Help: Gnoppix Live CD wants adding Urdu Keyboard

General discussion about PLUC and Linux in Pakistan.

Help: Gnoppix Live CD wants adding Urdu Keyboard

Postby zaidi » Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:35 am

Salaams.

I have been in contact with Mr. Andreas (Germany), who has developed a Live Linux CD (Gnoppix, which is based on Knoppix).

I hope you all know about these Live CDs and how promising they are.

But I noticed that in Knoppix, there are keyboards of Arabic and even Persian language, but no keyboard for Urdu language.

So I wrote a lot of times to all the professionals of all these CDs. Only Mr. Andreas replied positively. He has already started working on it. But he needs help from Linux Experts from Pakistan.

(I myself is studing Bio Medical Engineering, and know almost nothing about Linux or programming).

So, it's an invitation to my Pakistani Professional countrymen, to please step forward and help Mr. Andreas, who is although from Germany but taking great interest in Pakistan and Urdu.

You can find him at www.gnoppix.org

=========================

Lately, he asked me for the following help. So please see if you can help him:


>Send me your free fonts and replace the following things ( example from
German )

# German version
LANGUAGE="de"
COUNTRY="de"
LANG="de_DE"
KEYTABLE="de-latin1-nodeadkeys"
XKEYBOARD="de"
KDEKEYBOARD="de"
CHARSET="UTF-8"
# Additional KDE Keyboards
KDEKEYBOARDS="de,us,fr"



I think normally it is "ur" and "pk".

But I am not clear about the things very much. So please fill all the above mentioned fields.

Specially, which "Keytable" is used for Urdu?

=================

Thirdly, which Linux font is compatible with Urdu? I replied him for "ClearlyU" font. But it seems that it is not handling "Nun Ghuna" properly.

So if you have any suggestions regarding the default font for Urdu, please let us know.

=================

Fourthly, let me paste a part of one of his earlier post:

please could you give me a archiv/url, where i can download your
Free Fonts ?

Guess your are from Paktistan ? right ? please tell me little more
abut you lang how many linuxuser are there, which slangs are spoken...

[...]

> > KEYTABLE="de-latin1-nodeadkeys"
>
> KEYTABLE="ur-?????-nodeadkeys" (There are (1) Arabic Presentation Form A
> and (2) Arabic presentation Form B and both of them are used in Urdu.
> About "Deadkeys" I am sure that there are no deadkeys.

i didnt find any keymap in my default installation, it would be fine
if you can point me to a keymap and xkeymap also.

Maybe i must setup a 2nd langset like pk_trational pk_default .. ?


> Mr. Andreas, I am also trying to get some professionals from Pakistan to
> help you in this project.
>

thanks


I am sure if we keep in contact with him, then he is also going to add the keyboards for Sindhi and Pushtoo too.

So brothers, please help me and all other Pakistanies by contacting him for this projects.

Thanks and Was Salam.
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Re:

Postby LinuxFreaK » Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:47 am

Dear Zaidi,
Salam,

Great Effort, But i don't think so that there is any pakistani who do like to work for GPL. All Pakistani Needs Money and for money they can do any thing....but don't you worry we will INSAHALLAH find some one who can work :) Actually i am also BCS student know C Language and now a days Learning Assembly Language so i think i am not able to work on this :) i did talked with my friends who had done their engineering and doing jobs in different Software Houses in Karachi.

Best Regards.
Farrukh Ahmed
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Re:

Postby LinuxFreaK » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:00 am

Dear Zaidi,
Salam,

>Send me your free fonts and replace the following things ( example from
German )

# German version
LANGUAGE="de"
COUNTRY="de"
LANG="de_DE"
KEYTABLE="de-latin1-nodeadkeys"
XKEYBOARD="de"
KDEKEYBOARD="de"
CHARSET="UTF-8"
# Additional KDE Keyboards
KDEKEYBOARDS="de,us,fr"


He can download Free Fonts from http://yudit.org/download/fonts/ file names are:
1. nastaliq.mys
2. nastaliq.ttf
3. nastaliq.txt

Code: Select all

# Urdu version
LANGUAGE="pk"
COUNTRY="pk"
LANG="pk_PK"
KEYTABLE="pk-urdu-nodeadkeys"
XKEYBOARD="pk"
KDEKEYBOARD="pk"
CHARSET="UTF-8"
# Additional KDE Keyboards
KDEKEYBOARDS="pk"


Hope it will help you....and fullfill developer needs.

