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Indian Government Keen on Open Source

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the subcontinent-with-taste dept.

Software 195

manugarg writes "The Indian government is distributing free CDs of localized open sorce softwares like Firefox, etc. to encourage the use of computers across the country. ZDNet reports, 'The Indian government's decision to ship free software in this way likely will be a blow to Microsoft, which plans to release a low-cost version of Windows in India soon. Microsoft originally hoped to release its Windows XP Starter Edition--a low-cost, feature-restricted version of Windows XP--by the end of March, but it's now aiming for a June release.'"

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open sorce softwares (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667066)

I guess spelling checkers isn't something they do

Re:open sorce softwares (2, Funny)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667126)

Not sure what your trying to get at so I'll cover a wide range of possabilitys.

iSpell vs MsWord: Ms Word has some very bad habbits when it comes to spellchecking. There is some major defect that once triggered Ms Word will produce incorrect results.
One might accuse the Slashdot team of using Ms Word to find spelling errors.

Slashdot: Yeah they are kinda in a hurry. A normal newspaper will have profesional proff readers. Slashdot has nothing, nada, zip and nada III.

Lastly merging points 1 and 2.
Microsoft has a history of screwing up forgen languages.
If Slashdot was using a version of Linux localised for India they probably wouldn't have access to an ENGLISH spell checker.

not any more (1)

AussieVamp2 (636560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667203)

Newspapers USED to pay proof readers, fact checkers, etc.

Fairly clear that nowhere near as much of this happens now.

Why Linux Sucks (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667071)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues. Example comments:

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Linux?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin, then do chmod +x on the file. Then you have to su to root, make sure you type export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.2.5 but ONLY if you have that latest libc6 installed. If you don't, don't set that environment variable or the installer will dump core. Before you run the installer, make sure you have the GL drivers for X installed. Get them at [some obscure web address], chmod +x the binary, then run it, but make sure you have at least 10MB free in /tmp or the installer will dump core. After the installer is done, edit /etc/X11/XF86Config and add a section called "GL" and put "driver nv" in it. Make sure you have the latest version of X and Linux kernel 2.6 or else X will segfault when you start. OK, run the Quake 3 installer and make sure you set the proper group and setuid permissions on quake3.bin. If you want sound, look here [link to another obscure web site], which is a short HOWTO on how to get sound in Quake 3. That's all there is to it!"

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Windows?"
Zealot: "Oh God, I had to install Quake 3 in Windoze for some lamer friend of mine! God, what a fucking mess! I put in the CD and it took about 3 minutes to copy everything, and then I had to reboot the fucking computer! Jesus Christ! What a retarded operating system!"

So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy and natural. Hence, the preference towards Windows.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (1)

X1011 (819111) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667119)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Aww, you mean that linux will always have more than 1% marketshare and never go below 1%? I'm disapointed.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (2, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667237)

Well. And then there's Linspire.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667747)

Sure, if you want to pay $$$ for software that is already free and easy to install (via various GUI or CLI package managers) in other distros.

Hey, let's run everything as root! It's okay, because Lindows will sell me a virus scanner*!

* which detects Windows viruses

Easy to install... (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667242)

Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package"

Bah, using Linux is much easier than this; all I have to do is turn my computer on with the Knoppix disc in the drive, and I'm good to go; no fuss, no muss.

Seriously, this is a wonderful thing. If Linux can get out there on the desktops in widespread use before Microsoft gets its crippleware in front of everyone, it will set a standard that will be hard for Microsoft to overcome. Somebody (preferably some non-me person) should set up a fund that presses CDs with the goal of getting one in the hands of every country's citizens for free, especially countries where Microsoft doesn't have a firm grasp on the market yet. Hey, it worked for AOL. Before long, maybe zealots will be answering lame questions about how to get Tux Racer to run on Windows for those weird people that are using it instead of the free operating system everyone else is using...

Re:Why Linux Sucks (3, Interesting)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667308)

This is absolutely true and though I've been a geekoid sort for years, I don't have the genes for arrogant assumption of superiority based on my interests and likes versus the common world. Therefore, I get called a troll by Linux kids who weren't even alive when I was selling code I'd written.

I remember before Linux was widely accepted and only the province of masochistic Unix veterans who fervently believed there had to be some way to salvage some of their investment in skill building in that area lest their suffering have truly been for no better reason than to test their endurance come the day when it died. In that time, the biggest cry of the junior geek brigade against Microsoft was that Windows 3.11 for Workgroups wasn't integrated enough, and configuring DOS .ini files was too hard and too often.

I have not failed to notice that many of the same people are now whining about the totally integrated Windows XP is "teh suxx0r" compared to Linux because Linux has all these powerful command prompt things and all these configuration files and...

The justification for hating Microsoft is just that, a justification for hating Microsoft. And usually by people doing it because it is in and cool in their minds. If you went by most of the Linux crowd's anti-MS rhetoric, you'd swear that Windows XP was harder to use than DOS and less stable than Gary Busey with a .10 and a wobbly axle cycle. Of course, it isn't. And the ease of use and learning curve are only slightly greater than that of the AOL interface software.

Just because we geeks can do technical things, and do them well, and maybe even love them, does not mean that people who are not like us are losers and unworthy of life. Granted there's plenty of people who fit that bill, but in general our ability to twiddle bits, rewrite build scripts, and so on, does not make us super superior and the fact that it is fashionable to hate on Microsoft doesn't make it right and justified by sheer numbers.

