Applications in Indian Languages

Siddharth Karandikar a PuneRuby member and some of his friends are hard at work in creating – a suit of applications in Indian languages. I asked Siddharth to share some of his experiences with us.

Siddharth Karandikar

Could you tell us something about yourself – your background, where you are based?

I am Siddharth Karandikar, a Computer Science graduate (2002) and based out of Pune. Most of my work experience has been in Java/J2ee and Linux scripting.

Could you tell us a little more about

All of this started a few months back. Basically, Marathi being our mother tongue, we always wanted to be able to write a blog in Marathi, without having to download/install any software on our computers. Hence we started thinking about doing this. Then we realized that there is a lot more that can be done. While working on some specifics, we came up with the idea of Tag based advertisements called TagWise. We had applied to Y-combinator for this idea. Though, we got shortlisted, we couldn’t make it to the final funding. It was kind of a blessing in disguise for us! We decided to make paahijen, more than just one application, a suit of applications in Indian languages. We also decided that we MUST support all major Indian languages, as there is too much of fragmentation in the web apps today and there is not much of “critical mass” anyone is gathering. Also, doing this will certainly make the net more accessible to a larger community than is today.

Though paahijen is a Marathi word, there is really nothing “Marathi only” for paahijen.

Since we work on weekends only, the progress has been a bit slow on this front, but I think (or at least hope so) that the progress is not too slow. :-)

It is heartening to see an Indian website that caters to millions of Marathi speaking people. Do you plan to introduce for other Indian languages?

As of now, paahijen supports Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Bangla, Punjabi, Oriya, Malayalam and English. 11 languages in total.

Why did you choose Ruby on Rails (RoR) as a framework for paahijen?

I came across ROR when I was digging into some Python web framework on one of my projects. And in no time, ROR was the winner for me though the project continued to use Python. ROR is a very nice MVC framework with “good defaults”. Once you jot down the basic and important details of the application you are thinking about, ROR enables you to get started with the application development very quickly. When I introduced ROR to my friend Abhijit he also thought that ROR was a good choice.

Were there any surprises in working with RoR?

There were many good surprises. One of them is using ‘https’ while authentication. It got done in just few line of code.

What is your impression about the RoR scene in India?

Individual developers like me are using it because of personal interest, ease of use, small learning curve and supportive community. But my guess is, bigger IT companies are still not sure about going with these new platforms.

Getting back to, what are your future plans?

I think we’d be coming up with another application soon and a few more in the coming months!

Go on! Digg It !

Technorati Tags: India, Pune, paahijen, Siddharth Karandikar

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