[Apc-foss] FOSS in Asia Pacific [Aug 2006] * Nepal, Mongolia, CJK, Thailand, Philippines, Bhutan...

Frederick Noronha (FN) fred at bytesforall.org
Sat Aug 19 19:06:28 BST 2006


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8     8    8 8      8        e  eeeee   Editor Frederick [FN] Noronha
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88    8    8     88     88   8e 8e  8   Source Network
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IN THIS ISSUE * Tidbits ... from here and there
(East Asia, Middle East, South Asia) * Spotlight:
Dzongkha Linux launch event, in Thimphu, Bhutan *
FOSS campaigners * Asia-Pacific Reports: Fiji's
spellchecker waits patiently * Taipei * News you
could use * * Beyond Asia-Pacific * Miscellaneous
* Issues and concerns (gender ... the internet in
the Pacific) * Feedback.

*************************************************************
TIDBITS...FROM HERE AND THERE
*************************************************************

IN NEPAL: Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya has been organizing a
bi-weekly, open-discussion program, where participants can
discuss about FOSS, FOSS applications, Open Source, GNU/Linux
etc, says MPP outreach officer Ekta Silwal. Contact
ektasilwal at gmail.com Related groups:
linuxkakura at googlegroups.com, foss-nepal at googlegroups.com

Topic: Design and Use of Ext2read Speaker: Manish Regmi Time:
August 20, 2006, Sunday, 5-6 p.m. Venue: Yala Maya Kendra,
Patan Dhoka, Lalitpur linuxkakura at googlegroups.com
http://nepalinux.org/content/view/21/41/ Link to MPP:
http://www.madanpuraskar.org

Discussion Topics: Open Source and Linux (May 14, 2006)
Localization and Nepali Aplications (May 28, 2006)
How to make a boot loader and OS from Scratch (June 11, 2006)
Samba and PDC (Primary Domain Controller) (June 25, 2006)
Open Discussion on FOSS and Software Freedom Day (July 9, 2006)
Embedded Linux (July 23, 2006)
Implementing Firewall in Linux (August 6, 2006)

          Proposed Topics: Open Office.org and Hunspell *
          Basic Commands in Linux * Trouble Shooting and FAQ
          discusssion * NIS, NFS and FTP * Apache * Php *
          MySQL * Php and MySQL * Programming in Linux (C,
          C++, Java) * High Performance Computing with Linux

A LINK FROM MONGOLIA: Software Freedom Day
www.softwarefreedomday.org comes up worldwide on September
16. Many teams from Asia are involved too. This network
offered a link to the Mongolian Open Source Dulmandakh of
Sukhbaatar, who's interested, among other things in l10n,
marketing, GNOME-MN (planning), testing. A Gnome link sees
Dulmandakh saying he contributes bugs and patches to GNOME's
Bugzilla, contributed translations to GNOME projects, and
actively promoted Gnome. Contact: DULMANDAKH Sukhbaatar
<dulmandakh at gmail.com>

OPEN SOURCE SYMPOSIUM: Eugene Teo <eteo at redhat.com> informs
about planned Open Source Symposia in 14 cities across Asia
Pacific. Of the 14 cities, five will have Red Hat Developer
Day as well. Writes Teo: "We cover Mumbai and Bangalore too!"
Cities being covered are Beijing, Soeul, Shanghai, Taipei,
Guangzhou, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur,
besides the two in India. Outside Asia, there's Sydney,
Melbourne and Auckland. See http://www.opensourcesymposium.org

ASIAN CJK GROUP ANNOUNCED: On July 17, 2006, the Chinese,
Japanese and Korean native-language projects of
OpenOffice.org have decided to join forces to form the Asian
CJK Native-Language Group of OpenOffice.org. Kazunari Hirano
will act as the communications and technical coordinator of
the group.
http://ooonewsletter.blogspot.com/2006_07_01_ooonewsletter_archive.html

FROM THE MIDDLE-EAST: Linux news and views from Middle East
is a free mailing list.  Maintained by GSC Prabhakar James
and Co-Moderators of Linux User Group - in the Middle East.
This Linux User Group Middle East was officially founded in
1999 as the first Linux User Group in the Middle East. But
the This list is open to all and not confined to a particular
geographical area. Anyone interested in becoming
co-moderators please drop a line to prabhags at goldensun.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Linux-middleeast/

PERL AND INDIA: Swaroop CH brings to everybody's attention a
comment in the Perl.com newsletter. It says: "Did you know
that the country with the second-largest number of Perl.com
readers is India? That’s right! Greetings to everyone on the
subcontinent; tell your friends about us.
http://www.swaroopch.info/archives/2006/07/16/map-perl-india/