I am angry with them from the point of view of the honor of coders and their tendency to lie regarding the quality of their code and its completion status. (MS: it's finished. Me: no, it's still barely beta as far as stability is concerned. MS: it's finished. Me: hello, is this a recording?)

With respect to India doing this, they're falling for the idea that free beats paid and that the fine points of useability and logical sense and stability will sort themselves out on the backs of the adopters. This is like assuming an endless supply of free hatchets is superior to a well built and maintained chainsaw from the heavy equipment shop. Not if you're taking down fifty trees it isn't, not even if you have five thousand peons to wield the hatchets. The problems are not irrellevant and they won't take care of themselves.

All this assumes of course that FOSS is the only solution. Hello? Megacorporation IBM failed miserably with OS/2 and we all know SCO's history and that Apple is only alive in its current state of health today because they took a monetary injection from Microsoft. Having lots of money is not a guarantee of anything any more than software being free making it inherently more pure and righteous. For fark's sake people, viruses, trojans, and adware are free.

Nevertheless, I am not holding my breath that enough people will read this with a sober mind and clear head without knee-jerk thinking "troll". Just you think that. I'll be building dual-boot Windows/Linux systems for the technically inclined while you try to scream at some more Joe Sixpacks that Linux is superior and they're stupid for using AOL and Windows' point-click simplicity over your OS choice that takes someone whose vocation technology is to install, configure, and use at the same level as their Win boxes.

Linux install was a no-brainer 12 years ago ... (2, Interesting)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667560)

I remember before Linux was widely accepted and only the province of masochistic Unix veterans who fervently believed there had to be some way to salvage some of their investment in skill building in that area lest their suffering have truly been for no better reason than to test their endurance come the day when it died.

I remember 12 years ago when my first Linux was trivial to install, with sound and video. Yggdrasil plug and play Linux. I had used BSD at the University so one day I picked up a FreeBSD CD and a Yggdrasil CD at a local computer show, about US$20 all together. I tried FreeBSD first given my background, it crashed while installing on my 486DX2-66. I tried Yggdrasil, it installed, it recognized my ATI Mach32 (I don't think I had a 64 yet but I could be mistaken) and SoundBlaster 16 and configured automatically. How many old timers would have been turned off of Linux if it had not been so simple back then, that first generation of Linux advocates might not gotten the ball rolling.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (1)

64nDh1 (872430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667756)

That is a great point and well made. If I had a cap I would be dothing it to you sir (or madam?).

I see it similarly I think. Complaining about users using Windows because you're a Linux praising coder who wouldn't stoop to using Gates' platform is akin to someone harrassing another person for eating at McDonalds. Sure you could get better food, you could get cheaper food, or you could get really high quality food, and you might be opposed to some practices by the corporation which are outside of ethical standards. So why in the hell do so many people eat at McDonalds? Because it's convenient. You've got the price or a reasonable meal and you don't want to wait.

Why do people use Windows? It's a reasonable price, and it's preinstalled more often than not. There are less hurdles to overcome and it isn't even close to being a requirement for the user to be able to pick his way through the kernel, or construct hacks from a limited knowledge of C++. It's a commodity first, investment of time and resources second (or am I wrong on this and do professional PC sales account for greater takings than home PCs?).

That said, Gentoo does have Portage which is as handy for installation of software as the "point-click simplicity" of Windows .

I also like the use of the word Fark. But as a former Farker, I would.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (1)

sirReal.83. (671912) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667432)

So you're complaining that id can't be bothered to actually package their software for Linux, when they do it for Windows?

They could provide one RPM package, and let that be all. If they wanted to be nice they could provide a Debian package as well. But they don't. I just don't see how that means that 'Linux Sucks'.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (1)

theconartist (844674) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667464)

Try that same argument, but this time include autopackage and lets which side it supports.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (4, Insightful)

gvc (167165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667465)

The parent makes 3 assertions:

1. Linux is hard[er than Windows] to install.
2. Linux doesn't run Windows games well.
3. Linux is hard[er than Windows] for ordinary people to understand.

I have recently installed Windows XP and MEPIS Linux. The latter was much easier. Didn't ask me about domain controllers, or make me hit single keys like "1" and "8" and "y" and choose between NTFS and FAT and choose between quick format and real format ... Not only that, MEPIS booted to a desktop in the time it took the XP disk to ask me the first text-mode question.

Windows games don't run on Linux. So what? Lots of people use computers for communication, computation, and composition. If you want to play games, fine. Buy Windows or a PS2 ...

You said, "what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy."

I suggest that the fact that Windows geekdom has somewhat more members than Linux geekdom makes Windows neither easy nor natural for "regular people."

Re:Why Linux Sucks (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667513)

maybe its just because i'm used to windows but i find that when linux works out of the box it does so butifully.

when your hardware is for whatever reason not properly supported out of the box you can't just grab a makers driver cd and install the driver you need like you can on windows. If there is a linux driver at all it will most likely require figuring out where to get headers for your kernel and then hoping that the module will build ok against your kernel version.

on the other hand linux does support a lot more hardware than windows out of the box. Installing windows on a system without the original driver cds for all the parts is a nightmare.

also there are specific classes of hardware with which linux really sucks. For example wireless network cards and usb adsl modems (i know you can use a home router with built in adsl modem but then you are stuck behind a cheap and nasty nat) you can get a few home routers that can terminate the pppoa whilst still providing the real ip to the box connected by ethernet but theese are rare and some of them also seem to not get on very well with the way linux handles dhcp.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (2, Interesting)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667474)

Actually, you've got a point. Installing apps on linux can be really overwhelming to new users. But, to moderately experienced users, installing apps does become a smooth process, and when the apps are installed on linux, they are better fit to the system's configuration than corresponding Windows apps. Consequently, they are more stable. They are also (mostly) free and don't have to be replaced or repurchased every couple of years.

