1 - 15 August, 2003

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Windows Users in Wales to Create their Own Linux

Wales-based computer users, tired of waiting for a Welsh-language version of Windows, are doing it themselves with open-source KDE desktop software, Cnet News.com announced.

Other countries (China, Iceland and Estonia) already begun creating localised versions of the Linux operating system and its applications, and now it is the turn of Wales.

Wales-based programmer Kevin Donnelly is taking advantage of the fact that anyone is allowed to modify and redistribute Linux to do the work of localisation himself, with the help of any interested Welsh speakers. He is soliciting translations of key files from the general public through a new Web site, kyfieithu.co.uk, and using the results to create Welsh-language versions of the open-source KDE and Gnome user interfaces.

Using a simple PHP-based browser interface, volunteers can add the Welsh equivalents to the files using a standard Web browser. Donnelly then turns these portable-object files into machine-object files that the interface software can understand.

In three months, Donnelly claims the project has translated about 12 percent of the KDE user interface; if translators can continue at the same rate, the final results the initial results will probably be shipping with KDE and Gnome by the end of this year, with completion about a year after that, Donnelly said. Donnelly has also translated some KDE applications, including the KESEG geometry program.

Kyfieithu.co.uk takes its name from the Welsh word "cyfieithu", or "translate", but uses an initial "k" to fit in with the naming conventions of KDE applications such as KMail, Konqueror and KPilot.

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