മലായാളഭാഷയില് കഴിഞ്ഞ ഏതാനും വര്ഷങ്ങളായി സംഭവിച്ചുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന സാങ്കേതികപരിണാമത്തെക്കുറിച്ചും അതിന്റെ പ്രാധാന്യത്തെക്കുറിച്ചും വിദ്യാര്ത്ഥികളെ ബേധവത്കരിക്കുന്നതിനായി കോഴിക്കോട് മലബാര് ക്രിസ്ത്യന് കോളേജിലും ഗുരുവായൂരപ്പന് കോളേജിലും ആഗസ്ത് 14 ന് സെമിനാറുകള് സംഘടിപ്പിക്കുന്നു.
ORIENTATION SEMINAR ON UNICODE, BLOGS AND WIKIPEDIA
In the past few years a silent revolution has been taking place in Malayalam language. Unlike ever past in the history of our language, a scenario for global sharing of resources in Malayalam is being enabled now.
UNICODE consortium, a collective of leading hardware and software manufacturers have been trying to standardize the codes for all languages for the use on computers. Codes for Malayalam language is being finalized shortly. With few trivial exceptions, the coding scheme for Malayalam is already available for the use on some of the most popular word processing applications. By the introduction of Unicode standards, it is even possible for one to choose the so-called “Puthiya Lipi” or the traditional “Pazhaya Lipi” script of the Malayalam. Malayalam text once typed, will be easily re-usable for storage, transmission or lay-out redesigns! When a computer is enabled with Unicode Malayalam schemes, one will be able to directly input text with his keyboard, without installing any proprietary fonts or special applications for Malayalam text editing.
The applications which hitherto used for text editing in Malayalam were based on a coding convention known as ASCII. Such applications have a lot of limitations in sharing information in Malayalam over internet. The ASCII text, that appears to be in Malayalam when viewed with specific fonts and formats, retains no relevance when the same fonts or formats are not available in another system. In the case of Unicode, the text is inherently stored and transmitted as Malayalam and is independent of the font!
Unicode encoding scheme will eventually help us to communicate freely in Malayalam over internet and within our own work environments. The future for Malayalam medium computing will be enhanced in many multitudes as it will help systematic and consistent text collation, search and sort mechanisms. Educational institutions, academies, media, reference libraries and public service systems can all make tremendous developments by using these facilities. Unambiguous database systems can be implemented easily for commercial, governmental, media and cultural needs.
At present, the immediate outcome of Unicode Malayalam standardization can be seen readily in the internet world by way of the brisk and explosive manner in which Malayalam blogs flourish day by day. The blogs, also known as web logs, are simple web pages that can be freely created by even not so technologically savvy people. In the last year alone, hundreds of Malayalam blogs have sprung up on the internet and that too with a wide arena of
topics and multi-faceted content. Most of them provide the average Malayali internet users with valuable content ranging from excellent humor and emotional ranting to rare pieces of knowledge and wisdom.
Another great revolution that is in the waiting is a FREE internet encyclopedia. Known as Wikipedia, it is an exhaustive online encyclopedia widely used by millions of people who use internet. Unlike other encyclopedias available in print, a user can not only access the information there, but also contribute as he can! If you find a topic that interests you but not covered by Wikipedia, you can suggest it or even write it up as a new article. One has also the freedom to correct information that may contain errors and omissions. The chances for vandalism are much less than one may expect, since there are many dedicated good souls who still oversees such miscreant activities. Apart from the core encyclopedia, ‘wiki’s also have powerful faculties as Wiktionary, Wikimedia, Wikimapia, wikibooks etc.
Again, unlike normal encyclopedias, Wikipedia is free and universal as it offers stakes to each of the world’s human languages. The Malayalam Wikipedia (http://ml.wikipedia.org) has already become a reality though there is still much to do to cross over its infancy.
It is the Unicode and Open Type fonts technology that has made this truly historic enterprise a viable possibility. The present seminar is conducted with an intention to spread information regarding Unicode, Open Type fonts and Wikipedia.
Program comprises of a presentation for one and a half hour and a subsequent question-answer session for one hour duration. Anybody who is interested in knowing more about blogs, Wikipedia and technical details of configuring ones computer to enable Unicode Malayalam fonts are welcome to the seminar. However we look forward to have interactions with prospective contributors to Wikipedia.
Sunilkumar, editorial member of http://chitha.com , a website in pure Unicode Malayalam, also a Malayalam blogger by himself along with Viswaprabha, one of the pioneers in Malayalam blogging and a member of Varamozi group, and Dr.Mahesh Mangalat, a technology-oriented Malayalam linguist will participate in the Program.
An LCD projector, an internet connection and microphone, preferably a cordless one, may kindly be arranged. This will facilitate a more productive demonstration.
We hope that these efforts will turn out to be great milestones in the history of Malayalam Language as we aim to bridge the imminent gap between our rich linguistic traditions and the futuristic technological innovations that is taking over the human race globally.