What will eventually lead to greater adoption of Linux is the growing number of experienced users available to assist the newcomers. While Windows seems easier to work with, the reality is that it's just user-familiar, not user-friendly.

Now, maybe you can tell me how to install my original version of Quake on Windows XP Pro?

Re:Why Linux Sucks (2, Insightful)

EEPS (829675) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667476)

Wow, TFA didn't mention Linux once, and the first post I see is flaming linux. You say linux Zealot this and linux Zealot that, well I say you are a Winodows Zealot. TFA is about open source software in general, most likely on the Windows platform. If you have a problem with Open source in general... then thats a whole different thing.

Not true anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667493)

This isn't true anymore. No one needs to use apt-get or emerge from the commandline anymore, there are GUI tools for these tasks that are installed by default on the distributions that use each relevant packaging system.

And regarding Quake 3: This is pure nonsense. If you use a distribution from 3 years ago, for example RH 7.1, then your installation description might hold true. But with any decent distro it's a point and click installer just like on MSWindows.

Re:Why Linux Sucks - Quake 3 outsourcing. (1)

Daverz (1471) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667519)

Oh, my god, you're right! if the Indian Government goes through with this, Western companies will move their offshore video game playing from Bangalore to Shanghai.

Why Computers Suck (2, Interesting)

soloport (312487) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667553)

You're using a made-for-Windows game as an illustration? Ok.

How do I get regular, made-for-Linux apps to install on Linux? Simple: I fire up Synaptic (a GUI based installer). It prompts me for my root password (same as "Administrator" on a well-managed Windows box). It loads the hundreds and hundreds of packages available to me (which are free). I search for and select a package (or several at once) and click the "Proceed" button.

Is that so tough? Well, perhaps is is if you've NEVER done it before.

And no more difficult than what my clients do, every day: Click Start->Run...->Browse... -- look for setup.exe (but only see 'Setup' and wonder). Then they call me to stop by and install the application for them. No kidding.

Re:Why Linux Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667573)

[climbing on soap box]
Ya know what - I really don't care whether Linux is user friendly. I also don't give a shit about running Quake 3 (or 4 or 5 or 28). I'm sick of reading crap from people about how they've been doing this since "before Windows 3.1" - woo hoo! I've been doing this since we had to key in the fucking code with the front panel switches in binary. Anybody remember paper tape? IBM punch cards were the new thing when I started. I could give a shit whether every mom and pop in the world runs Microsoft. What I'm really fed up with is managers coming in to tell me how I should run my systems with Microsoft instead of Linux/UNIX because that's what they have on their desktop and it works great for them. That's like having an aquarium on your desk and saying you're an oceanographer. Buy a fucking vowel people! You want to do real computer work, don't use Windows. You wanna play games, go ahead but you'd be better off buying an Xbox 360 or PS3. I hope that those people in India who have to do real processing get it right. Those wanting to play games, surf the net, and do email can use Windows - 'cause I don't have to listen to them whine when their system goes to shit.
[descending from soap box]

Re:Why Linux Sucks (1)

luwain (66565) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667576)

Actually, Linux market share may increase not because it grabs more "home" desktops, but because it will gain more "business" desktops. Linux flavors like Sun's Java Desktop and Novell/SUSE offerings are geared towards the business desktop. Most business applications (like Open Office) install just as easily as their Windows' counterparts, or will come pre-configured and installed with the OS. The crap one has to go through to install something like Quake 3 actually works in Linux's favor for the business desktop. EMployers don't want their employees installing Quake 3 on their computers! I recently had a client of mine ask me if there was a way I could prevent his employees from installing programs on their computers (running Windows 2000). Having Linux boxes is ideal for businesses,because, while the business applications are similar enough to their Windows counterparts in ease of use, the unfamiliarity of installation procedures to most employees will prevent them from messing with the companiy's "default" configured computers. Also, since linux doesn't have the market share, it is not attacked as vociferously by virus writers. So right now, Linux should become wildly popular on business desktops. Already in Asia, I believe governments have made Linux their official Operating System. Linux may become popular at home in Asia then, for the same reason many people buy Windows machines here -- because it's what they use at work...

Where Zealots Want to Go Today (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667593)

I guess that's why Linux is so suitable in India, long a home to every kind of zealot ever found on Earth.

Yay! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667077)

OMGWTFBBQ first post!

In a nutshell (-1, Flamebait)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667078)

So basically we're good enough for jobs, but not good enough for products.

This 'free trade' thing is working out real keen guys.

Re:In a nutshell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667098)


MANY people HERE use those free products. What does this have to do with "us not being good enough for products"?

Re:In a nutshell (1)

mbrewthx (693182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667106)

My Indian Dr. thinks so. And he uses WIndows..

Re:In a nutshell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667117)

More like India doesn't want the CIA to use Windows' backdoor into the Military Info structure they are building up now.

Oh and *nix/BSD are products of decades of western work. Just really cheap products....oh that's right it's only fair that we get the cheap products and services from China/India and not the other way around. Talk about double standards.

