Dark everywhere in my KDE Desktop

Few days back, bought a 21.5 inch LED IPS Slim Monitor, to get rid of neck pain.

தொடர்புடைய படம்

It is really nice one. I am enjoying the good big display. Dont know why I missed such a big display for so many years. The ease it gives for neck and eyes are awesome. I strongly suggest you, to go for a big monitor, if you are working for many hours in laptop.

Once the monitor is setup, I felt that it is emitting much of brightness and contrast. Reduced both. Still getting high illumination from it, as most of the websites, applications use huge white background.

But, reading and writing in terminal(konsole) is a breeze, as it has dark, black background. Suddenly, remembered, the black, dark themes. I was always wondering, who in the world will love these dark, black backgrounds. When I tried few years ago, it was not nice for my laptop screen. But, this time, for big screens, the dark themes are a great gift to our eyes.

Sharing few screenshots of my desktop.

KDE Desktop




Atom Editor




All these dark theme applications, look very cool on the big screen. Enjoying all the works now. Tons of thanks for the people who found that the dark theme is good for big screens and for the people who made the great dark themes for KDE and other individual applications.


Project Ideas – Part 1 – Looking for contributors

contribute to open source க்கான பட முடிவு

I am listing here few project ideas and requirements. If you are interested in contributing to any open source project, consider these to start with.

I am giving an intro about each of them in this series of blog posts.

Add your comment here if you pick any of the project to do, so that others can join with you.

1. Clean up Epub files.

We create epub files for FreeTamilEbooks.com by using Calibre. It creates epub files with lot of extra span and other tags. We need to remove all the unwanted tags from those epub files.

Create a command line or web application to clean up the given epub files.

If you are writing in python, plan to create a calibre plugin to clean the epub files.

2.  Download reports for Tamil Wikisource Ebooks

http://ta.wikisource is providing ebooks downloads.

In this database, all language wiki source ebook downloads are stored.


Create a web application or command line application to get the details of tamil books and create a download
count report for each book.

Create similar report as http://freetamilebooks.com/htmlbooks/download-report.html


3. Improve FreeTamilEbooks android app

The android app for FreeTamilEbooks has some bugs.

Use the App and read the issues.
Fix them.


4. OCR4WikiSource – Create a web application

OCR4WikiSource is a command line application that connects google ocr and wikisource.
It sends the pdf files to google drive, ocr it, gets text, sends to wikisource.

Create a web application to upload any pdf file, send to google via google vision api, get text, send to wikisource.

Here is the requirement.

Few links about it.



Discussion with wikipedia developers on this.

Google Vision API

Explore the links






5. FlipBoard like application for Tamil

Flipboard is a web, mobile app which gives latest content on user selected topics. Create such application for providing tamil content from web on various topics. Content contributors should give links for good articles with relevant categories, tags. Users should subscribe to categories and read the latest content.


6. Firefox plugin for tamil wikisource proofreading


Tamil wikisource is having around 2000 public domain ebooks, OCRed by google OCR. We have to proofread those books manually.
QuickWikiEditor is a Firefox plugin that enables on the page editing of wiki content.

Need to extend this plugin, to send the error words and the corrected words to a remote web application. From there, we can get the list of error words, search for them in entire ta.wikisource.org, replace with the corrected words automatically using bots.

Extend the plugin and create a web application to get the words collection from the plugin.


7. Fix the Tamil TTS by IITM

IIT Madras and SSN college, released a Text to speech application for Tamil, as an android application. You can get the source at

It is very initial version. Not as good as the latest  web version available at http://speech.ssn.edu.in/


Still, we can learn, extend the initial version.

Explore the android app, get the C code out of it, create a command line app or web app as having the c code as backend.


8. Web application to add details about ebooks in a xml file, in github.
We release Tamil ebooks at FreeTamilEbooks.com

We store all the details about the books in a XML file.

This file is source for Android and iOS apps for FreeTamilebooks.

Once an ebook is released, we have to update the xml file manually, which is tough for non-tech contributors.

Need a web application to get the ebooks details in a form, then add those details in XML file and commits to the repo automatically.


9. Add ebooks automatically in GoodReads.com

We can add the details about the ebooks in FreeTamilebooks.com to GoodReads.com

We have to fill a long form manually.
Need a command line or web application to simplify this process or automate it for adding info about the books in FreeTamilEbooks.com

10. Build a SAAS version of planet kind of RSS aggregation software.


Most tech communities need a planet kind of RSS aggregation software. They have to buy a VPS, install planet software and add the RSS feeds.

