Post written by Aiśwarya KK (Aish)
Kerala is a state on the southwest coast of the Indian subcontinent. Those who attended Akademy 2019 may already know or at least have heard the name once because Timothée and I gave a talk on the topic “GCompris in Kerala-Part 2”. This is also where I met Bhavisha and we could make a good connection. (I really miss in-person Akademy 🙁 )
It was Bhavisha who told me about the nice idea of KDE Networks last year. And she motivated me to join one of the meetings. Inspired by the discussions, I contacted Subin, coordinator of the KDE Malayalam translation team (Malayalam is the language of Kerala), to inform him about the program. We decided to start KDE Network Kerala, and he started to add members. We have Sreeram, Kannan and Akhil on board now.
Kerala is a fertile ground for Free/Libre Software. If you want to know a more detailed history, please see the article by Sasi Kumar. Though KDE couldn’t get the momentum it deserves there. Yet, various KDE products are well integrated into the curriculum of public schools, such as GCompris, KolourPaint, KStars etc. Apart from those, Kdenlive is used as a tool in the creative works of school children, Krita is getting famous in universities and Plasma desktop is used by a daily newspaper.
Here is the complete list of KDE applications used in public schools of Kerala (some of them are well integrated in the curriculum):
1. GCompris – Class 1 to 4
2. Marble – Class 6
3. KGeography (customized) – Class 5
4. KTouch (customized) – Class 8
5. Kanagaram (customized) – Class 3
6. KolourPaint – Class 7
7. Kalzium – Class 8
8. KLetters (customized)
Our strategy to reach out to more users and spread the community is through the already famous applications. But we felt that we are not equipped enough to reach out to more people. So in the first half of the year 2021, we decided to fix that. We are making Plasma workspace localization as good and complete as we can. And we decided to do GCompris and Krita tutorials in Malayalam. But our work is not restricted to it. We didn’t miss any occasion where we can talk and spread the news about KDE and its products. You can see some important accomplishments till today here:
• The team has decided to use some Malayalam channels for people in Kerala to contact the KDE Network Kerala team. Links for KDE Malayalam channels are Matrix: #kde-ml:poddery.com and Telegram: https://t.me/kde_ml
• Malayalam and Assamese localization teams have joined hands together; both are on the same server now.
• GCompris was featured during Pehia Annual Summit 2021 conducted by Pehia foundation, a community based non-profit working towards the cause of bridging the gender gap in technology with a primary focus on computer science & programming in Kerala.
• Subin gave a talk on January 22nd 2021 about FOSS at the College of Engineering Trivandrum, where he discussed about KDE too. Thanks to Aniqa and Paul for collecting all the promo documents in one place which we can easily refer to and use.
• Aiswarya and Timothée participated in the ICEFOSS conference to talk about GCompris.
• Public schools in the state of Kerala in India are being equipped to use the Qt version of GCompris. We will officially announce it later when the schools start using it.
• Plasma workspace Malayalam translation is 79% complete.
See you next time!