‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i Hawaiian Language Tech Technology

Leok? Y2K7

I’m becoming a bit pessimistic that the developers of FirstClass are going to come through and commit to updating their localization process and tools so that we can localize the client software into Hawaiian and use Unicode. Their tardiness in getting Unicode support into the server and client was irritating enough, and it was only after they shipped the Unicode-compliant server and client did we learn that we would still be required to use our old custom fonts, keyboard and other hacks so that we can localize the user interface. Needless to say Keola was not a happy camper. After a few months with no response to our pleas for a commitment to getting the localization tools and process updated, I’ve set a personal deadline – if there is no commitment from them by the day OS X 10.5 ships, we’re abandoning FC and I will build our next-generation Hawaiian language intranet and social networking platform based on OS X Server 10.5.

I’ve looked over the 10.5 Server feature list and think it has most of what we need in terms of core services – email, blogging, LDAP directory, web hosting, podcast production, wiki, calendar and chatting. In an effort to learn how to use Open Directory’s services, I began playing with SquirrelMail, which is preinstalled into the server. It worked flawlessly, and after a few attempts I was able to get it to display the user directory through it’s Javascript pop-up address book. Pretty slick.

The bigger challenge tonight was to authenticate to OS X Server with Moodle. I downloaded the latest version, installed it on my laptop (MacBookPro), and tried to get Moodle to authenticate with no luck. However, a Google search identified this page. With this information I was able to configure Moodle on my MBP and in no time had it authenticating to the OS X Server at my office. Pretty slick stuff. I don’t know if I’ll get to be an LDAP expert or not, but certainly don’t want to have to maintain multiple user directories on different systems.

Both Squirrelmail and Moodle have excellent localization programs and support UTF8 so there are no issues with creating Hawaiian versions of either.

Here are the first screen shots of my experimentation. Baby steps, for sure, but any progress is cause for celebration.

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