Colonial cousins… of the Luso sort

The Portuguese were the first European power to set up base in Asia, and by the 20th century, had just a few pockets of influence left. Goa, where this writer lives and works, was once the headquarters of the strategically-situated but small string of colonies.
So how’s FLOSS doing in some of the remnants of this Empire?
If you’re Portuguese-speaking, then consider helping with some initiatives in these areas.
Rui Alves from Macau, the former Portuguese colony now again part of mainland China, recently narrated what’s happening there on the FLOSS front. MacauLinux like some other smaller volunteer-driven LUGs, lost its website and domain name —
Says Alves: “Coordinating efforts is quite hard in such a microscopic place as Macau. Some of my colleagues are working on restoring the site (and related activities), but honestly it has been a while without any news from them. I hope we won’t let macaulinux die.”
In the meantime, Alves hopes his site could be a temporary stop-gap location at which to announce any developments.
Incidentally, Linux Counter’s page for Macau is here. Fourteen Linux users counted. There are some four to five personal site links here too, with some FLOSS-interest embedded in some of them.
From Timor Leste (or East Timor, as more of us would know this young nation) Elizabeth, is doing an intern-ship at the Open Forum of Cambodia, with the KhmerOS (Khmer Open Source) network. The latter is itself localising software to the Khmer-Cambodian language.
Elizabeth is “learning from them while also preparing a localisation document for Tetum”. That, one could be excused for not knowing, is one of the national languages in East Timor.
Tetum uses the Latin script with some accents, since many words have been imported from the Portuguese. Says Elizabeth : “As far as I know, there’s no centre for promoting FLOSS yet in East Timor. Some people have started using Open Source products.
By the way, Linux Counter shows the number of FLOSS users there as zero!


33 thoughts on “Colonial cousins… of the Luso sort

  1. Jeevika: South Asia Documentary Festival, which began in 2003, aims at capturing the livelihood challenges faced by the rural and urban poor and bringing it to the attention of current and future policy makers. Over the years, Jeevika has been successful in advocating for the cause of numerous entry-level entrepreneurs – rickshaw pullers, street vendors, prostitutes, child labour, farmers and forest-dwellers.

    The premier event of the festival to be held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi will be the awards ceremony from 20-23rd July 2007, which will culminate four days of screening for the top films. The last date for the submitting the entries is May 31, 2007

    In addition as part of the festival tour, the award-winning films will travel and be screened in premier schools and colleges in over 20 states in India and other organisations working on livelihood issues as well as in our South Asian neighbours.

    Over the years, Jeevika has become an increasingly popular and news-worthy event as well as an important catalyst for positive social change. The Film-makers whose films have been showcased in the past include Rakesh Sharma (of the Final Solution fame), Sanjay Barnela (Turf Wars) and Shohini Ghosh (Tales of the Night Fairies).

    For further details, please log on :

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s