It will be good, if we build a SAAS version of planet or similar software, so that they can simply sign in, add rss feeds and start using it.

There are more ideas. Written them somewhere on my notebooks. Will collect them and share soon.

All the projects should be released as Free/Open Source software only.

If you are interested in doing any of the things said above, comment here.

email me to tshrinivasan AT gmail DOT com to know more details on any of the project.

Why are you not using an application in your language?

Last week, listened a conversation between two of my friends, Khaleel and Navin.

Khaleel is contributing to Mozilla community by doing localization. i.e translating the strings on the user interface of Mozilla products like firefox in Tamil. Navin is a tech guy, who likes to read Tamil anywhere.

localization க்கான பட முடிவு

image source – http://www.softwaretestingclass.com/what-is-globalization-internationalization-and-localization-in-software-testing/


“Hi Navin, Do you know that the firefox in your mobile and computer can be converted to Tamil?” Khaleel Asked.

“Yes dude. I have heard about it. Tried few times. But, the tamil interface gave me some issues. So reverted back to English UI”. Navin replied.




“Oh. Is it? It is just a habital issue. You are so used to English. I never faced any issues on using Tamil interface. What are the issues you faced?” Khaleel asked.

“New words to learn. All the new words make me to feel very unfriendly.” This is Navin.

“Yes. We have to learn something new. When dont hesitate to learn new words in English, why do we feel tired to learn new words in Tamil? Did you born with all the english words as File, Edit, Options menu? ”

“Agreed. It is just a one time learning to matching the words. Still, Laziness prevents me.”

“Fine. What are the other issues?”

“Seeking for help on any issues, is one big issue. When I am in Tamil interface, if somethings goes wrong, I have to search internet with the proper english words. When I do translate from Tamil to English, it goes wrong and not getting answers. On such times, I have to find menus, for switching languages. It is hidden somewhere deeper. Once I switched to english, I am not coming back to tamil interface to avoid a pressure on emergency”.

“True. For that only, we are trying to bring entire documentation in Tamil itself. Then, you can search in Tamil itself”. Khaleel answered. “To make you to use tamil interface, what we have to do?” Khaleel asked.



Here comes an important answer from a different point of view, from a good user.

“The switching of languages in the interface should be one click or a simple gesture. Why you guys are buried that option in a deep menu?” Navin asked.

While listening this conversation, I searched and found on how to switch languages for Firefox and Libreoffice.

To change the UI of firefox to a new language:

Unlike themes, enabling a language pack in the Add-ons Manager only does the languages it provides available. To change the preferred language for the interface:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
    • The about:config “This might void your warranty!” warning page may appear. Click I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the FilterSearch field, type intl.locale.matchOS.
  3. If the intl.locale.matchOS preference has a value of true, double-click it to toggle its value to false.
  4. Clear the FilterSearch field, and type general.useragent.locale.
  5. Double-click the general.useragent.locale preference, and enter the code of the language you want to use. This page lists most of the language codes used for Mozilla localizations.
  6. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click Quit Close 29 .

When you start Firefox again, you will see the interface in the new specified language.

source : https://support.mozilla.org/t5/Manage-preferences-and-add-ons/Use-the-Firefox-interface-in-other-languages-with-language-packs/ta-p/23542#w_how-to-change-the-language-of-the-user-interface

For libreoffice,   Tools▸Options▸Language settings▸Languages▸Language Of: User interface (applied after restart).

source: https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/question/61894/how-do-i-change-the-default-language-from-french-to-english/

Like this, KDE and Gnome have their own deep menus to change the language. For most of them, we have to restart the application or logout/login or restart the entire system.

“Why there is no one click or one gesture switching of user interface languages? If there is such option, I can use all the application in Tamil itself. Whenever I get any issues, I will hover on UI or do some gesture to know the equivalent English words, search for them, get answers, fix issues, switch back to Tamil interface.” Navin explained.

All he said is true. Being an old times contributor of localizing Gnome, KDE in Tamil, today I am not using them in Tamil. Suffering by the same issue what Navin explained.

Found that Firefox has a useful addon to switch languages easily. Simple Locale Switcher


This seems useful. But why do I have to restart entire firefox with all my 80 tabs, just to know how to mention something on another language?  When KDE or gnome ask me to logout and login, I never think to switch a language.

Thanks Navin and Khaleel for bringing out a wonderful design issues with the application architecture.

When a software supports localization, switching language should be as one click.

This should be implemented on the software, then only new people will start using the localized application without any hesitation.

Till then, we have to keep on worrying why the new people are not using the local language interfaces.