Nice planning. (4, Funny)

get out of debt (886275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667082)

Great woo hoo I got a CD. Now all i need is a pc, monitor and keyboards.

Re:Nice planning. (1)

get out of debt (886275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667090)

Oops i totally forgot about a steady source of power.

Re:Nice planning. (1)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667146)

Great woo hoo I got a CD. Now all i need is a pc, monitor and keyboards.

If you're building a Windows machine
then the hardware us the cheap part.

Now all i need is a pc (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667292)

Simputer []

New ! PicoPeta Simputers Pvt Ltd unveils Amida Simputer for the retail market

The Simputer is a low cost portable alternative to PCs, by which the benefits of IT can reach the common man.

It has a special role in the third world because it ensures that illiteracy is no longer a barrier to handling a computer.

The key to bridging the digital divide is to have shared devices that permit truly simple and natural user interfaces based on sight, touch and audio.

The Simputer meets these demands through a browser for the Information Markup Language (IML). IML has been created to provide a uniform experience to users and to allow rapid development of solutions on any platform.


Re:Now all i need is a pc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667380)

I say we train Simps to use Simputers and do all our work for us. They have an IQ of what, 60?

Another potentially missed deadline... (1)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667092)

Debian was supposed to release by the end of the month; it's coming down to the wire. But we don't talk about Open Source Software in a negative light here, so "M$ is teh suck!".

Re:Another potentially missed deadline... (4, Funny)

Quirk (36086) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667329)

Your sig: "If you find this post offensive, don't read it!"

Do you suffer from some weird kind of epistemological dyslexia? Do you, unlike the rest of us, have some grok like, gestalten faculity that allows you to sense whether a post is offensive before you read it? Ah, you are a l337 jedi, able to sense the dark side.

Re:Another potentially missed deadline... (1)

solios (53048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667353)

Said .sig makes just as much sense as software EULAs printed on the back of the manual in the box... which you explicitly agreed to implicitly in full by opening the shrinkwrap on the box.

Re:Another potentially missed deadline... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667447)

Never having read an EULA I can't comment.

Re:Another potentially missed deadline... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667443)

Wow, you have even more free time to waste than I do...

/me bites troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667467)

Release update: minor delay; no non-RC fixes; upgrade reports []


Well, just in case it wasn't obvious to everyone from looking at the
release-critical bug stats, we should probably come out and say it: the
the count of release critical issues affecting sarge is still going
down, but it's not yet down to zero, which means no release this

But we are *very* close, so we're only pushing the schedule back a week
and aiming for a release next weekend.

The only real blocker as of today are the release critical bugs. If you
have any of them in your own package, take care of them now. You
wouldn't want to be known as The Maintainer Who Held Up The Release, and
you probably don't want your package removed from sarge, either. :)
Otherwise, if you want to help us, please continue to squash RC bugs and
help with the preparation of the release notes and processing of upgrade
reports. We're at a point now where more hands are not going to speed
up the release, though, so if you aren't already involved in these
tasks, you might want to just relax for a bit and start your Release
Party preparations.

There has been a great deal of interest from maintainers wanting
to get fixes into sarge. Thank you for helping to make your packages the
best possible for sarge! However, since we are in a freeze, each fix
requires time from a member of the release team to check the package for
regressions. Given the pure number of requests, this is a major time sink,
so please make sure that your request matches our criterias before sending
it in.

This means that, for all packages that still need to be updated for
sarge, the rules are (still) as follows:

- Updates are only possible for RC-bug fixes and translation and
documentation improvements.

- If your package needs to be updated for sarge, and the version in
unstable doesn't contain extraneous changes (e.g, the version is the
same between testing and unstable), please upload your fix to
unstable and contact

- If the version in unstable already includes significant changes not
related to the bug to be fixed, contact debian-release about
uploading to testing-proposed-updates. Changed dependencies, new
upstream versions, changed library names, and completely rewriting
the packaging are "significant changes". So are lots of other

- If the version in unstable won't reach testing because of new
library dependencies, contact debian-release about uploading to

- If in doubt, contact debian-release first.

- In all cases, when preparing an upload please do not make changes to
the package that are not related to fixing the bugs in question.
Doing so makes it more time consuming for the release team to review
and approve such requests, delaying the release. It also delays the
fix for your package, because you will be asked to reupload.

- When contacting the release team, please explain why you are
requesting an update. Bug numbers are a must. The more we can
figure out from your first email and your changelog (if any), the
more quickly we can get your update in.

- If you have a package that needs updating, *please* don't forget to
contact us. *Don't expect us to find out about it on our own*.
Putting a comment in the changelog is not contacting the release
team. :) (This has happened at least a couple of times during the
base freeze; it's not a very good way of getting your package
approved quickly.)

Also, please remember that we can't promise anything about non-RC-bug
fixes, given the high number of requests that hit us. And, for releasing
sarge, we just need to say "no" sometimes. It's way too late for random
changes now; and even asking a member of a release team about such a
change causes work for the release team and takes time away from working
on release blockers.

To summarize again what is acceptable for a freeze exception:

- fixes for release critical bugs (i.e., bugs of severity critical,
grave, and serious)

- translation updates

- documentation fixes

See < 4/08/msg00001.html [] >
and < 5/05/msg00001.html [] >
for comparison.

As always, it is the release team's goal to get as much good software
into sarge as possible. However, a freeze does not mean that your
package is ensured a spot in the release. Please continue to stay on
top of release-critical bugs in packages that you maintain; RC bugs in
optional or extra packages that remain unfixed after five days will
still be grounds for removal from testing (and as of now, re-introducing
such packages is not possible any more).

