Software Freedom Day (SFD) is an annual worldwide celebration of the free software community about Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS). SFD is a public education effort, not only to celebrate the virtues of Free and Open Source Software, but also to encourage its use, to the benefit of the public.
SFD was established in 2004 and was first observed on August 28, 2004 when over 70 teams participated. Since that time it has grown in popularity as more than 300 teams from over 60 countries celebrated on the second SFD, held on September 10, 2005. The primary sponsor for 2005-2006 is Canonical Ltd, the company behind the Ubuntu, a Linux distribution.
From 2006 onwards, it has been decided that Software Freedom Day will be held on the third Saturday of each September. Thus in 2006 it was celebrated on Saturday September 16.
1000 programmers transformed 50,000 lines of code into Telugu
Software Freedom Day in Andhra Pradesh was celebrated on 28th of September. About 1000 programmers worked to localize the applications in GNU/Linux to Telugu. This sprint was unique and first of its kind in the world where a huge number of passionate programmers worked on porting the GNU/Linux applications into Telugu.
The specific target is to transform the complete GNOME desktop and surrounding applications. This activity was unique of its kind and was held first time in the world, where 1000 programmers from different geographical locations (all corners of the world) transformed 50,000 lines of code into Telugu within 5 hrs. This would commemorate the availability of a complete computer desktop in Telugu. The necessary technology support has already been developed by FSFI AP Chapter. The complete work is scheduled to be released on the AP Formation Day.
Community to Community
The slogan, "from the community to the community", is the spirit of this sprint.
Students from different engineering colleges, people working in the IT industry in India and abroad, school teachers, people from the media and from different sections of the society will participate to make the software available to the people in Andhra Pradesh.
The advent and growth of Internet is transforming the world into a global village. The Internet users of the world in 1998 were 2.49% which has increased by nearly 6 times to 16% in 2005. In India this growth is visible in the form of an increase from 0.1% to 4.5% in the same period. This shows a thrust towards the Internet usage in the Indian population. If we count this population in terms of the % of the world it is just 4.9%., where as Japan and China are ahead with 8.3% and 11.8% respectively. This phenomenon is due to the existing language support in their languages. If we look at the web content by language, Japanese content is 5.9% and Chinese content is 3.9%. This content is effectively increasing every year.
The overall Internet content of non-English languages is 31.6% (excluding Indian language content) of entire web content available. The web population of non-English languages is 64.2%. The phenomenon world over is towards the increase of the local language content in the Internet. As of now the Internet content available in Indian languages is very minimal. However the existing minimal local language content on the web can be attributed to that provided by the online news papers.
Lack of tools is the main problem
To have the local language content available in the Internet and communities contribution to it, the basic requirement is the availability of tools to generate it. Having an operating system completely in Telugu Language will enable the growth of this content in leaps and bounds.
FSFI AP team is responsible for starting the localization of GNU/Linux (Free Software operating system) in Telugu. A localized CD comprising of the basic applications was released by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in February 2005. The Ministry of Information Technology has released a CD with localized software of which the entire office suite, web browsers, mail clients and messaging services were localized by FSFI AP Chapter.
Download the dictionary too
Recent additions to the list are the availability of an online dictionary. This dictionary can be used by anyone who has Internet connectivity. The text-to-speech has been included in the latest release. Through this application the computer will read out the Telugu text to the user.
Aiming to develop computing in local languages
Free Software Foundation of India strives to ensure that software is embedded with the freedom of using the software for any purpose, modifying the software for ones own requirements, developing it and redistributing it. The thrust area of the activity of FSF India is to develop computing in local languages. FSFI AP Chapter has been striving hard to ensure that software for computers is available in local languages.
Let’s not just wish them all the best!, but contribute to keep our mother tongue alive in cyber era by improving its adaptability.
Free Software is a matter of freedom, not cost. It is a matter of liberty, not price. The word `free' in Free Software has a similar meaning as in free speech, free people and free country and should not be confused with its other meaning associated with zero-cost. Think of Free Software as software which is free of encumbrances, not necessarily free of cost. Think of it as swatantra software.
FSF India is a non-profit organization committed to advocating, promoting and propagating the use and development of swatantra software in India. Their goal is to ensure the long term adoption of Free Software, and aim for the day when all software will be free. This includes educating people about software freedom and convincing them that it is the freedom that matters. They regard non-free software as a problem to be solved, not as a solution to any problem.
Software Freedom International
This is a non-profit organisation that acts as the official organizer of the event, and allows organizers to take donations and enter into sponsorship contracts and to order and ship materials using official accounts. It has announced plans to seek tax-exempt status, to make donations deductible. To distinguish it from the event itself, the parent organization has been called 'Software Freedom International' (SFI).