Project Ideas – Part 2 – Looking for contributors

Here are few more project ideas.

1. mobile/web app to record voice for wikisoure – Show a word, record it, upload to commons, link back to wiktionary.

2. mobile/web app to record audio books  – FreeTamilEbooks needs audio books too

3. wordpress to android app convertor – Why cant we convert a wordpress site as android app with RSS feeds?

4. epub to apk convertor – Let us publish ebooks as mobile apps too.

5. blog to epub convertor – fix, add images
Add a feature to download images and add them to ebooks.

6. Daily mobi files for tamil newspapers
Crawl newspapers daily, make mobi, send them to kindle in email daily.

7. Send to kindle – feature for FTE
Add Send to kindle feature to site

8. Lime survey – SAAS – alternate to google forms
Explore limesurvey and make it as alternate for google forms.

9. Collect politicians info and release as app, site

How can we collect all politicians details as education, assets etc and publish for public?

10. setup ELK for tamil literature search, build a search engine on top of it

Explore using ElasticSearch and Kibana for Tamil Text analysis.

11. fix android app to record audio for wiktionary –
done at

12. Analyse tamil tv/radio show audio, find how many english words are used/hour
This paper may help
Contact Ganesh for python implementation of this algo

13. gui for voice record/upload – wiktionary

This needs a GUI version for windows users

14. gui for csv uploader

This needs a GUI for windows users

15. gui for open-tamil font convertor

Need a web application or GUI for all features of open-tamil

16. mobile app to teach tamil – pollachi nasan

17. wiki massuser create

Sometimes, we need to create 100s of users on wikipedia, for any training/event. Currently, only 6 users can be created. Admins can create multiple users, one by one. Automate this process using mechanize and beautifulsoup.

18. OCR4wikisource web version using google vision api

Rewrite with google vision api and give a web interface.

19. create a command line TTS from the source of a mobile TTS app.

Here is a open source TTS mobile app for tamil.

Register and download the source and apk.
The voice named “Naveen” is good.

There are many c files in the folder

Can you compile those files and give a binary file as a command line tool?

Explore these code and share your thoughts on how to convert this as a
desktop/command line application so that we can use it in our

20. Create a GUI app for bulk photo uploader for


Celebrate 42 lakhs downloads of Free Tamil Ebooks with Us


On July 26, 2013, we started the Project, to create and share Tamil Ebooks in Creative Commons license. We release the ebooks in 4 formats, ePub, Mobi, A4 PDF and 6 inch PDF, so that we can read the books on any device like kindle, boko, nook, android, iOS, Desktop, Laptops etc.

Read more about he project here –

We added the download counters for each book. But wanted a full report on downloads count. Waited for three years. My wife, Nithya was learning Python programming. Gave this as assignment to get the report of all the books download count. She wrote a script, which crawls all the book pages, get the contents, search for the download counts, add in a report.

Here is the report –

Here is the source code-

With this report, we can see the most downloaded books on file type wise,and total wise.

Good. Found that there is a number for total download count too.

It says as  4228868 now. This is 42,28,868 i.e 42 lakhs, 4.2 million.

Wow. 🙂

Never thought that we will reach so many readers. This means there are good Tamil readers are there around the world, who are ready to read the good contents.

Tons of thanks for all the contributors, writers and readers for making this project as a useful one for the Tamil readers.


Thanks to the following communities, who are behind this project.

With all the technical and content support from all around the world, the project is growing well.

If you are interested in contributing to the project, join our forum and share your interest.

Join our forum here-!forum/freetamilebooksforum

Image source-

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 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


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, 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


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

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

We can add the details about the ebooks in to

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

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.

How to create an ebook for Free Tamil is a portal for Tamil ebooks with creative commons license.

Let us see here, how to create ebooks for this portal.

1. Find content with creative commons license.

There are many blogs/sites in Tamil with creative commons license. We can get the content from there and create ebooks. We shold mention the same license in the books.

Ask bloggers and writers to release their content in creative commons license, so that we can create ebooks with their works.

2. Create an account in

We use to create the ebooks. It can export in the epub, mobi and XHTML formats.

Create login in

create a ebook.

There are front matter, main body and back matter sections.

Add new chapters in these sections.

Front matter.

1. Intro page

Add the cover image, intro text, author name etc. Cover image should be in vertical size. Check for sample cover images.

2. License Page

3. Ebook created by and publisher information

Main Body

1. Chapter 1

2. Chapter 2

3. etc

Copy and paste the book’s content here as new chapters.

Back Matter

1. About the author

2. Any other notes from author

3. About Free Tamil [ copy the content from ]

4. Add custom css for ebook.

Goto Apperance – Themes- Activate PressBooks custom css

Click the custom css. Edit CSS

Choose “Ebook” for the option “You are currently editing CSS for: “

Then, paste the following content and save.

p {
display : block;

5. Book Info

Add the following details in the book info.

Title, Author, Publisher, Publication Date, Language(Tamil), Add cover Image.

Copyright year, Copyright holder (author name), copyright notice ( add relevant creative commons license text here)

6. Export

Goto Export page.

Export as epub, mobi and xhtml.

Check the epub in ( ) chrome plugin.

You can stop here and send the epub, mobi, XHTML files to

We will take care of PDF files creations.

If you wish to produce A4 PDF and 6 Inch PDF, follow below instructions.

7. Creating PDF files:

Open the XHTML file in a text editor.

Add the following CSS code inside the <head> </head> block of the file.

We keep updating the CSS for improving the readability of the PDF files.

Get the latest CSS code from

<style type=”text/css”>

page-break-before: always;

#toc {
page-break-before: always;

page-break-before: always;
border-bottom-style: groove;
color : #3366FF;

h3.chapter-number {

h3.front-matter-number {

#half-title-page {

@media print {
img {
max-width: 100%;


In the TOC section, replace the word “Contents” with பொருளடக்கம்

Remove the line “<li><a href=”#main-body”>Main Body</a></li>”

Save the file.

8. Firefox Hacks:

We need to print A4 PDF and 9cm x 12 cm sized 6 Inch PDF file from Firefox browser.

In GNU/Linux, we can print as PDF file from firefox.

In windows, install a free PDF printer as doPDF.

Remove margins in Firefox

Firefox has its own margins for printing. We have to remove them all.

Type about:config in the addressbar.

Search for the string “margin”


Set the value as 0 for all the above strings.

Now, open the html file in a new tab.


Select Print to File

In Page setup tab, select paper size as “Manage Custom Sizes

Add new paper size named “kindle”

width: 90 mm height 120 mm

margins: top : 10mm bottom : 15mm left: 5 mm right 5mm

save this.

Add new paper size named “Custom A4”

width: 210 mm height: 297 mm

margins: top:25mm bottom:35mm left:25mm right 25mm

save this.

These are one time tasks only. We can use the same settings in our future works.

Now, print as two PDF files.

One with paper size “kindle” and 85% scale.

Another with paper size “Custom A4” and 100% scale.

Thats all. We got the epub, mobi, A4 pdf and 6 Inch PDF files for the ebook.

Now send these 4 files and the cover image to freetamilebooksteam AT gmail DOT com.