[Tuglist] Suggestions for tutorials

Radhakrishnan CV tuglist@tug.org.in
18 Sep 2002 11:00:13 +0530

>>>>> "HSR" == H S Rai <hsraidce@iitr.ernet.in> writes:

    HSR> In response to CVR's mail from previous thread Tug2002:
    HSR> Hangover?

    CVR> The government of Kerala have shown a lot of interest in the
    CVR> promotion of TeX, we need to submit a proposal to them at the
    CVR> earliest.

    HSR> What type of proposal?

A proposal to help young entrepreneurs to setup text processing
companies in Kerala using TeX as the principal engine. The logistical
assistance for setting up companies will be taken care of by
Technopark in Trivandrum, but TUGIndia shall provide technical
resources like training, coordinate developers to assist newly found
companies, etc.

The academic journal publishing industry has a turnover of $14 billion
annually (Economist May 12, 2001). Of this, Elsevier Science (an
Amsterdam based jounal publisher) holds 40% of this market. There are
several other publishers as well like Oxford University Press,
Springer Verlag, Blackwell, ... All these publishing companies use
various text processing companies in India for their pre-press work,
but currently concentrated in Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi.

As you can see TeX is most ideally suited for the job fullfilling all
the requirements of an academic publisher. The infrastructural cost is
confined only to hardware and no software cost is involved if one
chooses TeX as the textprocessing engine and Linux as their operating
system. This is not a dream, but I am talking from my own personal

Since Kerala has huge number of university trained unemployed persons,
the government finds that TeX can be promoted to build up a text
processing industry in Kerala, the prime ingredients like intelligent
manpower for editorial, proofing, data capture, conversion, graphics
manipulation, page makeup, archival markup and other related work are
abundantly available. Further, free software/open source service
business model saves a lot of investment and prevents foreign exchange
drain by way of proprietary software purchase which is what happens in
all the text processing companies in India (for instance, 3B2 -- a
widely used software in text processing companies costs $5000 or more
for a copy and one needs several tens of copies for efficient disposal
of work).

Now, the question is how TUGIndia can be useful in helping the people
of Kerala and other states to build up technical infrastructure with
which entrepreneurs can start new companies to exploit the ever
expanding market of academic publishing. As long as science and
research are part of human activity, there is no dearth of job.

This doesn't mean that TUGIndia is confined to Kerala alone forgetting
its national obligations, just because the local government came
forward first to promote TeX, we are obliged to talk to them now.
Obviously this model can be followed and propagated to other states if
it becomes practically viable.

One way will be to build up a training division inside TUGIndia,
drawing developers from various parts of India specialised in
different aspects of TeX and friends. With a suitably/carefully drawn
up schedule and with financial assistance from the government, these
developers shall find time to travel to Trivandrum or any designated
place and impart training for a designated period covering their area
of specialisation.

Technopark or any other agency designated for the job shall find
entrepreneurs who might wish to undergo training, enlist them and
organize training sessions after talking to TUGIndia. TUGIndia shall
provide necessary software CD's, training materials, test documents
and related resources to the trainees apart from training them. The
resource persons shall be compensated adequately to motivate them
available for further sessions.

Technopark shall play an active role in securing out sourcing from
established text processing companies in India for the newer startups
till they gain enough confidence to become independent companies to
exploit foreign markets. The reason is that Elsevier Science or for
that matter any foreign publisher will be reluctant to provide
projects to the startups at first. In my experience, one year will be
an optimal period for the newer companies to catch up with real-time
job and technologies.

Any thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?