          GNU/LINUX TRAINING OF TRAINERS: August 28 to Sept
          9, 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand. Contact Khairil
          Yusof, khairil at apdip.net. This two-week intensive
          course introduces GNU/Linux trainers to training
          with open content GNU/Linux system administration
          training materials and low cost LPI certification
          examinations. For participants from Thailand, Laos,
          Cambodia and Malaysia over 10 days, after which
          they will sit for examination to be certified as
          LPIC Level 1 Linux professionals. In conjunction
          with this training, on the day of examination local
          proctors will be trained and certified. These
          independent proctors will then be able to
          administer low-cost paper-based LPI examinations
          for local organizations in their respective
          countries. Trainees for system administration will
          be able to maintain workstations and basic LAN and
          Internet server services. Detailed objectives for
          LPIC Level 1 certification are available from the
          links provided below:
          LPI 101: http://www.lpi.org/en/obj_101.html
          LPI 102: http://www.lpi.org/en/obj_102.html
          More information about this event:
          http://www.iosn.net/asean-3/countries/thailand/tot

GNU/LINUX TRAINING IN URDU: Kamran Azeem (RHCE) has
contributed Computer Based Training programs for learning
Linux in Urdu. You may access the CDs from
http://www.wbitt.com/urducbts If you need the DVD version of
the CBTs, they are available at Rs.500 per DVD. Kindly
contact Kamran directly at: kamran at wbitt.com

PHILIPPINE Open Source Conference 2006: Sept 26 to 28. EDSA
Shangri-la Manila. The Philippine Open Source Conference 2006
this year is merged with the first Philippine Voice and
Telephony Technology Conference. The event is targeted to
companies and enterprises currently using or are considering
using open source voice and telephony technologies.
Organisers say: "This is an excellent venue for discovering,
experiencing, and learning about open source technology,
systems, and services, and especially as they relate to VOIP
and telephony." http://www.philosc.com/about_the_conference.html

Uzbekistan is becoming acquainted with FOSS experience of
Asia-Pacific countries
http://www.iosn.net/Members/damiramirov/uzbfoss

Call for Asia to adopt ODF
http://www.iosn.net/open-standards/news-items/call-for-asia-to-adopt-odf

IOSN Releases Publication on Open Standards
http://www.iosn.net/open-standards/news-items/open-standards-primer

Malaysia OKs move toward OpenDocument Format
http://www.iosn.net/asean-3/countries/malaysia/news/malaysia-oks-move-toward-opendocument-format

*************************************************************
SPOTLIGHT: Dzongkha Linux launch event, in Thimphu, Bhutan
*************************************************************

http://tinyurl.com/hg39k

[By Christian Perrier] From June 1st to June 5th, I have been
invited to attend the Dzongkha Linux launch event, in
Thimphu, Bhutan. For those not aware of this, Bhutan is a
700,000 inhabitants country located between India and China,
in the eastern part of the Himalaya range. The size of the
country is somewhat similar to that of Switzerland.

Bhutan's national language is Dzongkha, a language from the
Sino-Tibetan family. Recent laws in the country have enforced
the use of the national language in all official events and
all official communication. Therefore, even though all the
(free for everybody) education system is bilingual in
English/Dzongkha, it is very important for the country to be
able to use the Dzongkha language on computers.

After a quite deceptive attempt with Microsoft to include
support for Dzongkha in Microsoft operating systems ($523,000
have been thrown in this attempt), the Ministry of
Information and Communication launched the DzongkhaLinux
project 2.5 years ago.

During that time period, the Department of Information
Technology (DIT) has been able to build a complete system
with complete support for the Dzongkha language. The system
is based on Linux and more specifically on Debian. It
consists of one CD which can be either installed or used as a
live CD (the installation system is using Morphix, not D-I
which was not ready at that moment).

The CD embarks a complete set of Dzongkha-localised
applications, namely the Gnome environment, the OpenOffice
suite, the Mozilla web browser, the Evolution mail reader and
GAIM as instant messaging application.

On June 2nd (national holiday in Bhutan as anniversary of the
coronation of the King), the DIT was officially launching the
DzongkhaLinux system ("Our language....our software").

Because of the recently very productive collaboration with
the technical project head, Pema Geyleg, for inclusion of
Dzongkha support in Debian Installer, I was invited to attend
the event and give there a keynote lecture about "Free
Software and the Global community".

The event was very widely advertised in Bhutan: it was
covered in all newspapers and got a strong importance in the
national television.

Two ministers of the Bhutanese government were attending the
event: the minister of Information and Communication (Chief
Guest) and the minister of Education. Nearly all other
ministries were represented by Secretaries. The country's
Prime Minister, originally scheduled to attend, had to cancel
because of other commitments abroad.

