Blog :: 'PariveshaNa'

Typing in Kannada on Mac, UIM and m17n on Mac OS X

September 19, 2012 - 07:04 -- hpn

Years back, I had been of some help in readying a Kannada font for Mac OS X. It was a Mac OS X port of Kedage font. I had no Mac device with me then.
Through Sampada, I used to get several emails from Kannadigas around the globe requesting information about getting to read Kannada on devices running Mac OS X.
Things have changed a lot since then. Mac OS X now supports Kannada out-of-box although the font supplied is not the best available. If you end up buying the latest Macbook Air or Macbook Pro running 10.8 Mountain Lion, the rendering is quite good - except for few bugs in the fonts supplied out of box.
However, on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), I've tested and found that by using the Kedage font or Sangam MN (if you get a copy of that) you can get to read Kannada pretty fine. The rendering is close to flawless, except for few (negligible for the moment) issues.

Sampada on Mac OS X
Alright, that is about being able to read Kannada text on Mac. How about typing in Kannada?
This was something that many people have kept asking for a long time. I used to get many emails on Sampada that had queries about just this. I still keep getting email requests on how to achieve this on Mac OS X, so here's the status as I know it (and based on what I tried) and a workaround that has been quite a good option so far:
Apple provides a set of input methods out of box and there are two input methods available for Kannada on that list - Kannada and Kannada QWERTY. The input source Kannada is a take on NUDI or K P Rao method of input for Kannada. However, it doesn't work as it should. Kannada QWERTY is an implementation of Inscript keyboard layout which seems to work for most part, but I haven't had a chance to test it fully. These two methods are probably the most used in the journalism and media circles here in the state. The other popular input style or layout that is quite popular among Kannadigas is Baraha style (an adaptation of itrans modified to suit the Kannada users) which is not included in Mac OS X.

An update after a long time with a new look to the website

September 7, 2012 - 10:36 -- hpn

new look for hpnadig.net Just one blog post here in 2012 pretty much sums up how the year went by for me. Here I am, updating my blog after a fairly long time. The website also now sports a new look, new structure - which was in works for quite a while now (as this depended mainly on the free time my team had, which wasn't much). Thanks to my team at Saaranga who have worked on this purely out of respect, despite a hectic schedule. I'm no longer the person who tinkers with the look and feel of this website.
In earlier days, this website was sort of an experimental base for the scripts I wrote on my own or the web applications I wanted to try out, along with Sampada.net - a community that I had started in 2005. That favourite pastime of mine has since vanished, owing to a packed schedule. I wouldn't have hoped to renew the habit of blogging after such a long time without the help of my team members and without the encouragement of my better half (who has particularly been a tremendous source of inspiration for me, at a time when I was down with some serious health issues). Having jotted down couple of quick write-ups for some Kannada newspapers recently, I felt that I really need to bring this blog back to life. And here I am doing that. Hope this new look would spur some regular activity here. And that it would serve as some good distraction for me from the stress that has been part of each day of my life in recent past.

On buying books online in India

January 17, 2012 - 11:36 -- hpn

It had been quite sometime since I ordered books online. The books I ordered two days back with three different Indian online shopping websites reached here the same day and almost at the same time! Looks like there's some cut-throat competition between them now.
While flipkart was really quick and professional in shipping (and notifying about the shipment), indiaplaza had the books at best prices. Their notification system is quite good as well. However, their package is colossal addition to waste considering I had to throw away more than 8 dirty plastic covers for just four books that I ordered. Hope those will get recycled! The bubble wrap can be reused.
Flipkart's bubble wrap envelope reached clean. The bubble wrap envelope they packaged the book with, can be reused if torn open in a proper way.
It is nice to be able to order books after searching them or reading about those online, however it is sad that it adds up to as much plastic and packaging waste. Maybe sometime in future, jute bags would replace these.

On how Google irreparably wounded Kannada Wikipedia

October 22, 2011 - 17:39 -- hpn

Google India paid local companies/agencies to test and use their Indian language translation tool. The platform they chose was Wikipedia.

What happened next was disastrous. Especially on Kannada Wikipedia.

Rumors spread that "You get paid for writing on Wikipedia". The regular  contributors felt discouraged as they continued to contribute as volunteers while others, the translators commissioned by agencies were getting paid pretty well.

Google was actually paying the agencies, translators who used their translation tool to translate articles from English Wikipedia to the Indian language projects.

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