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News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Posts Tagged ‘India’

Odisha Dibasa 2014: 14 books re-released under CC license

 Guests releasing a kit DVD containing Odia typeface “Odia OT Jagannatha,” offline input tool “TypeOdia,” Odia language dictionaries, open source softwares, offline Odia Wikipedia and Ubuntu package.

Odisha became a separate state in British India on April 1, 1936. Odia, a 2,500 year old language recently gained the status of an Indian classical language. The Odia Wikimedia community celebrated these two occasions on March 29 in Bhubaneswar with a gathering of 70 people. Linguists, scholars and journalists discussed the state of the Odia language in the digital era, initiatives for its development and steps that can be taken to increase accessibility to books and other educational resources. 14 copyrighted books have been re-licensed under the Creative Commons license and the digitization project on Odia WikiSource was formally initiated by an indigenous educational institute, the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS). Professor Udayanath Sahu from Utkal University, The Odisha Review’s editor Dr. Lenin Mohanty, Odisha Bhaskar’s editor Pradosh Pattnaik, Odia language researcher Subrat Prusty, Dr. Madan Mohan Sahu, Allhadmohini Mohanty, Chairman Manik-Biswanath Smrutinyasa and trust’s secretary Brajamohan Patnaik along with senior members Sarojkanta Choudhury and Shisira Ranjan Dash spoke at the event.

 Group photo of Odia wikimedians participating in the advanced Wikimedia workshop at KIIT University.

Eleven books from Odia writer Dr. Jagannath Mohanty were re-released under Creative Commons Share-Alike (CC-BY-SA 3.0) license by the “Manik-Biswanath Smrutinyasa” trust,  a trust founded by Dr. Mohanty for the development of the Odia language. Allhadmohini Mohanty formally gave written permission to Odia Wikimedia to release and digitize these books.

The community will be training students and a group of six faculty members at KISS who will coordinate the digitization of these books. “Collaborative efforts and open access to knowledge repositories will enrich our language and culture,” said linguist Padmashree Dr. Debiprasanna Pattanayak as he inagurated the event. Dr. Pattanayak and Odia language researcher Subrat Prusty from the Institute of Odia Studies and Research also re-licensed three books (Two Odia books; “Bhasa O Jatiyata“, “Jati, Jagruti O Pragati” and an English book “Classical Odia”) based on their research on Odia language and cultural influence of the language on other societies under the same license. KISS is going to digitize some of these books and make them available on Odia Wikisource.

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Celebrating Women’s Day, the Wiki way

Participants editing articles about women in science.

How many Indian women scientists can you name? Go on! Think about this one. Think really hard. How many can you name, now? One? Two? Three?

I wrote this blog post at a co-working space for tech startups in the Southern Indian city of Kochi. I was surrounded by science students. None of them could think of a single woman scientist from India. Pretty shameful, isn’t it? And, there was nobody to burst our sexist bubble, except, Wikipedia. This page lists 15 women scientists from India. While I am grateful for this archive, it is hardly comprehensive. 15 women scientists from a country of 1.2 billion people.

India is currently Asia’s third largest economy and it prides itself on making many ancient discoveries. Given this context, it is unbefitting for us to come up with such a tiny list. (By the way, If you know of a more detailed website on this subject, please send me the link on Twitter – which you can find at the bottom of this page). Could there be women whose contribution to science have slipped out of popular culture?

Wikipedia has organized edit-a-thons for the entire month of March to address these glaring gaps in our knowledge. The goal of these edit-a-thons is to celebrate International’s Women’s Day that fell on March 8. During this month, we would like to enhance the quantity and quality of Wikipedia articles on gender and sexuality and translate English articles into other Indic languages. Anyone can join the celebrations as editors, translators, bloggers, event managers or enthusiasts.

We encourage more South Asian women to use this opportunity- right now 9 out of 10 Wikipedians are men. There are many subjects that may be of interest or value to women that are not covered in traditional encyclopaedias because the majority of knowledge-producers are men. Let us make sure that Wikipedia is diverse and voices from all sections of  society are represented.