As the project is part of the PANLocalization project
(http://www.panl10n.net), aimed at bringing localized
computer use in several Asian countries, and funded by IDRC
(a Canadian governmental organization), several
representative of these organization, or other governmental
or non governmental organizations, were represented.

More specifically, Panl10n was represented by Dr. Sarmad
Hussain, from Pakistan, head of the Center for Research on
Urdu Language Processingin Lahore, Pakistan.

Also invited were the Nepali localization team, who launched
a very similar distribution for Nepali language, as well as
Guntupalli Karunakar, recognized expert in Indic languages
handling in Free Software, and one of the leaders of the
Indlinux project (http://www.indlinux.org).

The event itself featured:
-Introduction by the head of DIT
-My own keynote lecture about FLOSS and the Global Community
-Dr. Sarmad Hussein, lecture about the PAN localization
project
-A pre-recorded demo of the DzongkhaLinux dostribution
-A conclusion by the ministry of Information and
Communication

I have been incredibly impressed by the very wide coverage of
this event (the next days, barely anyone I was meeting could
talk about it) and the strong commitment showed by local
officials to support the project.

My own keynote lecture focused on the main key aspects of
Free Software, especially in developing countries (Openess,
independence, ability to preserve the local culture and
knowledge, ability to develop a local software and services
industry). I, of course, also introduced the Debian Project,
targeting the point on the commitment of the project to Free
Software and enlightning its ability to be "derived" for
specifics needs.

Post-event discussions (including private discussions with
the involved officials and ministers) have shown me that this
concern has been very well received. The ability of Free
Software to allow customization and appropriation of the
technology by local people is very wel understood.

We can safely assume that, in a near future, teachers in all
Bhutan schools who, up to now, needed to prepare their
courses hold in Dzongkha by hand, because of the lack of
tools able to process the language on computers will be able
to use DzongkhaLinux for their needs.

Similarly all monks in Bhutan monastery will soon be able to
work with their sacred texts with computers instead of
cofying them by hand (the buddhist religion plays a great
role in Bhutan's day to day life).

In general, all needs for the Dzongkha language processing
will be able to be fulfilled, which should improve the
coverage in Dzongkha in many areas in the country.

In short, DzongkhaLinux is promised to a very wide success
and can also be considered as a big success for Debian. When
the most important guest at the event mentions in his lecture
that "we had a collective dream of having our own computer
software for our own needs", I feel like the dream that the
Free Software Community is having since more than 20 years
has become a reality in that small part of the world.

I hereby want to deeply thank the Department of Information
and Technology, the ministry of Information and
Communication, as well as all individuals who have made this
trip to Bhutan a complete success and a personal deep
achievement. Aside from this, it has allowed me to discover a
unique culture and a wonderful country, with a strong
commitment to preserve that local culture and the natural
environment.

The legendary friendliness and openess of the Bhutanese
people is definiteily not usurpated.

I am deeply confident that the future collaboration between
Debian and similar projects all around the world will became
very common and will justify all the energy that all
individuals involved in Debian in Free Software invest daily
in this dream.

Official announcement of Dzongkha Linux:
   http://www.dit.gov.bt/newsdetail.php?newsId=44

Bhutan's Department of Information Technology:
   http://www.dit.gov.bt/

The Dzongkha Linux project home (needs update):
   http://dzongkha.sourceforge.net/

PAN Localization:
   http://www.panl10n.net

IDRC, International Development Research Center:
   http://www.idrc.ca/

[ ADDITIONAL LINK: IOSN - Bhutan Free/Open Source Software
Resources: http://www.iosn.net/south-asia/countries/bhutan/ ]

*************************************************************
FOSS CAMPAIGNERS
*************************************************************

          MINI INTROS: Fouad Riaz Bajwa is general secretary
          - FOSS Advocate FOSSFP: Free & Open Source Software
          Foundation of Pakistan. Their Ssecretariat is at
          http://www.fossfp.org or http://www.ubuntu-pk.org

*************************************************************
ASIA-PACIFIC REPORT: OPEN OFFICE, PLEASE DON'T DISAPPOINT FIJI
*************************************************************

          A REPORT, FROM THE PACIFIC: Rajneel Totaram
          <rjnlfj at yahoo.com> sent in this update of the
          Fijian Spellchecker for OpenOffice project.

Totaram says, "The project was the brainchild of Dr. William
Blanke, then a Computing Science lecturer at the University
of the South Pacific (USP), and was carried out together with
Dr. Paul Geraghty, an Associate Professor at the School of
Language, Arts & Media (USP).