I will report this as a feature request for kde, gnome, firefox and libreoffice. If you are interested in contributing to any open source software, implement this feature to it or report this as feature request in their issue tracking system.

What do you think on this issue? What are the other possible solutions? Share your thoughts in the comments and start discussing about this with your tech communities.




Minutes – ILUGC Feb 2017 meet

Indian Linux Users Group, Chennai community is meeting every month second saturday at Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras.

Yesterday, we had out feb 2017 meeting.

Ajay started with Various open source licenses available and explored their pros and cons. Explained how the Open Core business model is helping many companies to do their business by open sourcing the core of their software with releasing the other components as proprietary software.

See the slides here



Then, Viswaprasath from Mozilla Tamilnadu community explained about Firefox’s new web extensions api. Now we can build cross browser extensions using simple HTML/JavaScript/CSS stack. No need to play around with XUL. He explained the architecture of a simple plugin he developed.

Few links to explore on this







Then, Karthik from Mozilla Tamilnadu, explored webVR. Virtual reality using browser. Now with Three.js we can create 3d worlds that can be viewed on browser itself.

A-frame is a Javascript framework on top of threejs.

Few links




Then, he explained how the mozilla Tamilnadu community is working to spread Free/Open Software on colleges and organizations.

Join the awesome community to learn and contribute for free software.





Then, I gave a lightning talk on few projects ideas to do. A firefox plugin to help proofreading tamil wikisource, flipboard alternate in tamil, epub cleaning for FreeTamilEbooks.com, Download report for wikisource ebooks, web application for OCR4WikiSource, Translating city/street names in Tamil for building maps in Tamil. Will write a new post with all the details of these project ideas.

Asked for contributors and ideas. Students from S.Joseph Institute of Tech accepted to help on these projects. We can have a hackathon to do these projects.

Reply here if you know any place to conduct a one day hackathon.

Finally, asked all to join in ILUGC mailing list at https://www.freelists.org/list/ilugc

Our meetings will end on the cafe nearby. old mohan, new mohan, yogesh, myself and other one(sorry dude, still trying to get your name) had great discussions at cafe on building Tamil Text to Speech engine, Advantages of go over python and a lot.

Returned to home by bus with Mohan, discussing various tech, social, academic, industry trends. Interacting with energetic young people makes me feel encouraged to learn new things always.

Thanks for all the speakers and participants for building a wonderful community for GNU/Linux. Let us hope to have more events like hackathon, FossConf etc, this year.

Few photos











Indian Linux Users Group, Chennai – Monthly Meet ( January 19 2013 )

ILUGC Monthly Meet (January 19 2013 )

Indian Linux Users Group, Chennai [ ILUGC ] is spreading awareness on
Free Open Source Software in Chennai since Jan 1998. We meet regularly
on every month second Saturday with technical talks and discussions on
various Free software.

Check our website http://ilugc.in for further details.

Join our mailing list at http://www.ae.iitm.ac.in/mailman/listinfo/ilugc

We have our Meet on January 19, 2013

Check the details below.

ILUGC Monthly Meet (January 19 2013):-

  Time : Sat January 19, 2013 (3.00 – 5.30 PM)

    Venue: Classroom No 3,
    Areo Space Engineering,
    Near Gajendra Circle,
    IIT Madras.

Link for the Map: http://bit.ly/iit-aero


Topic : RESTful architecture and design – The future of web

Brief summary:
REST is a powerful design pattern that allows architects, developers
and web designers to perceive web from a different perspective. Many
web frameworks and applications (Rails, DJango, RIAK) these days
are designed using the RESTful approach. This talk should provide
an introduction to REST design paradigms and approach that helps
audience understand them with better clarity.

Duration : 30 minutes

Speaker : Chandrashekar Babu

About Speaker: Chandrashekar Babu is  corporate trainer on FOSS technologies.
email AT chandrashekar.info


Topic : PHP more than basics

Description : Beyond basics of php the architecture, professional codding etc .

Duration : 30-45 min

Links to Read :

About Speaker : G.yoganand, PHP Team lead Softmatrix

yoganandgopalan AT gmail.com


Topic: Introduction to Firefox OS

Description: Firefox OS is the upcoming mobile platform. This talk introduces – What it is, how it is structured etc.

Links to read:

Speaker : Dwaraka Nath <dtsdwarak AT hotmail.com>

About Speaker : Dwaraka Nath is part of Public Relations Team of Mozilla India.

Duration : 30 min

General group discussions on any queries, events etc.
CDs/DVDs can be shared on prior request.
Announce this to all your friends, social network sites etc.

All are welcome. Entry Free