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The ‘Open' Tower of Babel

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Software

Here's a reality check on the regional desktop localisation efforts. According to the Bible, there was a time when all those on earth spoke one language. And humanity, united by one language, started building the Tower of Babel to reach the heavens and discover the ultimate truth. As this was open defiance against God's wishes, He thought that the best way to stop these efforts would be to create confusion between humans by making everybody speak different languages so that no one could understand each other. Soon, humans could no longer communicate with each other and the work halted. The Biblical myth ends with the tower being left unfinished, and mankind's dream of reaching the heavens effectively thwarted. "The confusion of tongues" created by a Biblical God has been preventing knowledge decentralisation even today. And this very confusion has also become a barrier in the process of actual penetration of IT, as more than 80 per cent of the population of the world speaks a language other than English. But in the world of open source, GNOME and KDE are serving as the ‘open' tower of Babel. GNOME and KDE are the two most popular desktop environments and are available in several languages. Today they are eroding the layers of the "confusion of tongue" by helping to create desktops in the languages people can understand.

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