"A team of Computing Science and Fijian Languages students
worked under Dr. Blanke and Dr. Geraghty to complete the
project.

"The project proved to be quite a challenge for the team for
a number of reasons. Firstly, the computing science side of
the group (Dr. Blanke and myself) did not speak the Fijian
language and the languages side of the group did not clearly
understand the 'programming' aspect of MySpell, the
spellchecking engine used in OpenOffice.

"However, the biggest hurdle was the Fijian language itself.
Unlike English, the Fijian language 'lacked proper
structure'. How do you create rules for the affix file to be
used with MySpell from the language that did not have many
rules? In fact, there were only a few rules that were always
followed. Other rules may or may not be followed. The
prefixes/suffixes used with the root word could vary
depending on the words used before and after the root word. I
do not think that MySpell has support for such a situation.

"Nevertheless, the project was completed and produced a
decent result. Computer scripts were written that analysed
the word formations of the Fijian language and generated
patterns from these. From these patterns MySpell compatible
rules were devised that were used in the affix file.

          "The Fijian spellchecker does a pretty decent job,
          although there is always room for improvement. We
          have now set the platform on which others can add
          to make the Fijian spellchecker more accurate and
          efficient. The project was completed on August 11,
          2005. However, it cannot be used with the
          OpenOffice suite as yet. Due to a tiny bug,
          OpenOffice cannot recognize the Fijian locale. We
          are told that this will be fixed when version 2.04
          of the OpenOffice suite is released. The current
          version of the Suite is 2.03. From the next
          version, OpenOffice will officially have support
          for Fijian spellchecking, something that we are
          eagerly awaiting."

*************************************************************
ASIA PACIFIC REPORT: TAIPEI [Based on a presentation by Ping Yeh]
*************************************************************

National Taiwan University's adjunct assistant professor Ping
Yeh -- who is also a co-founder of the Taipei Open Source
Software User Group -- recently put together (for the Asia
Open Source Software Symposium) a fascinating presentation on
what's happening on the FOSS front at Taiwan, the island in
East Asia with a population of 23 million.

Taiwan is located off the coast of mainland China, south of
Japan and north of the Philippines. Also known as Formosa
(Portuguese sailors called it Ilha Formosa, which means
"beautiful island"). The island comprises of steep mountains
covered by tropical and subtropical vegetation.

Taiwan has had a "traditional" and "closed source" trend
since the 1980s. But the government's five-year programme
2002-07 has a theme of "establishing the Free Software
industry". It has been investing over 100 million NT a year,
and the emphasis is on training ("nothing can be done without
highly-skilled people") , standards and compatibility ("make
sure things work together"), and legal issues ("reduction or
removal of Free Software-unfriendly regulations and laws").

Interestingly, this programme has some clear goals. These
include, building a friendly environment for Free Software
development, having an internationally-active Free Software
development community, high-value Free Software products, and
encouraging a large-scale Free Software industrial chain.

     One interesting goal the Taiwanese are talking about is
     having OpenOffice.org as the format for all government
     documents. "It requires mature localisation and massive
     training through all levels of government
     organisations," says Ping Yeh in the presentation.

There are some useful government-funded programmes too: a
Linux Compatibility Test & Certification Center; an Open
Source Software Application Consulting Center; the
recursively-named OSSF Supports Software Freedom; standard
operations procedure for open source softwares; Free Software
Research & Development; and embedded Linux R&D.

Linux Compatibility Test & Certification Center, or the
LCTCC, aims to test the compatibility between hardware and
various flavors/versions of GNU/Linux distributions. A useful
idea in a country that is into the deep end of excellence in
the hardware world. It is run by the Taiwan Linux Consortium,
and in 2004 had 279 database entries, six promotion events,
and contacts with the Free Standards Group for setting up the
LSB/OpenI18N certification. See
http://linux.tca.org.tw/linux-test/

SOP for OSS is a Standard operating procedures for open
source softwares. It is run by the Chinese Open Systems
Association. By late 2005 it had completed SOP documents for
installing and configuring Fedora core 2, webmin, apache,
sendmail, mysql, samba, phpnuke, tomcat, openwebmail,
firewall and OpenOffice.org. Each SOP has a detailed report
(in PDF) and an associated flash live demo.

