Please excuse my English Post. Trust me there is good reason.
I recently visited one of Kerala Government's websites which I believe is a part of its IT Mission.
http://www.clickeralam.org. (The good folks who maintain this site does not even use English proofing tools to check spellings and English grammar.)
I noticed the Usual ASCII encoded Malayalam text in places and fired off my standard email asking them to join the Unicode Revolution (Of-course in Malayalam Unicode).
I received this email from them
Will u pls attach the font in which i can render ur
Although I was enraged at such a response coming from someone who works in the department of Linguistics, I was actually very pleased that I got a reply from someone from some Govt. department.
My Reply to this was.
The text was in Unicode. I am not surprised that you are unaware of this development.
http://www.bhashyam.nishad.net to read about this revolution
enlighten yourself and join us
His Reply to this was
Have you heard about Nila Official Malayalam Softwere
with unicode font.Pls downlod it from
www.clickeralam.org and send your feed back.
And I got Started with this reply
I am not in doubt about the existence of the reformed (പുതിയ ലിപി)
Malayalam Script font that you mention, but even you do not use it.
Having heard of Nila or whatever you mention does not solve any
problem. I want my people (the Malayalee community) To Practically and
Freely use it. The fact Remains that there still is no Unicode Based
FREE software with Spell checker and grammar checker availabe for the
യൂണികോഡ് ഉപയോഗിച്ച് താങ്കള് പോലും മലയാളം എഴുതുന്നില്ല അതില് പരം
വിരോദാഭാസം വേറെ യെന്തുണ്ട്.
The very fact that someone of your calibre does not use Malayalam
Unicode to communicate shows the development Kerala Government has
made in this field.
I trust you have read my Blog and the Blogs of several Malayalees on
the internet who have begun publishing on the Internet using Malayalam
There are too many useless Government institutions squandering public
funds in useless projects. With nothing to show.
The Unicode fonts you mention are not old (Traditional) Script. There
are also some errors in character conjuncts. like the Formation of Mba
(മ്പ). I do not wish to spend time examining something that's
substandard and does not render old Script Malayalam. And besides
even if I spend time recomending anything nobody will make any
changes, because nobody cares.
This set of fonts you mention are not acceptable to the wider internet
community. It also does not fully comply with Unicode standards.
Presently there are two Fonts. ThoolikaUnicodeTraditional and
AnjaliOld. Both are exceptional fonts that include all possible
combinations of Character forms.
My first email to you is self explanatory. I hope you have had the
time to read them and understand what I stand for and mean when I say
Revolution. I am on a crusade against this disasterous script
refromation and is presently distributing my Unicode based Phonetic
Keyboard Driver FREE of Cost. I am putting my own money into the
distribution of FREE Unicode Malayalam Encoding Systems.
So far I have eager followers who belong to the non-english educated
Gulf Malayalee small scale business sector.These
people use OpenOffice in Malayalam and are extremely happy with my
Its a great feeling to see a Malayalee carpenter who can't speak a word of english,
who uses a Localized Windows XP machine. He keeps his accounts, documents
and emails in Unicode Malayalam. I did it for him. And I am proud of it.
If one person can make so much difference that the Goverment of Kerala could
not acheive in the last 4 years, something is terribly wrong with the adminstration.
I feel that the Government of Kerala and its agencies are inept and
indifferent towards the cause of the common man. Further they are
technically inferior to the Open source Community that has the natural
ability to syntesise better software from colaborative discussion. The
Kerala Government agencies seem absent in many of the discussions in
My response may seem blunt, direct and at times extremely rude. All
revolutions are of this nature. If in the 1700s the French were soft on the French
Royalty there would still be some French royals hanging around in
Paris hoping to be crowned one day.
There is simply no room for sympathy and small talk. All Publications
that use ASCII for encoding Malayalam will perish on the internet, if
they do not move to UNICODE. and that is the plain and simple truth.
I hope you will see the truth and join forces to spread the word about
Unicode Malayalam and the Traditional Malayalam Lipi.
Long Live the Revolution
Thanks for your suggestion even though it was
subjugated by the discourse in which you are realizing
your self.The link is
We are looking for your suggestion very objectively.