We have kick-started the event with weekend edit-a-thons. We will provide specific topics and links to editors to write or expand upon. This month the focus is on women parliamentarians and scientists.

So come on over, put your editing skills to use, make some new friends and last but not the least, learn more about women scientist from India!

- Diksha Madhok, Wikipedian

Odia Wikipedia: Three years of active contributions gives life to a ten year old project

This post is available in 2 languages: English 7% • Odia 100%

English

Group photo of Odia Wikipedia 10 day celebration at KISS, Bhubaneswar

Odia Wikipedia celebrated its 10th anniversary on January 29th, 2014. Odia is a language spoken by roughly 33 million people in Eastern India, and is one of the many official languages of India. Odia Wikipedia started as one of the first Indic language Wikipedias. In 2011 there were only 550 articles with practically no contributors. The initial Wikipedians struggled to reach out to more people. Luckily, with more people coming on the Internet – primarily on social media platforms, collaboration became easier. Odia Wikipedia’s facebook page and group became the social gateway for more people to get used to working within the Odia language. This is one of the languages which has very little online presence when it comes to having content as Unicode text. Many people still struggle with the outdated pirated operating systems installed in their computers which added more hurdles in the way of all the community led Wikipedia outreach programs. There has been more developments in  recent days in language input and online contribution in Odia. More people started searching for online content using Odia in Unicode. This is where Odia Wikipedia played a crucial role in promoting a massive growth in content which is reflected in the readership. Monthly page views which remained consistently low over the years started growing from less than 1000 to more than 400,000 and at times hitting the 500,000 mark. This is the highest among all the websites that have Odia content. With a variety of new projects and more contributors than ever, Wikipedia Odia happily celebrated its its 10th anniversary over two days. Odia Wikipedians gathered in two different educational institutes. Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences in Bhubaneswar on the 28th of January and Indian Institute of Mass Communication in Dhenkanal on the 29th.

Day 1:

Debiprasanna Patnaik introducing himself for Voice intro project

First day of Odia Wikipedia 10 began with the traditional Chhena poda cutting by noted linguist Padmashree Dr. Debiprasanna Patnaik. Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) has recently collaborated with The Centre for Internet and Society for the resource gathering, documentation and archival of 62 tribal communities of Odisha and neighboring eastern Indian states and initiating Wikipedia projects in the indigenous tribal languages. The first few phase of the workshop brought about 15 students pursuing their masters in Arts, Science and Commerce disciplines and 10 faculty members.
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WikiSangamotsavam-2013 brought Wikimedians from all over India together

Mr. Sashi Kumar‘s speech during the inaugural session of WikiSangamotsavam-2013

WikiSangamotsavam, the annual conference of Malayalam Wikimedians, took place in Alappuzha, Kerala, India from December 21-23, 2013. The conference, supported by the Wikimedia Foundation Grants program, Wikimedia India Chapter and CIS-A2K program brought together around 200 Wikimedians and well-wishers from all over India.

The host town, Alappuzha, is popularly known as the Venice of the East due to its picturesque backwaters and canals. Alappuzha was chosen as the location for the conference in an effort to bring attention to the regions diversity and touristic appeal to Wikimedians, and thereby increasing the towns representation on Wikipedia. The Board meeting of the Wikimedia India Chapter took place in conjunction with the event. A range of pre-conference events, including a bicycle rally, a meetup for young Wikimedians and several edit-a-thons took place prior to the event.

Day 1

The first day of WikiSangamotsavam started with Wiki-Vidyarthi-Sangamam, a meetup of student Wikimedians. The digitization of ‘Sri-Mahabharatham,’ a seven volume Malayalam epic was flagged off during the Wiki-Vidyarthi-Sangamam. Around 100 students from all over Kerala got to interact with each other and learn about Wikimedia projects in Malayalam. There was a Wikipedia workshop for impaired delegates. They were introduced to various means of accessibility by the DAISY Consortium. This session helped them learn about self-educating tools and accessing knowledge platforms like Wikipedia and contributing in Malayalam online.