Please also note that since many updates (hopefully, the vast majority)
will still be going in through unstable, major changes in unstable right
now can disrupt efforts to get RC bugs fixed. We don't ask you not to
make changes in unstable, but we do ask that you be aware of the effects
your changes can have -- especially if you maintain a library -- and to
feel free to continue making use of experimental where appropriate.
Note once again that you can stage NEW uploads in experimental to avoid
disruption in unstable.


So the remaining (very short) timeline looks like this:

27 May 2005 (that's today)
~50 RC bugs (~30 w/o security)
Permanent Bug Squashing Party

Since the start of the freeze, there have been a couple of rounds of new
RC bugs filed, the result of which is still being cleaned up. So, the
official RC bug markers have not gone down as far as wanted, but we are
making great process towards release. Just a few more bugs to go!

A large fraction of these bugs (ten or so) are bugs about kernel-patch
packages that don't apply to sarge kernels, and should be removed
shortly. The rest of the bugs also need to be addressed in short order,
by removals or fixes; as well as various behind-the-scenes bugs that are
closed but the fixes have not quite yet reached sarge.

1 June 2005
~15 RC bugs (excluding security bugs)
0 RC bugs not tagged "sarge"

As before, being able to hold to this schedule depends heavily on a
steadily dropping RC bug count, so if that isn't happening, the timeline
will have to be tweaked accordingly. Security bugs will, however, not
figure into this count for the most part because they can and will be
fixed post-release.

3 June 2005
0 RC bugs

Any remaining release-critical bugs will be fixed through uploads to
testing-proposed-updates or by removals from sarge.

With a final cut of the installer in the bag and the effective RC count
down to zero, it's time to finalize the installation manual and release
notes and to create official CD images.

6 June 2005

And a little time passes, the CD team and the FTP team take a few
minutes out of their relaxing weekends to wave their magic wands, and
if the incantation works right, we'll have a shiny new release on

We'll continue to post updates as the freeze goes on. For now, please
concentrate on fixing the last few issues.

Andi Barth
Debian Release Team

India likes OS software (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667101)

Tell us something we didnt know. What was interesting to me though was

Eventually, the government plans to release CDs in all of the 22 official languages of India.

Holy crap, just how many languages exactly does a country need! I know its a big place but 22! It must require 95% of all IT resources just to localise software. How do they manage to find time for offshore work?

Re:India likes OS software (5, Informative)

jpu8086 (682572) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667128)

Those 22 languages (AFAIK, there are only 18 official languages, but maybe this has changed recently) are the ones spoken by at least one million people.

There are many other "minor" languages spoken by other people.

Mind you, these are not dialects. These are full-blown unique languages with unique written scripts (however, many of them do share common traits).

It is amazing how we are able to maintain a democracy, let alone a country.

Re:India likes OS software (-1)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667230)

spoken by at least one million people.

btw, i think you probably meant a billion

and yes, there are a lot of languages, but english seems to be well known with the upper class and educated indians (and those people make the chunk of the computer users), which is why localization hasn't been a big issue in india,

but if you are to bring it to the commoners, then it is required.

Re:India likes OS software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667283)

btw, i think you probably meant a billion

No, he means there are specific dialects that have at least one million speakers per dialect.

Re:India likes OS software (1)

millette (56354) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667357)

Coneasfast, just how many billion people do you think there are in India ?

Re:India likes OS software (1)

jpu8086 (682572) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667385)

ROFL. 22 billion+?

btw, yeah, i meant what i wrote! =)

Re:India likes OS software (2, Insightful)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667129)

>Holy crap, just how many languages exactly does a country need!

I know you weren't passing a judgment, but the number of languages in a country is not about a "need." It's more about the diversity of cultural/ethnical heritage. Also, I imagine the recognition of different languages as "official" probably contribute quite a bit to the preservation of different culture/ethnicity and improve political relations between them.

Re:India likes OS software (2, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667162)

I'm all for cultural diversity but what struck me about it was that if India is anything like Ireland, there will always be someone demanding the govt provide this service ot that in Gailge. For 2 languages its a pain but doable, 22 languages though I would have though would lead to an administrative nighmare.

I assume Hindi is accepted as standard language so people can actually communicate with each other.

Re:India likes OS software (3, Interesting)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667667)

I assume Hindi is accepted as standard language so people can actually communicate with each other.

Actually, they use English. Ended up spending a month or so over there and found I could communicate better with the taxi drivers in New Delhi than NYC.

Re:India likes OS software (1)

64nDh1 (872430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667668)

Damnit I know this is irretrievably off topic. But I want to post the link so why the hell not.

Why reply to this comment? You mentioned Ireland and I'm Irish.

Why in this thread? Because my login is 64nDh1. Yes, I'm stuck with it now, but a 1337 version of the common name for Indian pacifist and political leader Mohandas Karamchai Gandhi.

What does this have to do with OSS in India? Nothing, but [] " target="_blank">Google seems to associate the only other instance of 64nDh1 usage it can find on the web on a page that I haven't contributed to.

It's a reference to the Free Software Foundation of India. I haven't checked it out, I'm not interested in whether this is piracy or OSS in the link. I just wanted to blurt out something about what I found to be an odd coincidence.

Feel free to mod this down, and resume your lives as you were.

