[Tugindia] Devnag

Radhakrishnan CV cvr at river-valley.org
Tue Jan 27 04:28:04 CET 2004

Here is a mail from Dominik Wujastyk, one of the current maintainers
of Devnag package which is self explanatory.  Do anyone in this list
volunteer to take charge of the maintainance and further development? 

If you do, please write to me at the earliest.


Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004 12:13:57 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
From: Dominik Wujastyk <ucgadkw at ucl.ac.uk>
To: Radhakrishnan C V <cvr at river-valley.com>
cc: Kaveh Bazargan <kaveh at focalimage.com>, "John D. Smith" <jds10 at cam.ac.uk>,
   Anshuman Pandey <apandey at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Devnag

Dear Radhakrishnan,

Greetings from cold, sunny Cambridge!  I hope you and everyone at
Focal Image are well.

I am writing about devnag, the Devanagari package for TeX and LaTeX
originally written by Frans Velthuis.  This is probably the most
widely-used package for doing Devanagari with TeX.  It has been very
successful, with many books being produced using it.  It has also
continued to grow and develop, albeit slowly.  I was involved myself
for some time in originating and maintaining the LaTeX support files.
John Smith (Cambridge) took up maintenance of the C code of the
pre-processor, which he substantially re-wrote, strengthened and
updated.  Others like Francois Patte and Anshuman Pande worked on
extending the macros and updating the documentation.  Marc Csernel and
Zdenek Wagner both contributed.  Most recently, Kevin Carmody has
updated and added features to the package, effectively producing a new
release.  There is talk of adding Vedic accentuation in the next round
of changes.

To try and bring some order to a development effort, which was about
to branch, John, Anshuman and I decided that it was time to go to the
Sourceforge, and Anshuman lodged the devnag package there last July

However, things have got stuck at this point.  We have all given a lot
of time and support to devnag over many years, and we are all still
rather attached to the project and would like to remain in contact
with it, and even make contributions if we can.  But the time has come
for all of us to hand the project over, if possible, to other people
who are willing and able to take stronger responsibility for its
development and maintenance.  At the very least, the existing code and
documentation should be reviewed, checked for errors, and packaged
into a new maintenance release.  Kevin Carmody's updates should be
reviewed and - as appropriate - folded into the main development trunk
of the project.

Do you think, Radhakrishnan, that this would be an appropriate task
for the Indian TeX Users Group?

If I may, I'd like to mention what I see as the main point of
sensitivity: that those like Patte and Carmody who have contributed to
the project (and indeed, Anshuman, John, and myself), should not feel
that the project is being torn out of our hands, but rather that it is
being supported in a new and better home, and that we are still
welcome to participate if we wish.

Finally, the father of the whole package, Frans Velthuis.  To the best
of my knowledge, Frans withdrew from active involvement in the project
a couple of years after his initial Metafont, TeX and C work was
complete.  At first, the project was a commercial one.  But
subsequently, a lump sum of money was raised for Frans from the
Groningen University Computing Lab and the Wellcome Trust (where I
worked at the time), and Frans donated his code for free use by all.
With that, he ceased work on it.  That was over ten years ago, I

With best wishes,

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