There was a panel discussion on ‘Malayalam and Wikipedia’ during which language and computing experts discussed the role of Wikipedia in the growth of Malayalam language. Talks and presentations about topics relevant to Wikimedia were held in three parallel sessions.

The first day of the event also marked Malayalam Wikipedia’s 11th birthday. The special occasion was celebrated by cutting a birthday cake. At the end of the day, Wikimedians entertained themselves by singing folk songs of Kerala.

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Language Engineering Events – Language Summit, Fall 2013

The Wikimedia Language Engineering team, along with Red Hat, organised the Fall edition of the Open Source Language Summit in Pune, India on November 18 and 19, 2013.

Members from the Language Engineering, Mobile, VisualEditor, and Design teams of the Wikimedia Foundation joined participants from Red Hat, Google, Adobe, Microsoft Research, Indic language projects, Open Source Projects (Fedora, Debian) and Wikipedians from various Indian languages. Google Summer of Code interns for Wikimedia Language projects were also present. The 2-day event was organised as work-sessions, focussed on fonts, input tools, content translation and language support on desktop, web and mobile platforms.

Participants at the Open Source Language Summit, Pune India

The Fontbook project, started during the Language Summit earlier this year, was marked to be extended to 8 more Indian languages. The project aims to create a technical specification for Indic fonts based upon the Open Type v 1.6 specifications. Pravin Satpute and Sneha Kore of Red Hat presented their work for the next version of the Lohit font-family based upon the same specification, using Harfbuzz-ng. It is expected that this effort will complement the expected accomplishment of the Fontbook project.

The other font sessions included a walkthrough of the Autonym font created by Santhosh Thottingal, a Q&A session by Behdad Esfahbod about the state of Indic font rendering through Harfbuzz-ng, and a session to package webfonts for Debian and Fedora for native support. Learn more about the font sessions.

Improving the input tools for multilingual input on the VisualEditor was extensively discussed. David Chan walked through the event logger system built for capturing IME input events, which is being used as an automated IME testing framework available at http://tinyurl.com/imelog to build a library of similar events across IMEs, OSs and languages.

Santhosh Thottingal stepped through several tough use cases of handling multilingual input, to support the VisualEditor’s inherent need to provide non-native support for handling language content blocks within the contentEditable surface. Wikipedians from various Indic languages also provided their inputs. On-screen keyboards, mobile input methods like LiteratIM and predictive typing methods like ibus-typing-booster (available for Fedora) were also discussed. Read more about the input method sessions.

The Language Coverage Matrix Dashboard that displays language support status for all languages in Wikimedia projects was showcased. The Fedora Internationalization team, who currently provides resources for fewer languages than the Wikimedia projects, will identify the gap using the LCMD data and assess the resources that can be leveraged for enhancing the support on Desktops. Dr. Kalika Bali from Microsoft Research Labs presented on leveraging content translation platforms for Indian languages and highlighted that for Indic languages MT could be improved significantly by using web-scale content like Wikipedia.

Learn more about the sessions, accomplishments and next steps for these projects from the Event Report.

Runa Bhattacharjee, Outreach and QA coordinator, Language Engineering, Wikimedia Foundation

First ever Train-the-Trainer Program in India

Access to Knowledge Programme at the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS-A2K) organized the first ever Train the Trainer Program in India. 20 Wikimedians from 8 different language communities and 10 different cities across India attended CIS-A2K’s Train the Trainer (TTT). The residency program was spread over four days. The event was represented by Wikimedia communities including Bengali, Gujarati, Sanskrit, Malayalam, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Odia. The event was organized to help build capacity amongst Wikimedia volunteers to conduct effective and efficient outreach programs in their respective regions in an effort to expand the Wikimedia movement to reach the nooks and crannies of a large nation like India. CIS-A2K realizes that with a small team of five it cannot cover all communities. This program would create leadership, which in turn will hopefully take the movement forward.

Hari Prasad Nadig, one of TTT’s resource persons said, “I think the training program was in the right direction. In fact, I thought it was a very good idea.”