OSSACC (Open Source Software Application Consulting Center)
is an attempt by Taiwan's Ministry of Education's push to
diversity in IT education in elementary schools. It is funded
by the MOE, and executed by Software Liberty Association of
Taiwan. It's mission? To train elementary school teachers to
use free softwares and provide support to them. It has
offered more than 1500 trainees courses on Linux, OpenOffice,
PHP, zope, etc. Besides, it has made and distributed the EZGo
CD, a collection of free softwares on Windows and training
materials. http://www.ossacc.org/

OSSF stands for "OSSF Supports Software Freedom", and is led
by the Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica.
(The Academia Sinica, headquartered in the Nangang district
of Taipei, is the national academy for Taiwan.It is deemed a
primary research centre for the nation. It supports research
activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from
mathematical and physical sciences, to life sciences, and to
humanities and social sciences.) This project focuses on
infrastructure building for free software development. It
offers a foundry, similar to sourceforge.net, for local FOSS
developers to interact in local languages.

There's also technical, operational and legal assistance.
Legal analysis of OSS licenses is provided to assist
developers to choose the most suitable license.
http://www.openfoundry.org/

OpenFoundry.org is the repository of OSSF. It has some 321
projects, 1753 registered users as of Sept 3, 2005. Some
well-known projects emerging out of this Taiwanese experiment
include OpenWebMail, OpenVanilla, Kwiki, Pugs See
http://openfoundry.org/

License Wizard of OSSF helps maintainers and authors of Free
Software projects to choose a license they like best. You
need to answer a few questions such as, and then you're
prompted to the suitable license. This process is available
only in Traditional Chinese so far.

Meanwhile, the F.S. R&D programme is funded by Taiwan's
National Science Council, and encourages two kinds of Free
Software R&D -- that needed by industry, and that which can
be used as software components. It is conducted by
universities and research institutes via a "call for
proposal" mechanism. Some 133 proposals approved for 2003 and
2004 combined.

Embedded Linux R&D Programme is a strategy to combine
GNU/Linux technology with Taiwan's local strength in IT
hardware. Its target market is embedded products, it
emphasises on GNU/Linux wide-scale security systems, and its
major participants are the Taiwan Linux Consortium and its
member companies, the Industrial Technology Research
Institute and Institute for Information Industry.

Apart from all this, there's spontanous initiatives and
volunteer-driven projects -- from the research, educational,
industrial sectors and the GNU/Linux community. "This is not
an exhaustive report," says Ping Yeh modestly.

Taiwan Linux Consortium has been promoting GNU/Linux since
2000. Linux Expo is held every summer together with Computex,
the second largest computer exhibition in the world.

Taiwan Linux Forum is active too. There's the Golden Penguin
Award (annual since 2003) -- a distinguished contribution
award that goes out to the best application of the year, nd
the best innovation of the year. This was scheduled to be
extended to greater China recently.

Not to say that the educational sector is lagging behind in
initiatives. School Free Software (SFS) has been run since
2003. It's a Web-based school administration portal,
PHP+MySQL (LAMP).  It's modular, with more than 100 modules.
Developers are teachers in elementary schools.  More then 500
schools in three counties are using it.
http://sfs.wpes.tcc.edu.tw/

Dr. Geo, on the other hand, is an interactive software for
teaching geometry. It's now part of the global Freeduc
project, which takes Free Software to school. There's also
the Freeductw project, aimed at promoting Freeduc softwares
in Taiwanese primary schools.

In the research sector, informs Ping Yeh, there are many
projects, some funded by the NSC and some spontaneously
growing. These include the DRBL (Diskless Remote Boot in
Linux) which has one boot server, multiple diskless clients,
and is seen as being particularly well suited for computer
classrooms. More than 200 installed sites (6000 PCs) are in
schools, hospitals, NPOs, government orgs, small & medium
sized businesses.

There's a Sourceforge mirror run out of the NCHC Tainan,
which has been online since March 2005.

On the community front, other initiatives have come up.
There's the Software Liberty Association of Taiwan. It's a
not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of
Free Software. Donations are tax-deductible. This network
holds an international FOSS conference annually since 2001.
It offers community awards every other year, and interleaves
with a technology competition which is also held in
alternative years. It runs OSSACC for the Ministry of
Education. http://www.slat.org/

User group activities include: Taiwan linux user group
(forum), Tainan linux user group (talks), Tainan county
network center, Taiwan Debian user group (wiki, irc), PCManX,
OV-IME, and others Fedora Taiwan (forum), Fedora LiveCD, OS X
chat (irc, blog), OpenVanilla, Taipei open source software
user group (talks, mailing list), Mozilla Taiwan (forum),
Localisation Sayya.org (bbs), and other volunteering
individuals work on Gentoo, Ubuntu, *BSD, etc.

