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Go Global Development Center
Windows 7 Hindi LIP
Captions Language Interface Pack
Windows 7 Hindi LIP
Tan Tin Wee Interview
ভাৰতীয় মুদ্ৰাৰ বাবে টকা চিহ্ন
Chairman and Joint Managing Director of Modular Infotech Pvt.Ltd
Dr.M.N.Cooper, Chairman and Joint Managing Director of Modular Infotech Pvt.Ltd., pioneer in developing the largest library of Indic fonts in the world, of over 2700 Fonts for the 10 Indian Languages and also Arabic, Sindhi, Russian and Sinhala. They have expertise in developing the fonts in Open Type Font Technology.
Greetings, Dr.Cooper. Could you please tell us about yourself.
I was working in Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Mumbai after my return from USA in 1973. I worked there till 1983, and then decided to start out on our own with a few of my colleagues. We started a company called 'Modular Systems' in Pune. We made the first CRT based Phototypesetter (PTS100) in India which was a direct substitute for imported refurbished phototypesetters. Then we decided to port Indian scripts on that phototypesetter. This was my first encounter with computerized Indian scripts. We developed composing algorithms, digital fonts, proofing software, data entry word processors, document preview facilities etc.
Slowly and gradually we ported all scripts on PTS100. As laser printers started becoming popular we stopped making PTS100 and ported the software on PC platform (DOS) which was able to drive Non-PostScript as well as PostScript laser printers. The software was named 'ScriptMaster'. In early 1993, Windows became popular and we ported our software on Windows platform under the name of 'Shree-Lipi' which is the most user friendly software in use for Indian Scripts.
We have developed a large number of Indian language products (given below). In the year 2000, TVSE Chennai bought stake in our company and it was renamed as 'Modular Infotech Pvt. Ltd.'
We have supplied OTF fonts, keyboard handlers, Spellcheckers etc to Sun Microsystems USA. We have supplied OTF fonts to Microsoft USA, Redhat and a large number of Indian Newspapers.
What are the language computing products available at Modular Infotech?
We have the following products:
: Indian Language enabling software with keyboard script processor and large number of fonts in all Indian scripts. Spell Checkers are also developed for all Indian Languages.
: Indian Language Office Suite with Word Processor, SpreadSheet, Presentation Software, Indian Language email etc.
: a third party language enabling toolkit.
We did have a large number of products but they are discontinued now.
What are the main sales areas for the language computing products?
Since we support all Indian Scripts, we have marketing arrangements in all states of India. Of course our major revenue comes from Maharashtra State, where we are entrenched firmly.
What are your views on government's e-governance initiatives?
Good Idea, I hope that it will become a reality someday. It is being talked about more than really getting it working.
What are your views on growth of language computing on - "online publishing and print publishing"?
Digital printing is becoming quite popular. All major Newspaper have their contents put on Website. This is purely a technology driven change and is sure to become popular as time passes by.
What are your personal aims and targets on language computing?
I am 63 years old and I want to retire now. I guess I have done all that was possible with our limited resources.
According to you, what is the scope of Indian language computing today?
I am not very hopeful about the future of Indian company working on Indian Languages.
Firstly, everybody talks about need for Indian languages but nobody wants to pay for it. A commercial venture cannot survive this way.
Secondly, Indian IT programmers expect very high salaries which can not be earned from
. The biggest customers for Indian languages are Government and semi Government organizations, and dealing with these organizations is quite frustrating.
Finally, there is also a very high degree of
of our products. Laws are in place but their implementation is very poor.
Any help taken by you in this 4 year long project? What were the difficulties you had to overcome to complete this project?
My first and foremost difficulty if I can call it was my rural station. I wanted to bridge languages. I started by reading many text books and magazines and used the internet to learn programming languages. Then it was just me and my system to turn my ideas into code. As I already mentioned lack of libraries, the not so trusty Electric and telephone or Internet accesses etc. were setbacks because my town does not have the facilities of a big city. Whenever I need books, CDs or Floppies etc. we had to run down to Bhopal and without my brothers I don’t know how I would have managed. My family and friends have been a constant support and am ever thankful for their faith they had in me.
Do give us an insight into your views about the BhashaIndia portal.
From the point of Regional language computing in India, BhashaIndia is one of the best projects of Microsoft. It is really a great forum for Hindi as well as other Indian regional languages in the field of technology. I think BhashaIndia is doing a great job for promoting our Indian languages all over the world. I take this opportunity to personally thank and congratulate all those people involved in this amazing project.
With one regional language software under the belt can we expect any in other Indic Languages as well?
Yes the project ‘’Bhasha Setu’ is just to open the door to streaming other languages into the cult. The overall aim is to unite all Indic Languages onto a common platform.
How much of your vision have you achieved as of this day and how long is the road ahead of you now?
Mostly for Hindi Language I would say I have completed it. I am trying to find a suitable platform for its launch. I have recently demonstrated my work to the Ministry of Information and Technology which has offered to promote the demo version. I am now working on a full release version for the last year, and I dare say my project.
My intention is to ensure to some extent that the rural people of our country also be benefited from the Digital Revolution in the world in which India is playing a leading role.
Currently I am working on a full page translation program under ’Bhasha Setu’. Logic as a prerogative is of no problem but grammar is the problem. I hope to complete this endeavor soon. My plan is to further develop this software into other regional languages as well.
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