Written by Mario Behling
One of the main goals of the OLPC Afghanistan project is to support the development of a sustainable IT infrastructure in Afghanistan. This means to use software that local users can get – freely licensed – and that they can use in their local language. Many closed source applications are not available and will not be available in the local languages Dari and Pashto in the foreseeable future. The interest of companies to adapt and localize software depends on revenue.
Decentralised development models of open source software offer the chance to projects such as OLPC Afghanistan to translate software to local languages with a fraction of the cost compared to centralised proprietary development models. Instead of degrading local companies as simple resellers Open Source models offer them the chance to dig into the software code and customize it according to local needs. This sounds more complicated than it is. In regards to translations of software for example – many projects already offer online systems to translate via simple web interfaces.
Because of bandwidth limitations in Afghanistan here in the OLPC office we have set up the online translation interface Pootle for the translation of the OLPC Sugar Desktop, OpenOffice and Firefox.
Thanks to http://www.olpc.af for this post.