Hari Prasad Nadig, one of TTT’s resource persons and sysop on both Kannada and Sanskrit Wikipedia, said, “I think the training program was in the right direction. In fact I thought it was a very good idea. It falls in-line with what is needed to be done with utmost importance for the Indian Wikipedia community – creating more trainers/mentors who can bring in editors to Wikipedia or guide the existing ones.”

Post-Event Survey & Report

CIS-A2K conducted a post-event survey to evaluate TTT program and also review individual training and development activities organized during the four-day workshop. The main aim of the survey was to understand how the attendees perceived the event and help CIS-A2K plan a more successful and well-attended event in the future.

Including a variety of questions ranging from likert scale questions, drag and drop list, paragraph text, multiple choices, provided an interactive and systematic way to gather participant’s feedback. The survey questions were also designed to cover different aspects of the event including attendee’s opinions of the sessions,  as well as what they learned. Results and findings will be used to refine and improve the next TTT program.

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Report from the Spring 2013 Open Source Language Summit

Fortuna i forti aiuta, e i timidi rifiuta — an Italian proverb

The Wikimedia Foundation and Red Hat jointly organized the Second Open Source Language Summit on February 12th and 13th, 2013. The summit was held at the Red Hat engineering center in Pune, India. Similar to the previous summit, this face-to-face work session was focused on internationalization (i18n) and localization (l10n) features, font support, input method tools, language search, i18n testing methods and standards. The sessions were work sprints, each with special focus on a key area. Participants included core contributors from the Wikimedia Foundation, Red Hat (including Fedora SIG members), KDE, FUEL, Google and C-DAC. Below is a summary of what was accomplished during these two days.

During the summit, teams from different organizations came together to discuss language-related challenges, and worked together on features and tools to address them.

During the summit, teams from different organizations came together to discuss language-related challenges, and worked together on features and tools to address them.

Input Methods

Parag Nemade and Santhosh Thottingal worked on making additional input methods available for the jQuery.IME library. 60 input methods, covering languages like Assamese, Esperanto, Russian, Greek, Hebrew were added bringing the total to 144. Also IMEs from the m17n library missing from the jQuery.IME library were identified.

Translation tools, translatewiki.net & FUEL Sprint

Siebrand Mazeland and Niklas Laxström, together with Ankit Patel, Rajesh Ranjan and Red Hat language maintainers, worked to identify more tools that could be used as Translation aids in a translation system. The FUEL project aims to standardize translations for frequently used terms, translation style and assessment methodology. Until now it has focused mostly on languages of India. The FUEL project can now be translated in translatewiki.net. Pau Giner demonstrated new designs for the translation editor and terminology usage, remotely from Spain.

Language Coverage Matrix

To better evaluate the needs for enabling support for languages, a matrix detailing the requirements and availability of basic and extended features is being drawn up. With 285 languages currently supported in Wikimedia and more than 100 in Fedora, this document will be instrumental in bridging the gaps and porting features across projects and platforms. Key areas of evaluation include input methods, fonts, translation aids like glossaries and spell-checkers, testing and validation methods, etc. A preliminary draft was created during the summit by Alolita Sharma, Runa Bhattacharjee and Amir E. Aharoni.

Fonts, WebFonts

An initiative to document the technical aspects of fonts for scripts for languages spoken in India started during the language summit. For each of the scripts, a reference font will be chosen and each font will be explained in detail to intersect with the Open Type font specification as a standard. It will aim to act as a reference document for any typographer working on Indian language fonts. Initial draft and outline of this document was prepared during the second day of the language summit, mainly by Santhosh Thottingal and Pravin Satpute.

Testing Internationalization Tools

Finding suitable methods for testing internationalized components and contents was the major focus of this sprint, with the Fedora Localization Testing Group (FLTG) and Wikimedia’s Language Engineering team sharing details of their testing methods. The FLTG conducts Test Days prior to Fedora beta releases with a test matrix targeted at specific core components, and Wikimedia uses unit tests for frequent testing of their development features. The FLTG showed its plans to integrate the screenshot comparison method for testing localized interfaces. This method will be useful for Wikimedia too. Extending the method for web-based applications and Wikimedia’s language requirements (e.g. right-to-left) were identified as areas for collaboration.

