The development of localised software, systems and applications is not a novel concept to our nation. Although we boast of a history of more than five years of localisation in the field of Information and Communication Technology in Sri Lanka, there has never been a common platform for all the practitioners in the field of localisation to meet and share their experiences. The Symposium on Localised Systems and Applications, which is scheduled to be held on 2nd September, 2009 at the university premises is a step taken by the Centre of Excellence on Localised Applications of the University of Moratuwa, to fulfil this long-felt necessity.
This symposium also marks the launching of the Centre. The organizing team of the symposium is spearheaded by Prof. Gihan Dias of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, who has been a pioneer in the field of localisation of IT. The committee comprises other eminent practitioners in the field such as Dr. Sanath Jayasena, Prof. Asoka Karunananda and Mr. Dihan Morawaka.
Expressing his views of the organization of the symposium, Prof. Dias said, "We have been doing a lot of work in the area of localisation for five years, by developing localised software, systems and applications. Our aim is to extend the benefits of ICT to those who find the language of English a barrier to connect with the modern world and its competence. The symposium will highlight the localisation work that bears relevance to the field of ICT."
Original work in the areas of
n Local language support in hardware and operating systems
n localised software
n local language content and
n promotion and dissemination of local language computing
From several universities, institutes and commercial organisations will be presented at this inaugural Symposium.
According to Dr. Sanath Jayasena, Senior lecturer at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of Moratuwa,
"The symposium will be, to a great extent, results-oriented. We have already received a really good response from many parties: ICT agencies as well as individuals. This is clear evidence for the positive growth of the localisation of IT in Sri Lanka as well as the significance of having a common forum for such practitioners in the field."
Localisation of IT applications is a common phenomenon in the world today. Various countries have used it as a means of promoting ICT and its benefits to the local language users and thus heading towards the goal of connecting every individual in the global village through ICT.
However, as Dr. Jayasena points out,
"This is the very first time that a symposium of this sort is organized in Sri Lanka. Therefore, it will provide the contributors to the field an unprecedented opportunity to present their original work as well as meet their peers and widen their horizons."
The Symposium on Localised Systems and Applications will be held at the University of Moratuwa on 2nd September 2009 from 8.30 a.m to 4.30 p.m. All those who are interested in participation are kindly requested to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and confirm your participation prior to the event.
As Prof. Dias further mentions, "We expect that this will be the beginning of many such discussions to follow and that it will further encourage the contributions to the field of localisation."