Re:India likes OS software (3, Insightful)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667345)

People who think of India as just another country don't realize how vast and diverse it is. It's really its own continent, with over twice the population of Europe and probably twice the cultural diversity in language, custom, and religion.

If you thought about India as a federation of many different nations with their own markets, languages, and so on, you'd be closer to the mark.

It's a fascinating place and I'd like to visit it someday. India is an enormous and invaluable repository of human culture and history.

Re:India likes OS software (1)

anand78 (832850) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667639)

A little education for you, India was made on the same grounds as US. Before British invasion India was multiple Kingdoms with their own language culture. British rule was able to bring all of these small states as one. This however changed nothing in the language people spoke. When we got our independence we started annexing these states. The last state annexed was in the 60's was GOA from Portugal. Now for a interesting fact even though the Govt tries to push Hindi as the National language but South India refuses to speak that language. So we have a big country where if you cross a state border you land somewhere where even the street signs are unreadable because it is in a local language. Now we have technically more than 22 languages but the process of making a Dialect into a language is retarded at best. For example Bhojpuri is a language that is spoken in Surinam, Maurititius and other carribean countries. When it comes to India Bhojpuri is a dialect. To answer the retard who thought Indian spell wrongly get your facts right, TOEFL and GRE English India scores the highest every time. Besides British English is not always thought as gramatically correct in US.

Re:India likes OS software (3, Informative)

The Original Yama (454111) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667785)

Off the top of my head, India has about 1,600 (yes, that's ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED) recognised languages and dialects, and probably many more.

From the CIA World Factbook [] :

English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language

That's great (5, Interesting)

TheWingThing (686802) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667107)

As an Indian myself, one of the things that really plague users of Indian language versions of software is the non-standardized fonts and encodings. Most of them do not use UTF-8, and non-standard fonts are all over the place. This effort I think will promote the creators of software and content publishers to adhere to a standard, if the Govt initiatives gain a big userbase. Try visiting some Indian language websites, and you'll see what I mean. You need a custom font for every single website, it drives you crazy. I think the Govt efforts will encourage Indian language publishers (all 20+ languages) to adhere to standards like UTF-8.

Re:That's great (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667252)

I think you're probably right, but I still find it interesting that you're talking about linguistic standards in this way. Language (spoken and written) were, after all, among the first "standards" ever employed by the human race.

India choking its own economy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667108)

PC-ness aside, wouldn't they be choking their own economy in the long run? Wouldn't the volume of outsourced tech jobs take a hit if India as a country deploy free software?

Re:India choking its own economy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667265)

Why? All the out-sourced jobs are from companies foreign to India.

I suppose all the jobs will be out-outsourced from India to Indonesia and the Phillipines for even cheaper labor?

Re:India choking its own economy? (2, Insightful)

Truth_Quark (219407) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667506)

I doubt that very much.

More exposure to tech creates better techies.
Exposure to OSS includes the ability for the exposee to peep under the hood, and have a tweak, if one is that way inclined. And in a country of 1.4 thousand million, (or "billion" as americans insist on calling "thousand million"), more that one person is going to be that way inclined - Increasing the IT savvy of the people can only be good for the economy in the future.

Furthermore, extending the interface to all 22 official languages in India is going to be very useful and poplular, and expensive for closed source software companies to duplicate.

I wouldn't be suprised if there is also a lot of interest in these applications by expatriot Indians interested in bringing up multi-lingual children. (And Sri-Lankans, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis for that matter).

What about open source? (1)

blueadept1 (844312) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667110)

They should really try open source software before they start mass distribution of open sorce software.

Coincidence? (2, Funny)

lecithin (745575) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667112)

Current Slashdot Submission - Linux: Indian Government Keen on Open Source

Last Slashdot Submission - Ask Slashdot: Using Computer Stores to Spread Open Source?

Lemmie think here...

Future Submission? Apu: Thank You, Come Again!

Re:Coincidence? (0, Redundant)

puiahappy (855662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667159)

And what is so bad about the OSS news ? I like very much to hear about such things. I also live in a poor country and use OSS. And YES for us who didn`t have money it`s very important that we have an alternative choise and love to hear about it improved, promoted and distributed.

Re:Coincidence? (1)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667222)

I think he was making a joke from the populare american TV show "The Simpsons"

Apu is an Indian convence store clerk in the show.
He is suggesting the next step is to find Linux distro CDs at convence stores for like $5 a disk.

That would turely rock.
However my dream is to see Linux distributed like AoL disks.
Linux distro CDs dropping out of mags. In everyones mail boxes.

"I'm sick of Windows. Give me one of those coasters zeek I'm going to install it."

Insert evil laugh.

Yeah it'd need to have some service attached or you couldn't fund it.
Earthlink Linux, AoL Linux, Compuserve Linux, (Insert ISP) Linux.
Also folowing in the steps of Lindows would be Linux destros with automated update services that you pay monthly or yearly to keep your system up to date.

Holy Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667114)

I was going to comment on the story, but something else came up:
These new captchas are getting harder and harder to read. WHAT THE HELL FOR? Stop dicking around, Malda, why don't you do something constructive like making this site XHTML 1.1 compliant?

Took me 3 tries to post... fuck you
You failed to confirm you are a human. Please double-check the 7-letter image and make sure you typed in what it says.

umm (1, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667116)

Windows XP Starter Edition is the stupidest idea ever...

Re:umm (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667139)

I don't know.

