platforms, to enable them to make educated
decisions on choice of platform for local language computing
development in their respective countries. It was believed that this
training would trigger research and development activity in this
Before the commencement of the training, there
was a two day long PAN Project Meeting session that was especially
conducted to introduce the PAN Project Country teams to one another,
through the respective project leaders. Roles and expectation of all
the country components, the regional secretariat and IDRC were
discussed by the respective leaders. An intensive exercise on the
formation of baseline surveys for technology, HR and policy were
also conducted during the last day of the Project Meeting.
In the training on local language computing, there were ten
localization experts who were called as trainers. They included Mr.
Ali Basit and Mr. Anas Abbar from Microsoft USA, Mr. Takayuki. K.
Sato from CICC Japan, Mr. Christopher Fynn from United Kingdom, Mr.
Theppitak Karoonbunyanan of Thai Linux from Thailand (referred
through NECTEC), Mr. Roozbeh Pournader from Sharif University, Iran, Dr. Sarmad Hussain, Mr.
Shafique-ur-Rehman, Mr. Aamir Wali and Ms. Tahira Naseem from National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES),
Pakistan. In addition there were twenty two trainees participating
from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China (Tibet), Iran,
Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
Apart from the technical success this training facilitated the
development of a support network for Asian localization, since this
training included participation of localization researchers from
fifteen different countries, it provided a regional platform for the
participants to share their localization knowledge, discuss problems
and find solutions to their issues from within this platform.
In addition, the presentations conducted in this training will serve
as a complete training resource which can be used to conduct similar
training in future, while the surveys conducted during this training
served to gather baseline data relevant to localization in
participating Asian countries.
In summary, this training of the PAN
Localization project has been extremely beneficial to the
participants technically and to the PAN Localization project in an
attempt to promote localization in the Asian countries.
PAN Localization project primarily aims to develop a
sustainable human resource capacity in the Asian region for R&D in
local language technology, raise current levels of technological
support for Asian languages and advance policy for local language
content creation and access across
The training on the “Fundamentals of Local language computing”, for
the PAN Localization project was the first step in the realization
of the project’s over all objectives.
Following were the primary objectives of the training:
a support network of various researchers and experts related to
localization so that it could help south-south partnerships
basic technical capacity in the Asian ICT researchers, practitioners
and developers in developing application in local languages
collect useful information regarding the status of localization on
Linux and the Microsoft Platform
Researchers from many Asian countries are presently working on
developing local language enabled ICTs. However, inability to
discuss localization issues and gain expert advice on these issues
retards their effort. This problem can be efficiently minimized
through co-operation of researchers at regional level. Thus through
this training the development of a peer support network for Asian
localization ( with experts from around the globe, who can help each
other address localization development and standardization problems
faced by others) was aimed to be realized. As it is known that
there is a great deal of expertise already available in this regard,
but connectivity remains a significant hurdle in exploiting this
knowledge. Since this training included participation of
localization researchers from fifteen different countries, it
provided a regional platform for the participants to share their
localization knowledge, discuss problems and find solutions to their
issues from within this platform. Participants of this training were
believed to help each other during and even beyond this training on
localization issues and thus contribute effectively to nurture this
support network as much as possible. It was believed that once this
network is established, further efforts will be made to bring more
of the relevant researchers to this network.
Another key objective of this training was to train its participants
technically on basic local language computing. For this purpose the
training included presentations on the following basic topics of
localization. They were:
Unicode Standard (Architecture, Normalization and Collation)
Open Type Font Development for Asian Scripts (+hands on workshop)
Localization on MS Platform
Localization on Linux Platform
NLP solutions (e.g. Lexical development, spell checker etc.)
Software Engineering principles
It was further believed that this training would control some risks
associated with the effective implementation of the PAN Localization
project. The foremost risk to this project's completion is the
in-availability of trained personnel in the areas of localization,
for most of the partner countries of PAN Localization project. To
counter for such a situation, this training is of tremendous benefit
to those countries that have weak background in localization
technologies and through this training they could possibly get help
from the participating localization experts to resolve their issue.
It was further believed that through the same training the attendees
would be educated on the current state of practice in localization
on Microsoft and Linux platforms, so as to enable them to make
educated decisions on the right choice of platform for local
language computing development in their respective countries.
Keeping the above mentioned objectives on front, PAN
Localization Project planned to conduct an
training on the “Fundamentals of Local Language Computing” from the
19th -23rd January, 2004.