In November, Red Hat and C-DAC GIST organized a two-day conference, which Mozilla helped support, called the FUEL GILT Conference 2014. The event focused on GILT (Globalization, Internationalization, Localization, and Translation) technologies and was held at YASHADA Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration, the Administrative Training Institute of the Government of Maharashtra, India, in Pune. The annual event was first held last year, and approximately 100 people attended the 2014 conference.
FUEL GILT Conference is the largest FOSS localization industry conference, and the FUEL Project is the largest repository of standard linguistic resources in the field of free and open source software. FUEL stands for "frequently used entries for localization", and the FUEL project community works to create standard linguistic and technical resources, such as standardized terminology, translation style and convention guides, Unicode Text Rendering Reference Standard (UTRRS), Translation Assessment Matrix, and more.
FUEL also has started creating modules of terminology for domains other than information and communication technology, including education and health care. In fact, two new FUEL terminology modules, fuel-cloud and fuel-agriculture, were reviewed and released at this year's conference.
As the founder of the FUEL Project and the Hindi language maintainer at Red Hat, I gave the welcome address on the first day, and I discussed the importance of crowd wisdom and consensus that is vital for content consistency.
Then came the Inauguration talk by Dr. Vijay Bhatkar (an eminent scientist and founding director of C-DAC), Dr. Arun Nigvekar (Senior Advisor and Trustee, Science and Technology park and Former chairman of UGC and NAAC), Dr. K. P. Mohanan (a well-known linguist and professor at IISER, Pune), and Dr. Raimond Doctor (also a well-known linguist).
Dr. Bhatkar, architect of India's first supercomputer, said that that the idea of FUEL is revolutionary and the impact will be far reaching. Professor Arun Nigvekar, Father of Quality Movement in Higher Education in India, said that the work done by FUEL in the area of standardization is unique. He said that the field of standardization is much neglected in India, but this will be important for the education in the vernacular medium. By citing several examples, Dr. Mohanan underlined the confusion created when identical words appear in different disciplines.
Dr. Raimond Doctor stressed the lack of Indian languages on the web. He added that, with the help of communities and experts, the FUEL Project is acting as a catalyst in the field of standardization. He compared the project with the Mandar Parvat mountain, which, according to myths, was used for churning the ocean to extract the nectar from its bosom during Samudra Manthan.
Other well known technologists, localizers, open source enthusiasts, researchers, linguists, software engineers, and academics presented at the conference. Ankitkumar Patel and Chandrakant Dhutadmal talked about the FUEL mission and its current status. They talked about how, in addition to with standard terminology, open source dictionaries in world wide languages is necessary. At last year's conference, approximately 40 language communities were working with FUEL, and that number has increased to about 60 language communities in 2014.
Ravikant, Fellow of CSDS, Delhi, spoke on the topic of "FUEL for Film". He said that creating a FUEL terminology module for FILM is important. Using several examples, he emphasized that the Indian languages have long traditions of using film-specific terms in vernacular writings about films.
The second day included a variety of talks on topics ranging from the GLIF Project (Gallery of Liberated Internationalized Fonts), localization using a controlled collaborative crowd-sourcing approach, and translation management in the OpenStack community. In addition to a FUEL module for film, educators Sunita Nair and Prabhas Ranjan proposed one for education terminology in their FUEL Education talk.
Different participants also organized workshops on fonts, Fedora, dictionary creation, and localization of Firefox Marketplace Apps/WebApps. Attendees enjoyed cake to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the open source Lohit Project and Lohit Font.
Like last year's conference, FUEL GILT 2014 helped the FUEL Project grow horizontally and vertically. For example, the FUEL Project recently received requests for French and German style-guide translations. The FUEL Project is a great success story in India and is cited as a standard reference for e-governance. Credit for the success goes to the community of volunteers and organizations working with the FUEL Project.
Thank you to Omshivaprakash HL and Krishnababu Krothapalli for taking great photos at the event. Malayalam community member Ani Peter, who works with Red Hat, did a great compering work. And thanks to everyone who helped make the 2014 event successful. To see the complete program, visit: http://fuelproject.org/gilt2014/program.