come
- The project is named after Rebati, a
little village girl in search of an education. She is the main
character in the very first Oriya short story ever published, in
1898, and a constant reminder of the aim of the project.
- What are we trying to do?
- In a one-sentence sound-bite, we are trying to bring economical,
open-source computing in Oriya to the masses, without
compromising on software quality.
- Why open-source?
- The arguments for open-source software have already been made
quite eloquently by a variety of people, including President
Abdul Kalam. From our point of view, firstly, it liberates us
from the tyranny of commercial software vendors, both in terms
of pricing strategies absurdly out of line with Indian financial
realities, as well as the availability of frequent program
upgrades and bug fixes. Secondly, as most open-source software
is released free of charge, there is a great economic advantage
for a poor country like India.
- OK, why Linux?
- Linux was seen as the best alternative among the open-source
operating systems, as it is the most prevalent among users and
developers. Further, while we plan to use Linux as our
development platform, and will initially focus on usability
testing under Linux, most of the present work will be
immediately portable to all open-source platforms, and even to
some commercial systems.
- What is the status of the project?
- We have completed the basic requirements to start the
work of localizing Linux in Oriya. These include an OpenType
Unicode Oriya font, an Oriya locale, an Inscript keymap (other
keyboard layouts will be made available soon), and some
documentation for developers. The major part of the work
involves the translation of program messages, documentation,
etc., into Oriya. We are currently focussing on the GNOME
desktop, and the translation of these programs is proceeding
- Who are we? Who funds us?
- See the page about us. At present, all
of us are working in our individual capacity, without
remuneration. We have no immediate plans for applying for
government, NGO, or corporate funds, as they typically come with
strings attached. We would consider donations in kind:
computers, dictionaries, glossaries, open-source software,
etc. At a much later point of time, we might seek funding for
implementing the results of the project in backward
- Sounds good. How can I contribute?
- We have a pressing need for people to translate applications,
manuals, documentation, etc. This requires no technical skills,
but only a knowledge of Oriya and English. It is possible to do
the work on a Linux, Windows 98, or WIndows XP computer, or even
on pen and paper. We are also interested in people with
technical backgrounds wanting to work on issues like developing
more Oriya fonts, Oriya font rendering under X, porting the work
to the Simputer and other platforms, Optical Character
Recognition (OCR) technology for Oriya etc.