More news from the Language Summit can be found in the tweets, the session notes and the full report.

Runa Bhattacharjee, Outreach and QA coordinator, Language Engineering

Wikimedia India hosts Wikipedia women’s workshop in Mumbai

(This guest post by Aditi Vashisht and Netha Hussain is part of the series on the WikiWomen’s Collaborative)

Participants at the first Mumbai Wikipedia Workshop for Women

On Sunday, 4 November 2012, Wikimedians from Mumbai, India, conducted a Wikipedia workshop for women at Vidyalankar Institute of Technology,Wadala. The event was aimed at introducing women who are not yet editing Wikipedia to the website and teaching them how to edit.

“Lots of women are interested in editing Wikipedia, but sometimes they need to be specially invited to join in,” said Bishakha Datta, one of the primary organizers of the workshop. ”Doing this workshop was a chance to strategically get women to participate by creating an event meant for them, where they could freely ask questions, including basic ones, without feeling silly or stupid.”

Wikipedia editors Krutikaa Jawanjal and Pradeep Mohandas, who facilitated the event, were motivated to conduct a women’s workshop for bridging the gender gap that exists in Wikipedia. A lot of preparations were done ahead of time. Vidyalankar Institute of Technology was found to be the best place to conduct the workshop among all venues investigated by the team of organizers. The volunteers got together to discuss the agenda and the schedule of the event and planned their respective sessions.

Over one hundred participants signed up for to attend on the workshop’s Wikipedia page. A Facebook page was created for the event, where approximately 50 participants registered. Interested participants also emailed Wikipedia’s volunteer customer service group, OTRS. The enthusiasm was so high among the participants that registration had to be closed down a couple of days before the workshop. Some of the interested attendees had experimented with editing Wikipedia, and they had started asking questions to the organizers even before the event was launched! All participants who created an account were sent welcome messages by the organizers.

“The pre-meetup preparations involved more than 50 days of work. Two meetups were conducted for planning the workshop. The whole process involved a lot of hard work, yet it was fun,” said Karthik Nadar, the Secretary of Wikimedia India Chapter.

The workshop was a full day event with a lot of fun activities. More than 70 participants attended. After an introduction by the organizers, the participants were divided into groups and one facilitator was allotted to each group. The facilitator helped their group to create and expand a Wikipedia article by themselves. During the lunch break, the participants were served pav bhaji, an Indian delicacy. The participants moved around and made friends with each other and the organizers during the lunch break.

During the afternoon session, the participants asked to clarify their doubts about editing. Organizers gave a brief introduction about the Wikimedia India Chapter, and they conducted sessions sessions on How to add references to a Wikipedia article and How to upload pictures to Commons. The much awaited results of Wiki Loves Monuments India were declared after the sessions. Organizers also conducted a Wiki-Quiz and the winners were given t-shirts and other Wikimedia goodies!

Conducting the workshop was a memorable experience to the team of organizers. Krutikaa said her best memories included the ones where she had to resolve doubts and answer questions about editing Wikipedia. Wikimedian Rohini Lakshane said that it was thrilling to see the joy on the faces of the participants when their edits went live. She said she is planning to organize more workshops in the future because she thinks that workshops of this kind can make the community grow. For Karthik, the workshop was not about the number of participants, but about the number of people who are excited to edit Wikipedia.

The event was covered by various newspapers and websites. Videos on various aspects of Wikipedia were created during and after the event by a team of journalists. Techgross, an online daily for news-related to technology, reported: “Here is wishing that many more such workshops are held across India, Techgoss is sure there are many takers.”

(The Mumbai community is planning to conduct similar events in various parts of the city in the coming months and we’ll provide further updates soon.)

Aditi Vashisht and Netha Hussain

OpenSource Language Summit

The Wikimedia Foundation and Red Hat co-organized an Open Source Language Summit in Pune, India on November 6-7, 2012. The summit focused on language tools and technology development to support languages on Wikipedia, the Web, Linux and other Open Source platforms.