Some names you ought to be linking to Taiwan, when you hear
of them in the future: Pugs, implementation of Perl 6 in
Haskell, led by Autrijus Tang.  http://www.pugscode.org/

svk: decentralized version control system that works with all
major code repository systems, led by C.L.Kao.
http://svk.elixus.org/

PCMan: cross-platform BBS client with graphical user
interface, led by "pcman"

OpenVanilla: cross-platform input method framework, led by
Dane Liu. http://www.openvanilla.org/

OV-IME: input method editor for OpenVanilla on Windows, led
by Kanru Chen

SDL-im: enabling input method in SDL (Simple Directmedia

Layer, a game development library), led by L.Y.C.

Some names that helped in collating the content of this
presentation, and could be helpful contacts to finding out
more: Ping Yeh (National Taiwan University & Tossug
+886.913.165.100 ping at pingyeh.net) and Tinli Lin (OSSF), K.C.
Chen (OSSACC), Mike Lin (TLC), Tzu-Chiang Liu (OSSF), Fred
Cheng (NICI), Hong-Sheu Wu (COSA), James Chen (ITRI), Steven
Hsiau (NCHC), T. H. Chang (NSC), Ying-Kuang Chen (SFS),
Chao-Kwei Hung (Freeduc), Jing-Chun "jserv" Huang (Debian
Taiwan), Chuan-Te Ho (RDEC).

Links to Taiwanese organisations:

Chinese Open System Association: http://www.cosa.org.tw/
Taiwan Linux Consortium: http://taiwan-linux.tca.org.tw/
Software Liberty Association of Taiwan: http://www.slat.org/

Links to Taiwanese projects:

Chinese Linux Extension: http://cle.linux.org.tw/
OSSF Supports Software Freedom: http://openfoundry.org/

Links to Taiwanese communities:

Taiwan Linux User Group: http://www.linux.org.tw/
Tainan Linux User Group: http://tnlug.linux.org.tw/
Tainan County Network Center: http://freesf.tnc.edu.tw/
Taipei Open Source Software User Group: http://tossug.org/
Debian: http://debian.org.tw/
Fedora Taiwan: http://www.fect.com.tw/
Mozilla Taiwan: http://moztw.org/
OS X Chat: http://osxchat.blogspot.com/
Dream Software List: http://wiki.debian.org.tw/index.php/WishList2005
Sayya BBS: telnet://bbs.sayya.org/

Acronyms of government agencies:

NSC: National Science Council
MOE: Ministry of Education
IDB: Industry Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economy Affairs
NICI: National Information and Communications Initiative
RDEC: Research, Development and Evaluation Commission

http://www.openmalaysiablog.com/2006/07/odf_alliance_ne.html
http://www.openmalaysiablog.com/2006/07/ps3_pikoms_conf.html
http://kushaldas.blogspot.com/2006/07/one-year.html
http://ipvsadm.blogspot.com/2006/07/idcs-asiapacific-managed-services.html
http://www.openmalaysiablog.com/2006/07/moving.html
http://www.openmalaysiablog.com/2006/07/digital_rights_.html
http://www.openmalaysiablog.com/2006/07/software_patent_1.html
http://kartikm.blogspot.com/2006/07/tuxpaint.html

*************************************************************
NEWS YOU COULD USE
*************************************************************

FREE, FREE? http://free.thelinuxstore.ca is offering free
shipment of some GNU/Linux CDs.

OPEN STANDARDS: UNDP-APDIP has released a new e-Primer on
Free/Open Source Software: Open Standards. it's authored by
Nah Soo Hoe, with a foreword by Peter J. Quinn. UNDP-APDIP,
Elsevier, 2006, 62 pages ISBN-13: 978-81-312-0538-9 ISBN-10:
81-312-0538-X Find out more at:

          "Open standards ensure that products and services
           can inter-operate and work together, even though
           they may be from different parties or entities. 
           Open standards ensure that the next purchase is
           not dictated by the last purchase, thus,
           increasing users’ choices, access to products,
           information and services, and opportunities for
           sharing and collaboration."

http://www.iosn.net/open-standards/news-items/open-standards-primer

In addition to the advantage of increased competition for
acquisition and the ongoing operational expense, governments,
businesses and other entities can benefit from each others'
efforts and share applications that each have built.

Online versions of all FOSS e-Primers are available at
http://www.iosn.net/foss-primers Upcoming titles are focused
on network security and infrastructure, and open content.

COMING UP SOON: IOSN and UNDP-APDIP releases new publication
on Free/Open Source Software and Licensing
http://www.iosn.net/licensing/foss-licensing-primer/

FOSS: Licensing Author: Shun-ling Chen © UNDP-APDIP,
Elsevier, 2006, 29 pages ISBN-13: 978-81-312-0422-1

As the FOSS Movement has been growing rapidly in recent
years, more and more stakeholders are brought in to
participate in different roles. Some of them are end-users,
developers, business entities, or government agencies that
provide funding for FOSS projects. This e-primer is designed
to provide these stakeholders with some basic knowledge about
copyright, software copyright and FOSS licenses. Legal issues
may vary in different situations and this e-primer may not be
able to provide answers to all situations. But, hopefully, it
will serve as a bridge between lawyers and non-lawyers in
this joint venture of FOSS development.

