Internet summit for local development
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Internet summit for local development

By ST Team   |   Thursday, 24 August 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: The two-day summit on ‘Internationalization of the Web’ got underway in Bangalore today, with the key speakers throwing light upon the challenges before the IT community to reach the world wide web to the masses. Presently, only a handful of the country’s citizens use the web as most of the sites and portals are in English.

Delivering the keynote address, Richard Ishida, Internationalization Lead, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) said, “We are working in tandem with different bodies across the world to make sure that the Internet reaches everyone.” In India, the Department of IT and the C-DAC has partnered with W3C to increase Internet penetration. The speakers stressed on the need for developing content in vernacular languages to overcome the language barrier.

Internationalization is the design and development of product or application that enables easy localization for target audiences, while localization is the adaptation of the product or application to meet the requirements of a specific culture and language. The concepts have special significance for India as there are over 20 languages and it is important to develop applications that can be customized for each language.

Elucidating the challenges facing researchers, V. N. Shukla, Director, special applications, CDAC, Noida pointed out how one word can mean different things in different languages. Aai, for example means mother in Marathi, while in Hindi it means has come. Applications need to be developed in a way so as to have the capability to integrate such intricacies. Dr Srinivas Padmanabhuni, Principal Researcher, SET Labs, Infosys suggested a service oriented approach over the present product oriented one to make things easier. “That way, the focus will be on the end-users,” he stated.

Shukla stated that the between content developing applications and giving them to publishers and publishers putting forth the need for customized applications, a balance was needed to be struck. “That alone can address the needs of the market,” he said.

Richard also spoke about Unicode, an application that codes different languages so that they can be used o the web. This has to be done keeping in mind how different symbols carry different connotations across cultures. A tick mark for example means correct here, while in Japan, it signifies wrong. The summit, being held at The Grand Ashok, will conclude tomorrow with a panel discussion on strategies to be adopted to achieve the desired goals.

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