India's Silent Contribution To Linux Now Rapidly Getting Noticed
The better news is that the trend is changing dramatically. Contributions
to the worldwide GNU/Linux effort from South Asia are coming up virtually
by the day. But, on the other hand, the sad part of the story is that hardly
anybody seems to be noticing this... not even in India.
Young Indians from Nagpur to the North East, and those based in places
as distant as Mumbai and Melbourne are adding generously and often selflessly
to the powers of Linux. This talent-rich, resource-poor part of the globe
is beginning to make its contribution felt.
That's the way it should be. For GNU/Linux, after all, is the package
of computer applications and an operating system which has been cooperatively
developed by thousands of people all over the world.
Based largely on volunteer-power, Linux has grown to now function as
an alternative to Microsoft Windows (or Windows NT on your server) and Apple's
As this happens, LUGs are springing up across India. If you don't believe
this, a simple search on yahoogroups.com would collobrate. Some Indian LUGs
are small, others are ambitious and happening places to be at. (Linux User
Groups, the voluntary groups that take to evangelising for what has become
one of the most powerful computer operating systems in the world.)
Probably there are reasons for Indian code-warriors delayed arrival on
Access to the Internet opened up for the average Indian only in August
1997. (Before that it was only the priviledged few of academics and officials
who had access to slow-connections onto the Internet.) This opening up has
unveiled new possibilities of code-collaborations across the globe. In under
five years of Net opening up -- first in the big metros, and then spreading
to smaller centres -- the contribution from India to Linux has grown vastly.
Could the months ahead see an unleashing of the GNUIndia power globally?
Take a look at what's already available.
On one extreme, there are examples like the Simputer -- inching its way
towards somewhat-delayed yet much-awaited completion. The project to build
a sub-$200 commanman's computing device is based on Linux. It has already
earned a lot of headlines. But, more interesting are the scores of
initiatives by little-noticed individuals across the country.
Dr Mahesh Jayachandra's Peacock Solutions in Bangalore calls itself the