September 12, 2020

Indic Keyboard v3, Malayalam Speech Corpus and More: Updates for Auguest 2020

Indic Keyboard v3, Malayalam Speech Corpus and More: Updates for Auguest 2020

Indic Keyboard v3 released

Indic Keyboard - popular input tool for Android devices, published its major release version V3 with new features and improvements.

In this release, project lead - Jishnu Mohan, added long awaiting feature requests such as new language dictionaries, option to resize keyboard, toggle-able number row and several bug fixes.

The new version  introduced a new logo designed by Hiran Venugopalan and a revamped website. More details are available on  release announcement.

Indic Keyboard Prime, a variant with proprietary binaries for Gesture Typing, is also updated to latest version.

Jishnu also made minor releases -  v3.1, v3.2 this month. They shipped with fix for Avro layout for Bengali, swipe gestures for basic operations, all new three modern themes and UI fix for Inscript layouts.

Indic Keyboard can be downloaded either directly from App's website, F-Droid,  and Play Store. Indic Keyboard Prime is available from Play Store. Source code is available on Gitlab.

A Telegram support channel is also maintained for feature discussions and bug reporting.

Varnam Editor is Now Available on Flathub

Varnam Editor is now available for downoad from flatpak. Subin Siby  made it easy to download and use Varnam Editor by listing it on flatpak repository.

Varnam Editor is a graphical user interface for popular transliteration input method - Varnam. Varnam Editor Support major Indic Lanugages including Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bangla.

To install Varnam Editor via flatpak, run:

‌                                flatpak install flathub com.varnamproject.Varnam

Malayalam Speech Corpus

Malayalam Speech Corpus (MSC) is a repository of curated  speech samples collected using MSC web application. This version of Malayalam Speech Corpus contains 1541 speech samples from 75 contributors amounting to 1:38:16 hours of speech. It has 482 unique sentences, 1400 unique words, 553 unique syllables and 48 unique phonemes. Read more details on demographic diversity of the corpus and phonetic richness of the dataset from release note. People can contribute to the corpus by using the MSC web app.

Collective Statement Demanding Govt. of J&K to Restore High-Speed Internet

Software Freedom Law Center along with various non-profit organisations and civil society groups including SMC sent a letter to Government of Jammu and Kashmir to restore high-speed internet. The letter also highlight the fact that J&K is unprecedented restrictions on communications for an year. The letter and details can be found here.

Rethink Aadhaar for ILGMS

Digital rights organisations Rethink Aadhaar, Article 21 Trust, Internet Freedom Foundation, and SMC endorse a legal notice sent to the Government of Kerala by Bezwada Wilson and Kalyani Menon-Sen (prominent civil society activists, and petitioners in the Puttaswamy case, challenging the constitutionality of Aadhaar), asking that it sever all links with Aadhaar, in relation to its recently launched Integrated Local Self Governance Management System (ILGMS). Read more in this blog post.

SMC is a Community Partner in FOSS Hack 2020

Organized by the FOSS United Foundation to promote the creation and use of free software in India, FOSS Hack 2020 is conducted on 12th & 13th of September 2020. And SMC is a community partner for the same. Thus participants can do projects under SMC mentors. The hackathon offers cash prize upto ₹10 Lakh. Visit the website for more details.

Manjari v1.910 Available Now

With an addition of 25 Latin glyphs, a new version of Malayalam typeface - Manjari is released v1.910. The new version is available at SMC website. Further information is available on change log.

Malayalam Spellchecker v1.1.1 Released

A new version of Malayalam spell checker based on mlmorph (Malayalam Morphological Analyzer) is available as python library.

Version 1.1.1 adds a database of commonly mistaken words of Malayalam for quick checks and correction. If the given word is present in that common list, spellcheck result and correction suggestions will be based on that database.

To install : pip3 install mlmorph_spellchecker

Read more on release announcement.

DebConf 2020

DebConf is the Debian Project's developer conference. For the very first time, famous DebConf had Malayalam conference track.

Sruthi Chandran, Anupa Anna Joseph, Keerthana Ashok, Aiswarya KK, Suman Rajan, Pirate Praveen, Kannan, Akhil, Subin Siby,Shyam G Krishnan, Abraham Raji, Kiran S Kunjumon and other volunteers spoke on different topics in Malayalam track.

OSM Kerala Mapping parties

OpenStreetMaps Kerala community conducted various campaigns this month. Major campaigns are

Munnar Mapping

Mapping effort in news.

Soon after landslide hit Pettimudy on August 7, Open StreetMap Kerala acted quickly with a campaign to map unidentified road, rivers and  other important points.

Virtual Mappy Hour

Mappy hour statistics

Virtual Mappy hour - An hour long armchair mapping party was conducted on 23rd of Auguest 2020 from 17:00 to 18:00 IST to add unmapped tiles to Open Street Maps. The effort was a success. Added 73 tiles in an hour to the map.

Cochin corporation mapping

Manoj Karingamadhathil put his efforts to create map Cochin corporation with a depth of ward-wise information. This work is significant as many departments including Local Self Governance, Revenue Departments are holding custodianship of map data, and not shared on public domain.

Kanhangad Municipality Ward map

Anilkumar KV, OSM Kerala Volunteer put created Kanhangad municipality map in public domain.

Similar maps can be constructed by using tools such as  OSM and QGIS.

OSM welcoming community participation. A telegram group is maintained for communication. Tasks with are listed in the issue page.

SMC Release File Server

Manjari, Indic Keyboard and Malayalam Speech Corpus are can be downloaded from the SMC Release File Server.

We thank Ashik Salahudeen & Balasankar C for their time and effort.

Entechill: Web Tool to Fix Chillu Problems

Mujeeb CP developed a web based tool to fix the infamous Chillu problems in Malayalam typing. The tool can be accessed from here.

Collection of Malayalam Two Letter Conjunct Words

Ajith R created a collection of Malayalam two letter conjunct words from the SMC corpus of Malayalam. The collection is available here.

Ecosystem News:

Documenting happenings around Free Software, Malayalam and digital commons, which may or may not be directly from SMC volunteers.

Sruthi Chandran is now Part of Debian Community Team

Debian packager and contributor from Kerala, Sruthi Chandran is now a part of Debian Community Team. Read the mailing list announcement here.

Old Kerala Periodicals Archives

Shiju Alex made decades old Malayalam periodicals from Kerala available in


15/09/2020: In-News is renamed to  Ecosystem News to avoid ambiguity.