INFITT is a global non-profit non-govt. organization devoted to promoting Tamil computing. Officially registered as NPO in California, USA. INFITT objective is to “Help develop Tamil IT and associated standards”, “Provide tech. forums and annual meets/ conferences for Tamil IT developer community”, “Serve as a key link between regional interest groups, national governmental agencies”, “Provide technical expertise support to MNCs and standardization agencies” & “Educate/increase awareness of public to advances, attract younger talents by organizing Tamil IT Workshops”
Prologue to INFITT – Singapore Consensus
TAMIL INTERNET 2000 – SINGAPORE CONSENSUS
The Tamil internet 2000 Conference was held from 22-24 July 2000 in Singapore. The Conference was attended by about 500 delegates. At the end of the three day conference, many recommendations were made for the consideration of governments, international consortia, national and regional organizations, corporate bodies as well as individuals. The following is a summary of the key recommendations:
The Conference took note of the compilation of Tamil computing words prepared by Official Languages Commission of Sri Lanka. In order to arrive at world-wide consensus on the primary, secondary and compound words for Tamil computing, the conference recommends to the governments of Sri Lanka, India and Singapore to support a website suitably designed to obtain the options and suggestions on a global basis to finalize computing words in Tamil. Amongst various possible script reforms and refinements, there has been a consensus to adopt separate vowel modifiers for the following vowel-consonants: i) i-short and i-long ii) vowel-consonants with u-short and u-long. The form of the modifier may be decided by an expert group constituted for this purpose.
The Conference recommended that urgent attention be given by the technology development organizations and the private sector to the development of key technologies such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR), voice recognition, browsers, search engines and machine translations involving the Tamil Language. A call has been made for a global repository of open source software and technology in above areas. Education
Distance education has emerged as the third stage in the evolution of the educational system following the gurukulam and class-room systems. It increases productivity in education and meets the challenges posed by the needs for universal education, equity in educational opportunities and continuing education. Virtual classroom and online education constitute the fourth stage in distance education, the first three being postal system, use of radio and TV and tele-conferencing. In the knowledge society distance education offers immense possibilities and opportunities that must be maximally utilized. E-Commerce
Best opportunities for Asian entrepreneurs lie in mobile commerce, ebusiness architecture, ASP enablers and language portals. Entrepreneurs should be more focused (than they are currently), develop a single business plan and mileposts for IPO’s mergers or other forms of growth. They should use independent means of assessing the value of any specific VC to their particular goals. VCs have a better chance of realizing their objectives through as much diverse supports (HR, Marketing, strategy) they can provide to entrepreneurs besides finance.
Tamil Content on Internet
The conference noted enormous growth on the availability of Tamil materials in digital form on the net in recent years but they are in different font encoding. Efforts should be made to reduce the font encoding used so that search engines can locate them easily. Organization
The Conference was the occasion for the inauguration of the International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil (INFITT), the first global organization dedicated to the development and promotion of Tamil Internet and Tamil Computing. The Constitution of INFITT was approved at a special meeting convened for the purpose on 23 July 2000. The duly constituted first General Council elected the first Executive Committee on 24 July 2000. The conference also discussed and agreed upon the formation of five INFITT Working Groups to examine in detail the following key issues on Tamil Computing: Glossary of technical terms for Tamil (WG1), Unicode Tamil Segment (WG2), Tamil Domain Names for Internet (WG3), Glyph Encoding Standards (WG4) and Standards for Transliteration format of romanised Tamil (WG5).