This is a detailed guide covering the resources required to setup or join a team translating KDE/GNOME into any kannada. While the guide is still in writing, only this chapter on preparing your system is written. This is basically written for Kannada, but the concepts apply to all other Indian languages and is highly incomplete.

Table of Contents
Preparing your System
Final Notes

Preparing your System


Before you begin to translate, you need to make sure your operating system is ready/capable of handling Indian Languages.

Resources required


A locale is a set of language and cultural rules. These rules define aspects such as the preferred language for the User Interface, method of sorting, preferred character sets, Date formats(dd-mm-yy or mm-dd-yy), Time formats(12 hr clock or 24 hr clock), etc. A program needs these locale in order to be portable across different cultural preferences.

OpenType Fonts

OpenType Fonts(OTF) are a cross-platform compatibile font format designed by Adobe and Microsoft.

OpenType font is, to be simplistic, a TrueType font with some added features such as advanced glyph substitution, support for layouts and some extra copyright protection. OTF's ability to store glyph substition or positioning information is a great boon for Indian Languages, whose unique features are the characters frequently change shape(eg: become half-consonants) or change positions(half-consonants can appear in the bottom of another character).

Keyboard Layouts

To be able to type in any Indian Language, you use a keyboard layout or keymap, which essentially tells the program handling the Keyboard Layouts(in linux, this maybe xkb or xmodmap) that when you key in 'X' on your roman keyboard, it should correspond to 'Y' in your language.

Two main(in terms of popularity) types of layouts for Indian Languages are Inscript Layouts and Phonetic Layouts. Inscript Layouts are a layout designed by the Central Govt.,(have to check facts!!!) which are common for all Indian languages. The basic features are most consonants are on the right hand side & the vowels are on the left hand side. It is pretty difficult to learn, but easy to use, once you master it. You can find images of the layouts The images are a must, since you are most likely to have a english only keyboard. You can also write those characters on a sticker & paste them. TVS Electronics also sells keyboards with inscript layout of any one language along with english printed on them.

The Second type of keymaps are phonetic keymaps or it's variants. Currently, support on linux for these are still being developed.


Windows 2000

1. Control panel -> Regional options and add new locales like Hindi, Marthi and Tamil by chosing the "Indic" locale.

2. For locales like kannada, you can still make it work by "backporting" code from XP.

(a) Download I'm assuming that you have a license to XP. If not, it is illegal.

(b) Import the *.reg file using regedit. Double clicking should do the trick.

(c) Import the Tunga.ttf font using the control panel.

(d) Extract kbinkan.dll into c:\winnt\system32

(e) You can't directly extract usp10.dll into c:\winnt\system32. To do that first extract it into c:\winnt\system32\tmp and then reboot your box using the win2k cd and get into the command prompt. Now you should be able to move it to c:\winnt\system32\usp10.dll.

At this point, you should be able to get into the control panel -> keyboard and add a new input locale (you won't see kannada there, but choose something close - say Sanskrit) and choose the kannada keyboard.

You can switch keyboards using the "EN" icon in your taskbar tray. To test, open notepad. select tunga font and type some text.

Windows XP

Windows XP was the first OS to have support for indian languages ready.

1. Control panel -> Regional options -> Advanced settings-> check support for asian languages.Apply.

2.At this point, you should be able to get into the control panel -> keyboard and add kannada. (not in XP now, shd check proper steps.)

3. You can switch keyboards using the "EN" icon in your taskbar tray.To test, open notepad. select tunga font and type some text.


Installing Locale

Arun Sharma has created a few scripts, available from the Kannada translation team's homepage. Download those scripts and run these commands:
bash$ kn_IN.src.txt 
This should get you 'kn_IN.utf8', which is the input file for creating the locale. Again, run these commands as root:
bash$ cp /usr/share/i18n/charmaps/UTF-8.gz /tmp 
bash$ gzip -d /tmp/UTF-8.gz 
bash$ localedef -f /tmp/UTF-8 -i kn_IN.utf8  /usr/share/locale/ 

The localedef command is used to compile locale definition files. The -f option is used to tell the program the preferred encoding, in this case, utf-8 and the -i option indicates the input file to use & /usr/share/locale/ is the preferred location to install the locale(which is also the default). For more info, see 'man locale'.

Installing Fonts

Download 'Sampige', the first free opentype kannada font. Install using these steps:
bash$ mkdir /usr/share/fonts/freeotf 
bash$ cp sampige.ttf /usr/share/fonts/freeotf/
bash$ cd /usr/share/fonts/freeotf/
bash$ ttmkfdir > fonts.scale

[sup [par][char 1 mathalpha]]

bash$ mkfontdir

[sup [par][char 2 mathalpha]]

bash$ xset +fp /usr/share/fonts/freeotf/ bash$ xset +fp rehash
What we are doing above is creating a directory for the font(you can also put it in a directory with existing TTF fonts & follow the steps.) and create files needed by programs using the font in steps numbered 1 & 2. And finally making sure, the X font server find's it.

Setting up Keymaps

Download the Inscript Keymaps. copy to /etc/X11/xkb/symbols/.[1]Finally, run this:
setxkbmap kn
Use ctrl_shift to switch between layouts. See man xkb for more details.

Gnome Specific Settings

Kde Specific Settings

You can use the font installer in control panel to ease your job.

Redhat 8 Specific Issues or Shortcuts

Mandrake 9 Specific Issues or Shortcuts

You can use the drakfont to easily install fonts. Pango 1.1 doesn't come with Mandrake 9.
You require kde3 to test on kde



cp keymapname /etc/X11/xkb/symbols/kn