I think filling tubes with a flammable liquid and lighting them on fire to simulate light sabers is a little stupider than Windows XP Started Edition :)

Re:umm (1, Offtopic)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667277)

I think filling tubes with a flammable liquid and lighting them on fire to simulate light sabers is a little stupider than Windows XP Started Edition :)

Yeah, but it's not like there's anyone stupid enough to actually do that...oh wait...nevermind. Forget I posted :P

Re:umm (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667454)

You're obviously a geek, because you have no sense of delivery.

Go choke on a dick, fagmo.

more stupid ideas... (1)

mbaudis (585035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667546)

you have some strong contenders to Windows XP Starter Edition:

  • windows 1.0
  • windows 3.0
  • windows 3.1
  • windows 95
  • windows 98
  • windows ME (very strong, this one)
  • windows 2000
  • windows XP
  • windows XP service pack 2
  • windows "longhorn" (or, as some cartoon caracter would say, "fuuuuutuuuure!!!!"

maybe time for another /. poll?

Re:umm (1)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667754)

It's pretty well named though.

It's like calling a pack of Marlboro 60s a "Marlboro Starter Pack"

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667134)

Next they'll outsource the users...

Downloadable version (3, Informative)

TheWingThing (686802) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667164)

The Indian language CD (currently, Tamil only) can be downloaded from [] - the website maintained by the government. But it's already slowed down, try after a few days. Most SW is available for both Linux and Windows.

empahsis (1)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667171)

Shouldn't India be worrying about more important things like reducing the population, and feeding it? Computers, and even moreso such specific things like what development model is used for software, are so trivial when compared with war and starvation.

Re:empahsis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667221)

Creating more geeks should reduce the population nicely.

Re:empahsis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667243)

If that is what you think India is ... you dont have any 'sound+vision'..

Re:empahsis (4, Insightful)

be-fan (61476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667282)

Um, what war plagues India? Border skirmishes with Pakistan? War plagues the American heartland more than it plagues India...

Anyway, hippies amuse me. What is the only way to deal with starvation? Money! How do you make money? By spending less, and making more. Linux should help the Indian government do both.

Re:empahsis (2, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667309)

Not that I'm a big fan of outsourcing because it totally sucks for those of us left in the tech industry in the U.S., but...

By worrying about things such as computers and development models, India is vastly improving its economic situation, raising the standard of living for its citizens and enabling itself to provide basic necessities of which you speak.

If I were Inidan, I would see their (our, I guess, if I were Indian) progress over the past decade as an extremely hopeful sign of economic power that the country has never known before; perhaps even strong enough someday soon to compete with the big bad U.S. We (I'm not Indian any more, I'm referring to the U.S.) may not be the "land of opportunity" much longer, and I'll bet that India is one a lot of places that would be more than willing to take our place.

Remember how Japan dominated our auto industry over the course of less than a decade? It's very possible that we won't hold on to our software development leadership role for much longer precisely because places like India are setting their goals higher than merely managing war and poverty.

Re:empahsis (2, Funny)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667311)

Shouldn't India be worrying about more important things like reducing the population, and feeding it?

If you leave those two problems alone long enough, they'll solve each other.

(Note to humorless mods: this is a joke!)

Re:empahsis (1)

Phil06 (877749) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667611)

What about the growth of the programing trade in India? Hasn't this been raising their standard of living? The Indian government is and should be interested in training and enabling programmers so they can take advantage of this national resource, trading this resource for better living conditions for their people. Should the Indian government promote giving away this resource as in FOSS?
Free as in some other sucker pays.

Re:empahsis (1)

anand78 (832850) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667737)

Watch what you say "reduce" what do you mean Kill the polulation or something.

piracy (2, Insightful)

I_bet_this_is_not_al (882242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667182)

Well this is good to hear, but the biggest problem in India is software piracy--as long as people continue to get WinXP and MSOffice cdroms for less than a dollar, I don't see how their (our) ignorant minds will agree to trash Microsoft and go open source...

Re:piracy (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667612)

I don't see how their (our) ignorant minds will agree to trash Microsoft and go open source...

Dude, all three apps listed in the article are Open Source Windows programs.


Re:piracy (1)

I_bet_this_is_not_al (882242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667704)

yea Dude, and they are apparently _not_ microsoft programs. Think before you write crap. The point is that I really don't see people switching, free cds or not. I spent years trying to persuade highschool teachers, friends, relatives, whatever without success. People have IE so they don't want Firefox, they have their one dollar msoffice so they don't want ooffice, they have outlook so they don't want some crappy mail client. So much for the native languages, the fact of the matter is that nobody even cares about writing in Tamil or Hindi on his computer since it is simply not practical, given the english keyboards. English is one of the official languages of India, and when it comes to documents, the language of choice. I don't see where all this is going. I think the anti-piracy steps taken by micrsoft is the one thing that'll make people switch. I think its a blessing in disguise.

"plans to release a low-cost version of Windows"b (3, Interesting)

Senor_Programmer (876714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667227)

One thing that has always puzzled me is why Microsoft has not verticall segmented windows. It'a a common practice with hardware. Remember all the different model typewriters IBM used to market, or HP and the range of printers.

I used to sell computers back in the 80's. I'd ask the cstomer. What do you want to do with your computer? The usual answer was, "Oh, just some basic word processing". So I'd sell the adequate hardware and software to do that.