          This e-primer examines different proprietary and
          FOSS licenses that use copyright law to regulate
          the use of software, and discusses how the FOSS
          movement uses licenses as a way to create a
          different model of software development. It
          provides scenarios to highlight possible copyright
          issues regarding the use of FOSS by end-users,
          developers and vendors, and addresses common
          questions and misconceptions regarding copyright
          and licensing issues. The e-primer also includes
          two cases regarding government-sponsored FOSS
          projects.

This e-primer is part of the Free/Open Source Software
e-Primer Series. For other publications in this series,
please visit http://www.iosn.net/publications/foss-primers

*************************************************************
BEYOND ASIA-PACIFIC
*************************************************************

ETHIOPIAN ACTIVISTS PROMOTE FOSS: NGOs APC and Catia have
joined forces with the Ethiopian Free and Open Source Network
to host a series of workshops over the next 10 days to
promote the use of of free and open source software in that
country. The series of three workshops will range from FOSS
policy discussions to advanced systems administrator
training. http://www.tectonic.co.za/view.php?id=1054&s=news

     -----------------------------------------------------
     A GREAT OPERATING SYSTEM IS ABOUT DETAILS Alastair Otter
     A couple of weeks ago I found time to install Dapper
     Drake, the latest Ubuntu Linux release. In the same week
     my wife bought a brand new MacBook. The inevitable
     comparison got me thinking about what makes an otherwise
     good operating system great.
     http://www.tectonic.co.za/view.php?id=1051&s=news
     -----------------------------------------------------

MOROCCAN FISHERIES ESCAPES PROPRIETARY NET: One of Morocco's
first government departments to start the move to free
software has chosen to switch its servers to Mandriva Linux
and is looking at switching desktops to Linux in the near
future in a move that could save them as much as 80% of their
acquisition and support costs.
http://www.tectonic.co.za/view.php?id=1055&s=news

*************************************************************
MISCELLANEOUS
*************************************************************

THE OPENSOURCEDEAL: Writes Raseel: "I am a Linux (and OSS)
enthusiast and a moderately active member in the Bangalore
and Bombay LUG mailing lists. I have just started out with a
venture called The OpenSourceDeal. I plan to cater to the
insatiable appetite of Indian OSS enthusiasts, newbies,
converts and anyone else who may care to join in with an
onslaught of OpenSource Software. Check out out site at :
http://osd.byethost8.com/ "

*************************************************************
ISSUES AND CONCERNS
*************************************************************

FOSS AND GENDER: Check out this debate at 
http://www.svaksha.com/?p=55
Also see:
http://g33k.wordpress.com/2006/07/17/of-women-and-free-software/

CYBERSPACE AND THE PACIFIC: Franck Martin <franck at sopac.org>
posted this note recently to the IGOVAP mailing list: The
situation in the Pacific Islands is the following (or at
least what I have gathered).

All Pacific Islands except Fiji and PNG, connect for Internet
and Telephony via Satellite. There are very few satellites
available mainly the 2 Inteslsat and PAS2 PAS8 and skynet(?).
Most of the satellites over the Pacific Islands have
footprint over Asia and North America but not in the middle.

Via Intelsat, or PAS it does not matter where you land the
signal. You can land it at various teleports: California,
West Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand.

The PITAnet is in fact an agreement between the PI Telcos to
land the signal at the same location, west canada with
Teleglobe (I think). Some telcos did that some others did
not. When I came in Samoa, long time ago, the signal was
landed in Australia, if I recall. The ARNET has something
peculiar of pricing which is a mix of fixed prices with
volume charges.

The Southern Cross Cable (SCC) is between, NZ, AU, Fiji,
Hawaii and California. Fiji is a simple node. In short the
difference between cable is the following. Cable has huge
capacity. The initial capacity of the SCC was 12GB/s on 3
pairs of fiber, yes 3 pairs. I have heard the capacity has
been upgraded further. This capacity means you can transfer a
full length DVD movie every second. The latency is very
short, the signal stay on the ground so to speak and does not
have to go via a geostationary satellite (500ms roundtrip in
general or half a second). Cable is a huge investment but is
somehow cheaper than satellite (cost/Mb/s). It also means the
company having access to a cable can undercut any company
using a Satellite. Satellite are more versatile but low
capacity, a few hundred of Mb/s. I think the landing station
for Fiji only costed USD60millions. It is not rare to have a
undersea cable passing a few km away of land in the Pacific
Islands. I think it is the case in Solomon Islands.

