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  • Dzongkha Debian Linux updated for the Bhutanese people

    contributed by andremachado, published on Fri Sep 14 13:19:24 2007 in news

    At August 28th 2007, the Research Division of Department of Information and Technology (DIT) of the Bhutanese Ministry of Information and Communications updated its Dzongkha Debian Linux from the previous Dzongkha Linux 1.0 launched in June 2006. The installer is based on Debian Linux 4.0 Etch while the LiveCD is based on Morphix Linux.

    According to Pema Geyleg, head developer of the Dzongkha Debian Linux, the launch of the Dzongkha Debian Linux marks Bhutan’s move towards free and open source software. Linux is a free operating system and we customised the Debian Linux according to the need of our Dzongkha users, he said. Since Debian Linux is recognised worldwide, we encourage people to use it.

    The updated version will fully support Dzongkha computing on standard programs or applications like word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, web browsing and chatting.

    Developed over a period of 13 months and at about US$ 80,000, the upgraded version has also dual booting system. It's a bilingual software, meaning that it supports both English and Dzongkha language, said Pema Geyleg.

    DIT is aiming to develop software like text to speech, speech recognition system, and optical character recognition system on Dzongkha Debian Linux in the second phase. Text to speech program will read out text from the screen in Dzongkha. This will be of big use to people, who cannot read or write, he said. The Speech Recognition system will make the computer type any dictation. We have the capacity and are confident of doing it, said Pema Geyleg.

    DIT has also released a 222-paged book on dzongkha computer terms. Officials said that they will also conduct a training for interested people. Meanwhile, the software will be posted on Druknet soon and will be downloaded for free also at the project site. Live CDs are available at DIT.

    About Bhutan

    The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked South Asian nation situated between India and Tibet, People's Republic of China, and is often described as the last surviving traditional Himalayan Buddhist culture. The official language is Dzongkha, a language from the Sino-Tibetan family. Bhutan is very committed to preserve its local culture and traditions.

    About Debian

    Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system, developed by more than a thousand volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet.

    Debian's dedication to Free Software, its non-profit nature, and its open development model make it unique among GNU/Linux distributions.

    The Debian project's key strengths are its volunteer base, its dedication to the Debian Social Contract, and its commitment to provide the best operating system possible.

    Bdale Garbee interview: Debian stays true to its roots

    contributed by andremachado, published on Sat Sep 1 14:41:36 2007 in news

    Bdale Garbee, former Debian Project Leader, now chief technologist at HP Open Source & Linux Organization, talked about Debian Project.

    He highlighted the history, his and other developers motivations and some of the key advantageous characteristics of Debian Project, like its Constitution, Social Contract, elected Debian Project Leader, Secretary, Technical Commitee, and Debian Policy for developers.

    He talked about Debian Project being a social phenomenon.

    Since Debian isn't a company, developers don't have to worry about being bought or sold, going through a hostile take-over, answering to shareholders or going bankrupt, Garbe said. A motivated developer with an aligned profile to the project culture could become a New Maintainer.

    Other people beyond coders and developers can help, for example, translating, creating art, giving legal advice, accounting, maintaining infrastructure, documentation and much more.

    Debian runs on more kinds of computer hardware than any other Linux distribution, and includes more packaged and tested software than any other distribution I know of. It's used in everything from wrist watches to mainframes, including desktops, notebooks, handheld devices and mobile phones. Without the constraints of a financial enterprise, people are free to work on the things that really matter to them. The Debian Project is a collaborative community that enables tremendous innovation and endless possibilities, which is why you may hear Debian referred to as the universal operating system. Debian continues to thrive after 14 years.

    As I roll the clock forward, I realize that derivatives will come and go, but -- unless the Debian Project loses its way in the next five to 10 years -- it will still be around, still be an industry enigma. There will always be people who don't understand how it works or why we volunteers do what we do, but Debian will continue to fuel technical innovation and evolve its social processes. People will still have fun working together and making an extraordinarily significant contribution to computer users around the world, Garbe said.