Tamil billboard; credits - masanori_jpn via Flickr.

Latha vs Bamini – 1

Well, this blog post is not about any famous cat-fight: ‘sabaash – sariyaane potTi!’


Frame grab from the song ‘Kannum Kannum’ from movie ‘Vanjikottai Vaaliban’ with danseuse rivals Padmini and Vaijayanthimala.

but about the more mundane issue of resolution of Tamil letters that maybe affecting visual acuity and usage in practical things like billboards. Yes, we know Latha (is Tamil font from Microsoft) and Bamini famous storied font created in 1980s. Bamini font is also used in the Chennai Metro, Colombo railway station among other places; creator of Bamini was recently felicitated with 2017 Tamil Computing award for the pioneering efforts in the dawn of digital era.

Back to resolution; ‘kannu theriyithaa ?’ is the usual expression but it really asks the question are you able to see the object/thing/place/person – and not literally ‘do you have vision?’

In optical science, it is well known that free-space – distance – acts as a filter introducing blurs into the image. This is the mechanism behind why we don’t see details of far-away billboards and they grow in detail as one may approach them.

Tamil billboard; credits - masanori_jpn via Flickr.

Tamil billboard; credits – masanori_jpn via Flickr.

So if you are advertising in large billboards, obviously you want to be visible to audiences as far as laws of physics [Rayleigh resolution limit] will allow.

We can gather from simple considerations the following:

  1. Larger the letters farther away they maybe visible
  2. Longer wavelengths of light [Red (longer) – Violet (shorter)] farther they are visible without being scattered

So you can ask, if all the billboards are painted in large bold Tamil letters ‘adikkira maathiri’, will be visible for very long distances ? Yes. And they will also be boring.

This knowledge does not help us to choose between two fonts, since we can draw/write/pain letters in their character in any size and color – just the shape remains fixed.

Now to properly analyze the two fonts for best visual acuity, we may consider the following criteria:

  1. All letters compared need to be same in both fonts
  2. Viewer is considered to observe the projected font/printed text/billboard from progressively farther and farther distances.
  3. Essentially font corresponding to the billboard which is visible from farthest distance is the winner/better font in this criteria

Before we start drawing conclusions you also want the test subjects to have 20/20 vision or wear corrective prescription eye glasses for the same level of vision.

Now, regardless of the color and size of the fonts we can use the criteria to compare the acuity of the fonts.

But wait, can we do this by computer modeling without paint, labor and 20/20 vision subjects? You betcha! This will be subject of next blog post.

Until then…. Vaazhga Valamudan.


Tamilpesu.us update – Text Summarizer

Tamilpesu.us updated on Aug 8th. This brings all bug fixes of the development in Open-Tamil from March 2018 to present, and new functionality via Tamil text summarizer. This works on text analysis of essay input to split into sentences and words, and forms a correlation matrix to develop a score based off that we pull sentences from text into final summary. Give it a try http://tamilpesu.us/


Text summarizer output of the article from The Hindu Tamil newspaper. Its quite relevant summary in this case, providing an agreeable output.

Unfortunately we are not able to put the Tamil word classifier [using SciKit Learn and Python] online since currently the Python/Django dependency on AWS machine is incompatible; wait for that in future or try it out by yourself.

Thanks to all our contributors, as always to keep this volunteer work going.


Dispatches from Kovai, India

Kovai – Coimbatore, India – also known as Manchester of India, and various monickers for its beautiful weather, Tamil dialect, and cool weather at foothills of the Nilgiris-Ooty mountain range and clear waters from Sravani river, it is a microcosm of all that is nice and beautiful in முல்லை Tamilnadu.

Our team of fearless open-source enthusiasts añd contributing developers of open-tamil project, Shrinivasan and our newest contributor this year Syed Abuthahir made an impressive presentation at the conference, and gained new clients for the open-tamil library demonstrating the prowess of various tools, particularly from the web-interface http://tamilpesu.us

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 12.49.53 AM

Growth and evolution of Open-Tamil – presented at TNAU, Coimbatore. Full slides here

Syed has gladly shared the presentation with me, and I put it up on slideshare for all of us to read/comment. Thanks to all earnest contributions of time, effort, code and thought towards this project over the years!

Best Regards,


காதல் -> தவம் ?

எப்படி “காதல்” என்ற சொல்லை, ஓர் எழுத்து மாற்றத்தினால் மட்டுமே, “தவம்” என்று மாற்றுவது ?


இதனை எப்படி கண்டடைந்தோம் ?. இதனை எப்படி கணினிமயமாக்கலாம் ?