For you to run Border Gateway Protocol, means you must have a
need for it. You must have at least more than one Internet
connection out of the country (any type of connection), so
you can act as a node or Internet Exchange (IX): you may
forward Internet packets to others (between sites which are
not necessarily your customers). An IX is usually a node
supported by many ISPs to avoid that the local traffic goes
round the world to end up next door, because next door use
another ISP. Most Pacific Islands use only one Internet
Connection via satellite and that can be dealt with static
routing. BGP needs relatively high end Cisco gear. Static
routing is done with very cheap hardware. The BGP network (or
Internet Backbone) knows where all the devices on the
Internet are (in term of connectivity).

Root servers via Anycast requires BGP to work (so I
understand). Basically you intercept the IP packets at
destination of one of the 13 root servers IPs and redirect it
to your anycast root server. Why having a root server? If
your Internet link outside the country dies, you are still
able to have in the country a root server that can tell you
where are the .ws servers to answer queries for your local
internet services. Also a local root server will save some
traffic and will reduce significantly the time it takes to
get a DNS answer (see latency over satellite).

Fiji has the SCC and still a big satellite dish connected to
Intelsat. They tried to become a node for the Pacific, but I
beleive they are not yet geared for this kind of commercial
adventure. You need 24/7 staffed operations, with marketing
managers who can compete on the International market,
especially against US, AU and NZ.

The other big challenge in the Pacific Islands is that most
islands in the same country are out of line of sight. So even
national communications go satellite. There are huge
technical challenges to provide a better Internet
(connectivity side) to the Islands. Most Satellite
communications between two islands go via the National node.
Using twice the cacity of the same satellite:
Island1-SatelliteA-National Node-SatelliteA-Island2.

I think these technicall challenges are still far from being
addressed. Having a cable is ideal, technically but may not
be affordable and may lock other providers to come in. A pity
that PI could not afford the SCC when it was designed. Even
New Caledonia and French Polynesia refused it, because they
did not see the need for such capaciy (I think). Now they are
looking at their option to set an undersea cable.

Also with the land ownership system in many Pacific Islands,
an undersea cable to connect islands or coastal points on the
same island may be less legaly troublesome and faster to
implement.

*************************************************************
FEEDBACK
*************************************************************

FROM SARAWAK, MALAYSIA: I am Nicholas Ng from Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia. I am a member of Kuching Open Source
Community (www.kuchingosc.org), a community-driven efforts in
promoting the open source in Kuching, Malaysia.

I was reading through the iosn-general mailing list and found
out that you just presented a talk / presentation on FLOSS
and the Global Community during the launching of Dzongkha
Linux. The purpose why I write to you is to ask for your
permission to re-use or use parts of your presentation and to
have a copy of the presentation.

Our open source community is also invited to give
presentation on open source and Linux for the coming ICT Fair
in our city (30 June until 2 July 2006) and I would like to
gather presentations from the open source community to be
included in our presentations.

I hope that we can have your permission and files for your
presentations. -- Nicholas Ng Boon Liang, Kuching Open Source
Community, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia Homepage:
www.kuchingosc.org <nbliang at gmail.com>

-------------------------------------------------------------
IOSN NEWSLETTER: FOSS in Asia-Pacific is edited by Frederick
Noronha -- http://fn.goa-india.org or
http://fredericknoronha.wordpress.com -- and supported by the
International Open Source Network -- http://www.iosn.net

     IOSN promotes the adoption of free/open source software,
     open standards and open content for sustainable human
     development in the Asia-Pacific region. IOSN is a
     network with a small secretariat based at the UNDP
     Regional Centre in Bangkok and three centre of
     excellence -- IOSN ASEAN+3, IOSN PIC (Pacific Island
     Countries) and IOSN South Asia, based in Manila, Suva
     and Chennai respectively. To find out more, contact the
     centres of excellence. IOSN ASEAN+3: asean3 at iosn.net
     IOSN PIC: pic at iosn.net IOSN South Asia: southasia at iosn.net

IOSN is an initiative of UNDP Asia-Pacific Development
Information, and supported by the International Development
Reserch Centre of Canada.

To include Asia-Pacific related news about FOSS in this
newsletter, please email frededericknoronha at gmail.com with a
cc to fred at bytesforall.org This newsletter is released under
the Creative Commons Attribute 2.5 license. Reproduction of
the contents of this newsletter is encouraged, with due
acknowledgement of the source(s).
-------------------------------------------------------------



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