Best Regards.
Farrukh Ahmed
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Gnoppix Live CD wants adding Urdu Keyboard

Postby mahin » Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:01 am

Welcome aboard :)

Thanks for posting this here, while I am pleased with what you are doing [ I hope it is you who recently posted to Gnoppix devl list ] and will help. Would it be possible for you to take charge of adding Urdu Keyboards to Linux Distro's as a project?

We need some one to focus upon this upon whom we can rely [ as central point ]for finding answers to all question concerning Urdu Keyboard. The reason I am asking you is that the last thing we want is duplication of effort and confusion.

If your interest is limited to providing Urdu Keyboard for Gnoppix only then it is quite different from one whom we can consider as project leader for Urdu Keyboard support in Linux.

I am asking this because you did made an effort when you [ zainabia ? ] posted that link but what we need is that you do not re-invent the wheel and make sure once what you learn for Gnoppix is shared by other Distro's also.

If you think by not being IT student you may not have the skills then consider the fact that one of the best support person for European Keyboards for Distros is Steel worker in a Steel Mill. What is needed is not development rather collection of all resources so that duplication is avoided and it needs a person to take charge.

If for any reason you are not interested in taking care of this as project still it is o.k. will help you in solving the Gnoppix problem. Do contact me through PM and provide your email address.
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Re:

Postby mahin » Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:08 am

"LinuxFreaK"

LANGUAGE="pk"
COUNTRY="pk"
LANG="pk_PK"
KEYTABLE="pk-urdu-nodeadkeys"
XKEYBOARD="pk"
KDEKEYBOARD="pk"
CHARSET="UTF-8"


From where you took this ?
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Re:

Postby LinuxFreaK » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:19 pm

Dear mahin,
Salam,

From where you took this ?


Assumpsions :roll:

Best Regards.
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Postby zaidi » Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:41 pm

Salams

Thank you Mahin Sahib for encouraging mail.

I will try to collect the informations, that I receive during this process, and to provide it further here, so that other people who also have interest in it, can work further.

Collecting the Information is a nice idea, otherwise I was lost to what to do and what not to do. Thanks for this.

With REgards,

Was Salam.
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Postby zaidi » Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:48 pm

Mr. Linuxfreak,

I hope you also know Mr. Lateef Sagar. He is also trying his best to put Urdu on the net. I forwarded your post to him and he gave only a brief reply on your suggested Fonts, at yahoo "paktype" group.


Hi,

it is not nastaleeq font. It is only using glyphs of Microsoft Sans Serif.



Earlier, in other post he wrote that in Linux only "ClearlyU" font is compatible with Urdu. But even this font can also not handle "Noon Ghunna" properly.

Any Suggestions?????

Was Salam.
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Postby zaeemarshad » Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:21 am

ppl i have been working on a linux livecd project based on mandrake. The problem with adding urdu support to a distro is basically a RTL problem and todate Mandrake is the most succesfull distribution in doing that. The hebrew and arabic fonts are an example. The frame work is complete and our next goal will be to add urdu support to it inshallah. If any body is taking the responsibility of adding urdu support, then kindly inform as we can collaborate and form a real nice project. :)

I am not sure Debian has a really nice support for RTL languages. Mandrake ppl have hacked a lot of stuff for adding urdu support and u all know that knoppix and all knoppix derivatives are based on debian. I may be wrong about Debian but this is what i have read. any corrections/comments are welcome. Debian fans.. no flames plz...all to > /dev/null . :)

Regards
Zaeem
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Postby zaidi » Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:44 am

Thank you Zaeem Sahib for your response.

Dear Brother, our problem is not Debian or Mandrake, but our aim is promoting the Urdu Language.

As far as RTL languages are concerned, I have seen that Knoppix has support for Arabic and as well as Persian language. I used both the keyboards and they were writing very well. (The only problem is this that you cannot increase the size of arabic based text in Knoppix).

But there is another distro "Arabbix", which is based on Knoppix. And it has full Arabic Support (i.e. even text can be made bold and size can be increased).

So brother, please explain in detail what you mean by RTL (right to left) language support.