Chennai Python 24th, March, 2018

24th March, 2018,  Chennai Python Meet-up

Open-Tamil and Ezhil-Language Projects

“எழில் என்பது முதல் திர மூலமாக கிடைக்கக்கூடிய தமிழ் ஸ்கிரிப்டை அடிப்படையாகக்
கொண்ட நிரலாக்க மொழி ஆகும், இது விண்டோஸ் 32, 64 மற்றும் Ubuntu, Fedora Linux மற்றும் Docker தளங்களில் 2017 ஆம் ஆண்டில் வெளியான http://ezhillang.org. எழில் ஒரு பைத்தான்-அடிப்படையிலான மொழிஇயக்கி. வளர்ச்சி GitHub வழியாக நடைபெறுகிறது.

திறந்த-தமிழ் தமிழ் நெருக்கமாக தொடர்புடைய தமிழ் மொழி செயலாக்க கருவிகள் கொன்டது; நூலகம் ஆரம்பத்தில் எழில் மொழியின் ஒரு கீற்றாக துவங்கியது; ஆனால் விரைவாக வார்த்தை-வடிகட்டுதல், N- கிராம் பகுப்பாய்வு, புணற்சசி இலக்கணம், தமிழ் எழுத்துப்பிழை சொல்திருத்தி உருவாக்கம் முதலியன, பல மொழிகளில் பைத்தான், முக்கியமாக, ஜாவா, ரூபி முதலியவற்றிற்கான தமிழ் தொகுப்புகள் பரிசுரம் செய்யபட்டன். http://tamilpesu.us வலையில், மற்றும் Play Store இல் Kalsee பயன்பாட்டில் எங்கள் வேலைகளை பயன்படுத்தலாம்.”



Thanks to kind arrangements of friends in Chennai Python, and open-tamil community I had an opportunity to make a presentation on Open-Tamil and Ezhil-Lang projects, and completion. Talk was well received, and delivered in unique Tamil mixed with English due to comfort of being in Chennai only!

open-tamil -conference articles (2014, ’16, ’17)

Thanks to our co-authors and open-tamil collaborators [Shrinivasan, Arulalan, Sathia Narayanan, among others], we were able to submit 3 articles to INFITT conferences in 2014, 2016, and 2017 respectively.

This year too with some luck we hope to make it to the TIC 2018. We are in process of drafting another article for upcoming 2018 Tamil Internet Conference in Coimbatore, India, to report additional developments from our team. We will be having a somewhat larger author list to properly acknowledge contributors – old and new.

At this time for our own review, we recollect the prior three research articles published about open-tamil (in chronological order) they are:

  1. “Open-Tamil text processing tools,” (2014) Tamil Internet Conference at Puducherry, India : here (Aug, 2014)
  2. “Developments in Open-Tamil library,” (2016) Tamil Internet Conference at Dindugul, India : here (2016)
  3. “Tamil open-source landscape: opportunities and challenges,” (2017) Tamil Internet Conference, UT-Scarborough, Toronto, Canada : here (June, 2017)


San José, CA

Open-Tamil v0.7 release

I’m happy to announce Open-Tamil 0.7 release, today 23rd March, 2018. Open-Tamil is distributed under MIT license, and available for Python 2.6, 2.7, 3+ and PyPy platforms, via the Python Package index at https://pypi.python.org/pypi/Open-Tamil/0.7

You can install the package via ‘$ pip install –upgrade open-tamil’ command issued in your console.

Following updates are made to the Python package:

  1. Series of command line tools will be installed into your Python (for Windows) or local/bin directory (for Linux) with this release. The command line tools are,


1. tamilphonetic – convert EN input to Tamil text

2. tamilwordfilter – filter Tamil input only from all input text data

3. tamilurlfilter – filter Tamil text from the input website data

4. tamiltscii2utf8 – convert encoding from TSCII to UTF-8 for input file

5. tamilwordgrid – generate a crossword from Tamil input text and write to output.html file

6. tamilwordcount – like UNIX wc program but for Tamil

  1. Transliteration package updates: Reverse transliteration functions is added; Univ of Madras scheme support is added.
  2. Tamil package: added text summarizer tool via module ‘tamil.utils.SummaryTool’
  3. Solthiruthi package updates: To do spell checking reasonable times and ability to identify and correct many classes of errors are added.
  4. Bug fixes for issues in get_letters(), tamil.numeral, added capability for generating string version of numerals in Tamil [previously only numeric version was supported]

In addition to the package, a web interface was developed for Open-Tamil in Django hosted at http://tamilpesu.us for demonstrating some of our capabilities.

We like to thank all our contributors in general, and in particular those members who contributed new code or bug fixes going into this release.

Previous release was v0.67 on Aug 23rd, 2017 and v0.65 was released on Oct 22nd 2016. Please share the word, and send us any bugs, feature requests or feedback via our github page https://github.com/Ezhil-Language-Foundation/open-tamil


Muthu for Open-Tamil team.

Chennai, India.