Santhosh Thottingal presenting his talk on jquery.ime

In total, 45 core language technology developers, open source contributors, typographers and technology evangelists from the Wikimedia Language Engineering and Mobile teams, Red Hat, Mozilla Foundation, KDE, GNOME, translatewiki.net and other open source projects participated in sessions and work sprints on internationalization and localization features supporting various open source projects on the web and Linux. After brief introductory talks, we focused our work on font support, input method tools, language search, and web and localisation standards.

Highlights: 

The event had short talks on the following topics:

Selected achievements

The following people won prizes for their code contributions during the event:

  • Anish Patil ported Universal Language Selector’s cross-language search algorithm to gnome language search
  • Aravinda VK wrote a set of font-forge python wrappers to make changes to fonts programmatically. Aravinda fixed a few bugs in Kannada Gubbi font for Harfbuzz rendering engine and also wrote Kannada KGP keymap for jquery.ime
  • G Karunakar added Hindi inscript keyboard layout to Firefox OS GAIA

Other accomplishments included:

  • Kushal Das added patches to deploy Universal Language Selector on http://www.mozilla.org and also a patch for a bug on Mozilla localization platform.
  • Alolita, Sankarshan, Runa, Satish worked on discussing APIs for various translation workflows and putting together an initial specification.
  • Rajeesh Nambiar, Hussain KH, Ani Peter, Praveen A and Pravin Satpute fixed and filed upstream bugs for Malayalam, Kannada, Gujarati and Punjabi fonts with Harfbuzz.
  • Parag Nemade added InScript2 keyboards for Sanskrit, Nepali, Marathi and Konkani to jquery.ime.
  • Ankit Gadgil wrote over 200 unit tests for Marathi and Hindi input methods in jquery.ime.
  • Yuvaraj Pandian, Pau Giner, Arun Ganesh and Siebrand Mazeland developed an initial version of an Android-native app for Translatewiki.net for translation reviews.
  • Pau Giner conducted user testing with new translation prototypes with translators. Arun Ganesh created an icon for gnome-transliteration.

You can browse through tweets and more notes from the event. Happy reading!

Srikanth Lakshmanan
Internationalisation/Localisation Outreach / QA Engineer

Wikipedia Club Pune celebrates WikiWomen Day

WikiWomen Day participants

Sunday, 28th October 2012, was “WikiWomen Day” in Pune, India. The day brought together women from a variety of educational backgrounds, castes, creeds, religions, and age groups. The purpose of the gathering was to both educate women about the huge gender gap that exists within Wikipedia and to encourage women to contribute.

The workshop was held by “Wikipedia Club Pune” in PAI International Learning Solutions, Azam Campus, Pune, India. The workshop began at 10:00am with approximately 25 attendees. The first session explained the issues surrounding the lack of women editors. This session was an eye-opener for attendees about the huge gender gap within Wikipedia. Next, we offered a “How to get Hands-on on Wikipedia” program. The majority of attendees didn’t know how to edit Wikipedia, therefore, they had to start from scratch with tasks such as creating a username, and learning about Wikipedia policies and guidelines, and its principles, such as the Five Pillars. After a thorough review, we presented the basics of editing.

Later in the afternoon, there was a breakout session where everyone got an opportunity to interact with one another while enjoying a lunch of burgers and soft drinks. Following that, there was Indic language session where attendees were introduced to the multi-lingual aspects of Wikipedia. After that was the “Collaborative Contribution” session where we put our newly acquired skills to work. In this session, we expanded the “Helen Keller” article in Marathi. This page was originally started by an anonymous editor with a single line of text. Within a half hour, the entire page was developed, telling a comprehensive story of her life. This collaborative experience was marvelous and my favorite session of the day. After this session, we distributed participation certificates to everyone and encouraged our motivated attendees to continue editing Wikipedia.

Last but not the least, the workshop ended with the cake-cutting ceremony, which was also the launch for “Wikipedia Summit India 2013,” to be held in January. The Summit will focus on Wikipedia’s gender gap and provide action-oriented workshops focused on closing the gap.

-Ketaki Pole (User:Ketaki Pole)