I reviewed this sad excuse for a word processor and shot back this reply
As much as it's against my principles to communicate in a foreign language with my kinsman, I have no other means but use English to comunicate with you. Since you adamantly refuse to embrace Unicode Malayalam and communicate with me by this means. But the Truth must be told. (I ask forgiveness from my Dear Malayalam bloggers for this blasphemous deviation from my principle)
Regarding your "Software"
I spent the whole morning studying Nila. You should bring down the minimum requirement to Windows 2000. Win2K does support the Uniscribe Engine (USP10.dll). Some builds of USP10.dll may be outdated so you should communicate with Peter Constable at Microsoft to get permission to include the Latest version of USP10.dll in the installation. If you don't know who Peter is then you have a lot of readng to do.
This is a core DLL and requires Reboot.
The accepted common Transliteration scheme used by the present Blogger community and most of the Unicode Malayalam users is Varamozhi, (Available here http://varamozhi.sourceforge.net/ , I suggest that you download it and go through the logic behind the character conjuncts carefully). I am asuming that you may have some awareness of this scheme. In my desparate attempt to popularize Malayalam unicode amungst my friends in the business and trade circle in UAE, I have also developed a Keyboard Driver available here (http://bhashyam.nishad.net/downloads/PhoneticMalayalam1.2.exe) you may want to try it out and see how Vowel letters and conjuncts are formed. But this is of course a personal preference and need not be a platform of contention. The underlying need is to allow people to use Unicode for their day to day communication needs. Keyboard Layout is something people need to familiarize.
I noticed that several Latin Characters (QWXCVB) in the Nila Keyboard are left without change. You could put those keys to sensible use.
The ഔ vowel sign presently used in your software is wrong. It uses U+0D57, The Govt of Kerala has made changes to this and the correct codepoint to use is U+0D4c. ( Presently all Unicode fonts shows this with diacritics on either side of the vowel, this will be latter ammended to show only the Au sign on the Right side for Reformed Fonts and both Diacritics for Traditional script) . U+0D57 is to be used only in rare occasions to demonstrate the diacritic individually in Text books and technical documentations.
The conjunct Mpa (as in Munpe 'before') is formed by the characters Ma and Pa not Na and Pa. (Initially I had fought long battles to establish that both Ma+Pa and Na+Pa should render Mpa but due to searching and sorting logic issues I gave up that battle) Now the Unicode-Indic community unianimously agrees that Ma+Pa is the correct conjunct characters. And Everyone (without reservations) should follow this verdict for the success of implimenting Unicode Standards.
Please refer to discussions held at the indic unicode archives for details on this.
I could not type character combinations in Malayalam like "prai" "krai" prau" using the Unicode > phonetic settings
when the Ai vowel sign is typed the previous character mysteriously disappears.
The Dictionary you have provided is practically useless. Primarily it does not check Malayalam words. Further the words that appear in the list cannot be added to the document. So in effect you can just stare at the meanings, useless don't you think.
I notice that there is a "Convertion" Tool in Nila. I am sure that your developer meant it as "Conversion". Since we are "Brilliant" Malayalees, QA/QC is something we don't believe during software development. Good.
Now what is this supposed to Convert. Since its very discrete about what it converts, there is no Help or docmentation to understand its function. I copied some ASCII text from another Kerala Government Website (www.malayalamrecource.com another site dishing out useless concoctions based on ASCII font Hacks). The converter did not convert anything from there. I tried several Text files. I also tried passing Unicode Malayalam hoping that it would dish out ASCII. nothing. So full marks for the converter.
So in conclusion.
Nila is a word Processor, that falls pathetically short of the primary functions of a Word processor. It has no spell checking, grammar checking, or tables. But then why would you want to make an application when there are brilliant applications (made by an international team of brilliant open source software developers) like OpenOffice. That is also FREE.
All you need to do is collobarate with them and work on malayalam proofing tools (built with open source proofing engine like Aspell or Ispell). But then again that would be too easy. Our "Brilliant" IT gurus at the Kerlaa IT Mission, CDIT, ER&DCI, etc. will be out of work.
Its one thing to be ignorant. But then you have to be consistent in that ignorance. Its insanely stupid to have different ASCII encodings coming from different Governement websites and institutions. But then thats the problem of not respecting any standards, even your own.
This is his response
I have forweded all of ur revew to our Nila Team with
serious consern,the team will respond u soon.
I have not heard from them so far.