Content Proposal, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Chris Leonard cjlhomeaddress at
Thu Jun 30 18:41:33 EDT 2011

Dear OLPC developers,

I would like to propose including the United Nation's Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in the content bundles provided in
the 11.2.0 libraries.

It is translated into over 400 languages (found here)

Many deployments are apparently interested in English language
instruction and I believe that distributing English and local language
copies of the UDHR together not only provides an opportunity for a
"Rosetta Stone" type pairing of texts, but it might also serve as a
launching point for discussions in civics or social studies classes.

I have sent an e-mail to the Secretary of the Publication Board,
United Nations to specifically ask about any restrictions they might
impose on electronic redistribution of the UDHR text and translations
downloaded from their site.  However, given the following quote from
the UHDR website, the intended use seems entirely consistent with the
intent of the UN in publishing the UHDR.

"On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations
adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the
full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this
historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to
publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be
disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and
other educational institutions, without distinction based on the
political status of countries or territories."

Article 26 is of particular relevance to OLPC's efforts.

Assuming there is consensus on pedagogical value and a clear answer on
the copyright status of the UDHR, the remaining question is how to go
about packaging this content for OLPC distributions.  The material
downloads primarily as PDF files.  I haven't checked them all, but
some are text selectable "composited" PDFs, some may be scanned image
PDFs, and a few are possibly available as HTML.

I would like to do as little rework as possible on packaging these (in
part to get them ready in time for the 11.2.0 release), so I am
inclined to stick with the 8 page PDF as downloaded. One possibility
would be to include all of the languages, but this seems wasteful of
precious space.

I am not aware of any storage structure currently available for
content management by language in the way that Pootle handles strings
and the individual languages in the /po directory in git.  I'm unsure
of how this could be managed with the build process to pick up the
appropriate localized version of the UDHR.

Let's be clear that I am not really a developer, so I would be happy
to see someone take this idea and run with it. I am more than willing
to collaborate with anyone on bringing this to fruition, but I
probably can't pull it off all by myself without some assistance (at
least advice and feedback on appropriate technical issues).


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