Re: [gnome-cy] ACCAC: open-sourcing Y Termiadur

Helo pawb,

I think I should respond to clarify one or two points.

Ysgrifennodd Kevin Donnelly:
On 2 May, following up some points Telsa had raised about the status of the 
words in Y Temiadur, and after the request not to link to, I wrote to ACCAC asking them:
(a) to confirm that we had a right to use the Termiadur words;
(b) to consider open-sourcing Termiadur.

I have now received a reply from ACCAC, which in relation to (a) confirms, as 
expected, that anybody has a right to use the terms without ACCAC's 
permission, but not to reproduce the volume or the title.

In relation to (b), ACCAC takes the line that the terms are available free 
from, or available to buy on CD from Canolfan Bedwyr, 
and therefore that ACCAC sees no justification for releasing the material.

Pace whatever views I might have, based on previous lives, that this shows yet 
again that the public sector is the voluntary sector's mortal enemy, the main 
question is to decide now whether and how to pursue this. 
Canolfan Bedwyr is not at all the voluntary sector's (/Welsh open source community ) enemy. Canolfan Bedwyr has supported Welsh OSS and has been highlighting it as a significant development in supporting not only Welsh software but the language itself to the public sector. We hosted back in November last year the e-Gymraeg/e-Welsh day for a get together of open source volunteers/local private companies/academics and various representatives of the public sector bodies and an email list that we maintain was born from that to continue discussing and announcing developments in Welsh software (of any type - closed or open) There is a significant amount of members on that list, close to 50 the last time I looked of people from all sectors and from all over Wales. The archives and details of joining or posting to that list are at You can post in English or in Welsh. Just yesterday I sent an email to tell people about the Linux awareness days in Cardiff.

Other ways Canolfan Bedwyr have been involved in particular is in it's work with OpenOffice. Canolfan Bedwyr will release with OpenOffice 1.1 a Welsh MySpell checker. This will allow for the first time also a Welsh ispell checker. Canolfan Bedwyr will also release the MySpell spell checker as an XPI for Mozilla.  Canolfan Bedwyr have also supported the localisation of OpenOffice into Welsh and permitted a Linux build server (a machine donated by Cyngor Sir Ynys Mon) to be connected up to the internet for David Chan and Rhoslyn Prys to co-work. There is a deadline for Wednesday to get the translations for OOo1.1 submitted  and thanks mainly to Rhoslyn's and David's efforts but also Canolfan Bedwyr there'll be a 100% translation going in. We had a Linux build of OO1.1 Beta2 done yesterday in CB and it looked bendigedig!

There's a good chance that Canolfan Bedwyr will give some space on it's stall at the Eisteddfod in August to demonstrate a completely Welsh desktop - Linux, Gnome/KDE, Mozilla/Netscape and OpenOffice.

But anyway, back to the Termiadur.

On (b), I have a couple of difficulties:
- has had a MS _vbscript_ problem (...) for at least two 
months now, and is actually not available;
Why didn't you tell us if you needed it and it didn't work? It should be available and we should put it back up. In prioritising the work we do (we're only two part time programmers)  if there were people shouting for it then we would have fixed it.
- when I linked to it, I was asked to remove the link, on the basis that this 
was a "private" resource (I don't know when this changed, if it has), which 
was why I wrote Omnivore;
You were not linking to the online version of the Termiadur, but to a test version we had of the BBC LearnWelsh dictionary. It was only a test version and the URL address contained the name 'bbc' so we weren't sure if the BBC might take exception to this. You can however link to the BBC version (which at the time wasn't available) at which has 60000 entries . We are thinking of hosting that dictionary ourselves (without bbc in the url) and providing easier access to it via WAP phones (just the killer app it always needed) and as Mozilla sidebar panels or plain simple HTML pages.

About Omnivore - we think it's very good and have been showing that page to others in the University.

- even if melin were a completely free resource, it is purely web-based, and 
cannot therefore be used for non-web purposes, eg packaged as a free 
dictionary rpm;
There's CysGair available on Windows only sorry that does the same thing and gives really good additional linguistic grammatical information and integration with auto translating in Microsoft Word. It's £25 and is also the platform that was used for CD version of the Termiadur.
- the CD, apart from costing money, is presumably subject to some sort of 
copyright too, although (part of) the contents may come under (a) above;
- the melin address has not exactly been widely publicised;
The marketing is possibly true. I didn't know what was on there completely till you asked. But there is no conspiracy here to get you to buy the CD instead. It's just a bit neglected.
- I am reluctant, as a taxpayer, to have to pay twice for the same thing - 
once to have it made, and once (or more?) to access it.
Ok, money. My view on it is that in a way you have not payed for it to be developed at all and are in fact not paying for it twice. Canolfan Bedwyr does not get any funding from the University or any one else at all. In order to keep the work going we've got to look for our own sources of funding which exposes us to the competitive tendering processes the assemby has for selecting 'suppliers' with 'best value for money'. That has a significant effect on our licensing/charging. We are not looking to make profits etc. We want to ideally give everything away we do for free because that's what the Welsh language needs. But without there being any proper funding or sponsorship to pay for our work (and marketing it) we want to be able to cover the costs in some way and continue. If there was proper funding, we'd be there open sourcing and/or porting Cysill and Cysgair to Linux and/or Mac.

btw. try contacting Microsoft sometime to ask how can you get the Welsh spell checker for Office XP that we developed for them. They'll tell you you need to buy World Proofing Tools for £100. That's paying for it twice, (through your nose!). We'll give you the link straight to the installation package at

The two main options are: (1) to pursue this further, making the above points, 
and bring in some of our public representatives like AMs/MPs (which has the 
side-benefit of raising awareness about free software in general); (2) 
sidestep this by starting some sort of Free Welsh Dictionary project, along 
the lines of dmoz and the Open Encyclopaedia

Any views would be welcome.
You mentioned copyrights. Thanks to copyright issues we can't make available to the public an online version of the Geiriadur Yr Academi. (that translates in both directions) We're fighting for it to happen though.

'Cymru Arlein' and the Assembly will pay for a license agreement with Oxford University Press so that from August onwards Welsh library members will have free access to the Oxford English dictionary online from their library or from home. Excellent news but it's a shame (to say the least) that a Welsh online (i.e. GYA) dictionary will not be available at the same time. 

If you want to make a noise, then when Cymru Arlein announces it in August, bring it to as many people's attention that the assembly is not funding for the same provision for the Welsh language.



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