A few months ago, one fine morning I logged into #smc-project IRC channel. An unusual number of members were present on that day, and we were completing the process of getting aspell-ml into Fedora. Meanwhile, Santhosh and Nishan were in the process of creating an ASCII-to-Unicode converter. The discussions and talks went light, and we went into a myriad of topics. Somehow, the discussion turned into Ani Peter’s “blog inauguration“, and then Santhosh pointed out at my Malayalam blog. That prompted him to ask if I am a fan of V.K.N. I said yes, and he replied the feeling is mutual. But a few guys in the list didn’t know who “Payyan” is, or “Chathans” is.

Payyans and Chathans are arguably the most famous characters by this exceptional genius V.K.N.

Few days later, Santhosh and Nishan released the ASCII-to-Unicode converter, and they named the software as “Payyans” !

Couple of weeks after, I was trying to learn GTK+ programming, and Glade. As an experiment, I wrote a small GUI for Payyans in GTK, which resulted in a patch to Payyans and a tiny GTK+ application, which I duly named as “Chathans”.

A few months withered away, I learned a little PyGTK programming, and I rewrote Chathans in PyGTK. Payyans was also improved in a substantial way, gaining internal APIs, so that services of Payyans can be used directly inside Python applications, feature for bidirectional conversion et al. I have added the ability for translation to Chathans later.

So, we have released Chathans, documented the steps to obtain, install and use in SMC wiki.


As always – comments, bug reports and patches are welcome.


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