These days I bet the most common answer is.
Word processing, internet, photography, and taxes.
Entry level windows, if it did all these things, economically, would sell like hotcakes. Wordpad and notepad are not quite enough and office is way too much for most people. Why doesn't Microsoft have a cokkection of office products. Home office, law office, accountants office, presenters office, Super office(does it all).

They should also split by processor. 32 bit vs 64 bit and not one product for all.

The models for splitting products by functionality and performance to maximize overall profit are well known, yet MS seems to have ignored to opportunity to apply this to software.

IMO they are a decade late and billions short with their entry level windows...

Re:"plans to release a low-cost version of Windows (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667538)

because they don't want you to be happy with a suitable product. they're trying to make money, not make good software.

the way they've handled office document compatibility is so appalling they must either be completely retarded, or they must intentionally make things difficult so you always need the latest, high-price office suite.

XP Starter is almost completely unusable for modern computing. that's how it's supposed to be. to get you hooked a little, and then pay for the expensive full version.

Re:"plans to release a low-cost version of Windows (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667825)

The models for splitting products by functionality and performance to maximize overall profit are well known, yet MS seems to have ignored to opportunity to apply this to software.

There were versions of Word Perfect for medical and law offices, at a premium price.

Microsoft sold Office components you could mix and match and customize as needed throughout your organization, if your needs were simpler, there was always Microsoft Works or a Works suite with Microsoft Word. Currently, Student-Teacher Office, which might as well be called Office Home Edition, lists for $150 and installs on three PCs.

I wonder if the article author... (4, Insightful)

Osrin (599427) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667246)

... has actually worked with the Government of India. Suggesting that they have a single preference to something is like suggesting that all beer tastes good. (have you tried that stuff from the UK?).

The GoI is many millions of people scattered through hundreds of local, regional and national departments. The likelihood of seeing a common policy position through all those independent individuals is slim.

The GoI will continue to grow its IT capability through as many channels as possible, promoting many different technologies, of which Linux will be one and Windows will be another. Market forces pretty much make the selection from there forwards.

The OSS community has been all to quick to jump up and down heralding the wonders of other government decisions in the past... there is a lesson that needs to be learned though, things like this are just one small step on a much longer and much more complex journey.

There is still a lot of work to be done...

Re:I wonder if the article author... (2, Interesting)

cygnusx (193092) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667347)

Agree. I'm going to wonder what impression 'government distribution' of Linux is going to create on the common man. Especially since anything else the government does or distributes -- being it statefunded education or condoms -- is perceived as being low-quality and inferior by the masses and tolerated simply because it's free.

Free vs Free. (3, Insightful)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667259)

Linux is free as in chai in India, but so is Windows Server 2003 Enterprise edition.

The localization is the key feature here, and has nothing to do with price. But watch for the 100's of posts about cost anyway ;)

An expensive set of brakes (1)

ehack (115197) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667260)

An expensive set of brakes will be needed to stop this. Hmmm, a visit by the US trade secretary ? Buying up all the CDs ? I think this is more of a ploy by the policticans to squeeze money out of MS than a real attempt to push the software out there.

Re:An expensive set of brakes (4, Insightful)

timmyf2371 (586051) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667319)

What makes you think that, other than what I suspect to be mere unfounded cynicism?

From what the article says it seems to be more about the localisation of the software than anything else, in an attempt to encourage computer use.

Ah man (0, Flamebait)

be-fan (61476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667271)

I can just imagine the cognative dissonance in a Slashdot-browsing IT worker:

Hmm. I love Linux, but I hate India. Ah! What to do!

Re:Ah man (0, Troll)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667508)

Don't hate India, hate your By-the-Big-Corporation-for-the-Big-Corporation government that would rather take advantage of the cheap resources/labor that a caste (India) or communist (china) or oppressed (insert favorite 3rd world shithole here) society provides, than invest in its own people's economy.

Re:Ah man (2, Interesting)

be-fan (61476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667700)

I don't hate India. Silly people on Slashdot hate India. Either that, or blame our "By-the-Big-Corporation-for-the-Big-Corporation government". What does the government have to do with outsourcing (companies do it, not the government)? What does India's caste system (which is no longer enforced) have to do with things anyway? And how does the caste system help provide cheap programmers?

Geez, the lack of logic and knowledge is frightening.

Re:Ah man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667824)

"Cast system no longer enforced". Hahaha, yeah good one. That's right they just switched it off one day. LOL

Open Sorce? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667293)

Open Sorce? Like wizards sharing with the community? Magic wants to be free!

Re:Open Sorce? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667351)

" Like wizards sharing with the community?"

Wizards never share!

Trade balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667316)

and this is great ! for the trade balance ! oh wait its not...
1 1 billion indians get free linux
2 1 billion indians do not buy windows
3 profit ?????
4 um no.

What am I missing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667343)

I RTFA, but I still don't understand: is this a live disk that will run this stuff, or installs for these programs?

All of the programs mentioned run on a variety of platforms, how is this a blow to M$?

BTW, what the fuck kind of word is "VZBIRYT", and why do I have to fucking type it in?

apparently the word is "VZBIRVT" or I am not a fucking human...

Apparently the fucking thing is broken....

It is fucking broken, here's the test picture [] ...

Tell me what the fuck it is....

Sorce! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667346)

Word's 4th favour non-dictionary word!

Get it right ZONK!

curry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12667408)

Indians only are going for it because its free.

Cheap ass stinky bastards.

Yeah but.... (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12667589)

I hear that the version of these open source packages being distributed in India check the CPU ID and won't work on P-4s and Athalons.

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