I spent a week in Delhi on a trip to be part of conf.kde.in. One of the talks I gave had a line in it Translation is Accessibility.

I would probably add accessibility is a right, although that would be hypocritical of me, given that Calamares’s accessibility isn’t all that good (part of that is down to Qt and a languishing patch for making Qt-applications-as-root accessible). There’s some open issues on that front, and I hope that we’re going to find some progress in the next few months.

In any case, one of the talks was on the transition of the Janayugom newspaper to Free Software – Scribus and KDE applications. That includes the challenges of dealing with fonts, writing, transliteration, and more. Read the upstream story from the people who did the work. At conf.kde.in both Kannan and Subin spoke about Malayalam topics; Kannan about the newspaper, and Subin about KDE bits. I showed off Calamares running in Malayalam as well, although since I hadn’t prepared that, I didn’t have proper Indic fonts installed and it was terribly ugly. In Hindi it looked ok, so there’s plenty of work for system integrators to do to deliver a good-looking localized desktop there.

Since I was also giving a talk about translations and one about Calamares, I decided to canvas for more translators. Gujrati, for instance, has only one translator and not much work done, so I was hoping to find some helpers.

What I didn’t expect is for SuperX to stand up. It’s a distro developed in Assam and Wrishiraj said he’d get right on the translation into Assamese. He tried to teach me to pronounce it correctly; I doubt he succeeded.


What did succeed is the addition of Assamese to Calamares. After setting up a translation team, Wrishiraj did a little translation and I added it to the Calamares configuration. That means you can choose the language for installation, although the overall translation state is far-from-complete. That will change in the next few weeks though.

I hit one interesting bug right away: the language Assamese has language code as, and Asturian is ast. Asturian was already available in Calamares, and somewhere the code was looking for shortest matches: so picking Assamese as the installer language would set the system language to Asturian. That is probably not a common combination. Once I got that sorted I pushed out a new Calamares release 3.2.18 to show off the new language (and fix some other bugs).

As I write this, I realise that Calamares isn’t very friendly to updating-translations-as-you-go; it wants a recompile to pack everything into QRC files. However, some time ago I built machinery to search for translations in multiple places, so expect the next Calamares release to support updating translations outside of the main source package (for testing and for supporting translation efforts like this one).

So chalk this up to conf.kde.in: new languages, new collaborations, and bugfixing in far-flung corners of the Free Software world. That’s the kind of activity that KDE e.V. is there to support.