=================

Remaining, I would be grateful if you can provide us with more informations which technology is used by mandrake for adding Urdu keyboard. Insha-Allah, it will help the Knoppix Distro too.

At moment only XP has given the Urdu Keyboard. But it's layout is horrible.

I am also interested to know the layout of Urdu keyboard in mandrake.

(Please remember that I am not IT professional, but a simple Pakistani who loves it's land and loves Urdu).

Was Salam.
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Postby zaeemarshad » Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:59 pm

Dear zaidi,

I have done quite a lot of work on this livecd stuff. Inshallah it shall be complete within a few days. As far as Urdu support is concerned, Tariq Sb, aka mahin has done a lot of work on it.(I have seen his name at lot of sites related to urdu support for linux :) ) . He has been guiding me and providing me with a lot of support in getting this livecd stuff done. We plan to add urdu support to it. I plan to form a group here who can help in adding urdu keyboard support for linux.

Regards
Zaeem
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Postby zaidi » Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:19 am

Thank you Zaeem Sahib for the kind reply.

I just hope that we succeed in giving Urdu some exposure in different LInux Systems.

=================

Moreover Zaeem Sahib, would you please tell me which Linux Fonts are compatible for Urdu? I only heard about "ClearlyU", but it seems that it doesn't handle "Nun Ghunaa" properly.

Mr. Andreas of Gnoppix asked me this question, while he wants to add any Urdu Compatible font. And I have yet to answer this to him.

Secondly, he asked me the following:

I didnt find any keymap in my default installation, it would be fine
if you can point me to a keymap and xkeymap also.
Maybe i must setup a 2nd langset like pk_trational pk_default .. ?


I don't have any idea bout "xkeymap". So, I need help urgently.

And also if you have any suggestion for 2nd langset like pk_trational pk_default .... etc.

Thanks and Was Salam.
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Postby mahin » Sat Jan 24, 2004 11:50 am

Zaidi thanks for your enthusiasm and it is the good fortune of Urdu to have a person like you supporting its cause. I have little doubt now that this year will be the year of Urdu on Linux. Having spent quite some time may I request you to please take a little break and let us get others also on board.

Trust me you are the one who is going to lead every one and this is going to be your baby but to save you from the trouble of re-inventing the wheel and making sure what you are doing is adopted every where. It is important that your effort is conforming to already agreed/accepted standards.

I am quite sure if you inform Mr. Andreas that you are not going it all alone rather trying get every one [ Urdu Board, Pakistan Standards Institution, Muqtadara Qaumi Zaban, Urdu Dictionary Board, CURLP, URLSDF, Zaban, Sindhi Board, etc.etc.] so that what you do is adopted and accepted by not only Urdu but other regional languages also. He would be more then willing to give you more time.

As you can see it is not a simple matter of Urdu alone [ this approach was adopted by those who were decision makers then ] at the time of Unicode formation Arabic and other Arabic Script Based Languages were not treated as one with the result we have this problem. Now people do realize this but once standard has been agreed upon it can not be un-done.

Now coming to our problem of Urdu, while we are going to work for Urdu but let us alert every one and make sure we do get some response from them [ very difficult task, will need volunteers in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad who can visit in person , make phone calls to get response. We will have to do this if we want to move ahead. BTW if any one reading this in any of the cities mentioned is willing to volunteer then please send PM to me or mention it here ] and what ever their input may be let it be stated here.

We have to evolve consensus to what ever level we can. This will take few weeks at least to alert every one and then get their input.

What appears to be a simple task of adding Urdu Keyboard [ BTW there are standard Keyboards for most languages available and some with suggestions for improvements in them we need to incorporate all. After all Linux is about choices Smile ] is much more complex as it involves many stake holders.

Why it was not done before for the simple reason there was no one like you [ Zaidi ] willing to devout his time to make the change.
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Postby zaeemarshad » Sun Jan 25, 2004 11:08 pm

hey there,

sorry i wasnt here so i couldnt reply. Zaidi, I agree with tariq sb. At the moment i am busy with my livecd stuff. once it is done, i shall mail the details and scripts to developers and users alike. After that we shall see how we can develop urdu keymap for linux. Tariq Sb. I agree with you that Inshallah this year is going to be the year of Urdu Linux. Inshallah

Regards
Zaeem
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