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CDAC updates its flagship language tools

ISM version 6 is fully Unicode
Pune July 6 2009: The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has released the latest version of its flagship solution for developers and users of Indian language computing environments. The sixth iteration of its tool set – ISM, Intelligent Script Manager --  makes the products fully compliant with Unicode and supporting  Open type fonts.
ISM v6 supports 19 Indian languages - Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Manipuri, Nepali, Konkani, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili, Dogri in addition to Roman English. It targets user requirements like  word processing, database applications, web based applications, publishing and  custom built software development.
Other new features include:
An Enhanced Spellchecker for Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali
A new keyboard named as ‘Easy Phonetic’ where users can type Indian Language words as easily as  they do in English in chats and emails.
The ISM v6 suite includes:ISM Office,ISM Soft, ISM Publisher, ISM Office Network, ISM Soft Network. The price ranges from Rs 4000 to Rs 10,000.  Details can be had from Mahesh D Kulkarni, CDAC Pune, E-Mail: mdk@cdac.inTelephone: 91-80-25503402.
OUR TAKE:  C-DAC has played a central role in the growth of Indian language computing. Indeed its headquarters, Pune has emerged as the epicentre of India’s language computing development, with dozens of private players building on its strengths to create compelling offerings of their own. But it is now 18 years since C-DAC’s GIST ( Graphics and Intelligent Script Technology) group launched its ISM suite of tools – and we believe   the latest offerings announced this week are priced too high. At the asking price these tools vie with proprietary offerings like Microsoft’s Windows range -- and this is precisely what they should NOT be doing… especially when their mantra has been “Free and Open” software.  We realise ISM is not just for Open software platforms but is written for other platforms. It is time for C-DAC to look elsewhere to recover the admittedly steep development costs it  underwrites. It has other offerings like medical informatics and location awareness which can be commercially exploited. It is high time C-DAC sets its Indian language products completely  ‘ free’ – it is a government funded institution and has an obligation to   kickstart the growth of Indian language computing – and that includes, providing developers the tools they need to create more Indian language applications for all platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux….
To C-DAC’s new Director General, Rajan Joseph, IndiaTechOnline says: Let ISM v 6 – and all later versions be C-DAC's gift to India, Sir. Place it --   royalty free -- in the public domain.  - Anand Parthasarathy