Enabling Sinhala/Tamil support

Few days back I was playing around with Sinhala Tamil Unicode kit by ICTA (Information Communication Technology Agency) of Sri Lanka on my windows box. It was really cool with dual language support.

There was a time when most of the operating systems came bundled with ASCII(American Standard Code for Information Interchange) which only had mere 127 characters and they were all occupied by english letters and numbers and symbols. Then of course anybody didn’t have the luxury of using either softwares or viewing web pages in their own native language(s) as they would have liked it.

That’s where Unicode came into being. And ever since the advent of Unicode all these things have thrown out of the window because Unicode was a breakthrough technology and it can support over 65000 characters. With Unicode all the languages are given a range of characters to accommodate their own character codes. That’s where both Sinhala and Tamil get their allotted space.

Now although the range is set for both the languages in Unicode someone had to take up the challenge of developing the codes for both the languages. Developing and setting keyboard layout specially for language like Tamil which has more than 250 characters on a keyboard which is originally designed to accommodate mere 26 characters(English) again going to be a don’ting task.

That’s where in Sri Lanka ICTA should be praised for taking this project successfully in collaboration with the UCSC (University of Colombo School of Computing). This was a project which took months and months to complete.

And now both Sinhala and Tamil Unicode is available to download on,
http://www.locallanguages.lk/sinhala_how_to_install_in_english.html

The Sinhala Unicode is named as Wijesekara and Tamil is named as Renganathan (for a reason that I really have no idea). You can download the package that best fits your box and enjoy working and viewing stuffs on your own native language.

Now since Sinhala and Tamil Unicode is made possible we should be able to see many a revolutions in the world of software when it comes to Language Localization in Sri Lanka, Taking it to a new unseen dimension.

Already you can see an increase in the number of web sites (Solely)compiled in Sinhala and Tamil in Sri Lanka in the recent past. No doubt that this will pave way for many a local writers to enter web. And have their say in their own comfortable way..!

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2 thoughts on “Enabling Sinhala/Tamil support

  1. chrisanthie says:

    For your information the unicodes are named Wijesekara & Renganathan,
    ( not Ranganathan ) because they were the pioneers who developed the lay outs of the typewriter key boards, long before we started using computer keyboards.
    I use the Sinhala unicode extensively in my web comments, & wish to thank every one who laboured to develop it.
    සිංහලෙන් ලිවීම අපට මහත් ආඩම්බරයක්. එයට ඉඩ සැලසූ සියල්ලන්ට බොහොම ස්තුතියි.

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