Community Member Monday: Muthuramalingam Krishnan (Tamil project)

Today we’re talking to Muthuramalingam Krishnan, who’s helping to spread the word about LibreOffice in southern India…

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m Muthuramalingam, from Tirunelveli – a southern district in Tamil Nadu, currently living in Chennai. I was in the IT industry for around 10 years, from 2007 to 2017. Currently, I’m giving training on technical matters around open source programming languages like Java and Python in Payilagam, Chennai.

What are you doing with LibreOffice in Tamil?

A long time ago, I started contributing to LibreOffice by raising a few bugs. After a while, as I had the opportunity to meet a number of youngsters and graduates, I started introducing them to LibreOffice. Once they started using LibreOffice, it became very easy for us to get them involved in LibreOffice QA (Quality Assurance) related of activities. Thus, we started conducting few offline and online trainings. A few links about them are here, here and in this video.

What are some of the opportunities and challenges with free and open source software (FOSS) adoption in your region?

Let me think about the challenges first regarding FOSS adoption. As many people are using proprietary operating systems here, they don’t have much idea or clue about FOSS adoption. Thus, it would be difficult for us to convince them that they are capable of contributing to any FOSS software.

Where there are challenges, there are also opportunities. Hence, our easiest opportunity is creating awareness about open source first, and then ask them to use a FOSS operating system. (Linux Mint is a good start for Beginners.) Once they adopt the operating system (dual-booting is also fine for us), every other FOSS ddoption will automatically follow, including LibreOffice.

How can other people help out in the Tamil community?

There are lot of people who are involved in FOSS development in Tamil. There are many active communities including Kaniyam, ILUGC, KanchiLUG etc. They will definitely help us with spreading the word about events, by publishing on their websites, Telegram groups, Sometimes they will help us to get event spaces at places including colleges and Universities. We can get senior members of these communities to guide people with translations, QA and other activities.

Join the Tamil community on Telegram here! And thanks to Muthuramalingam for all his help 😊