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Vamana v.1.52 - South Asian Text Editor

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Effortless Latin-alphabet transliteration
for editing texts in Indian and other South Asian languages,
featuring a unique virtual keyboard for ISO 15919 and IAST,
for composite and pre-composite output.

Producing Sanskrit, Tamil or any other South Asian texts in Latin-alphabet transliteration ("Roman transliteration"), is not a trivial pursuit. First of all, typing the diacritics is often a matter of advanced finger gymnastics. Or of intense meditative mnemonics (ever tried to type a long accented Vedic vowel?). Or it requires the installation of strange keyboard drivers that were probably not written for your operating system, but for some older version, or for another type of operating system altogether. In any case, the solution you get is different from the one you get for the next operating system, so you need to learn new keyboard layouts for every operating system you use.
Things then get really atrocious when you are trying to print, because what looked fairly OK on the screen looks too bad on paper, with dots and accents happily hopping hopscotch on your print-out.

Enter Vamana, the grand hero of the one-click virtual keyboard :-)

According to the Vāmāyana (some manuscripts write "Vāmanāyana"), these problems were all conquered once and for all by Vāmana, a hyperborean hero (short and sturdy, but resourceful and well-meaning), who gave the world his eponymous software program.

Ever since then, the world can generate print-ready precomposite characters from the virtual keyboard with one single mouse click. So just one mouse click will generate an entire ready-made character, including any number of diacritics.

You can then print your output or transfer it to any modern software package, such as Word, Excel, OpenOffice, StarOffice, Adobe InDesign, or in fact any other Unicode-ready software package. South Asian texts will appear exactly as in Vamana, and they will print exactly as they are shown on the screen. No floating-around diacritics, no surprises whatsoever.

Or you can publish your Vamana output online, or send it by e-mail. Vamana saves texts in UTF-8 or UTF-16 file format, which can be put online without any further format change. Vamana can also export files with composite characters (that's the ones with floating-around diacritics). Such files can be put online and viewed even by those who do not have dedicated South Asian fonts of the Kala type.

The fully documented one-to-one relationship between precomposed Vamana characters and print characters makes Vamana the digital system of choice for all modern manuscript digitization missions according to ISO 15919, such as the one we are performing in the University of Tuebingen, Germany, for the Indian manuscripts there.

Vamana's one-click virtual keyboard contains ALL the characters you need for South Asian texts, starting from Vedic. In fact, Vamana's virtual keyboard contains even some additional characters (on blue keys) which are not defined by ISO 15919, but come in handy during an indologist's every-day work.

Click here for a screenshot of Vamana's user interface, complete with all the precomposed characters it offers at just one mouse click.

Vamana is available for all modern operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris. All new versions of these operating systems are supported, including Windows Vista and Mac OS X Leopard.

Vamana includes a very good Times-like Unicode font family for ISO 15919: Kala, Kala Italic, Kala Bold, Kala Bold Italic. The Kala font family works excellently on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris.

Vamana is currently in version 1.52, and it is priced at 30 EURO, plus 5 EURO for postage.

Online orders are possible via PayPal. We are delivering the software as e-mail attachment, so that you can use it straight away, and in addition we are sending it out on disk via standard air mail. Click here to go to the ordering page.












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