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Akshara Animation

  Computer based animation can be utilized to advantage in learning to write the aksharas of the languages in different scripts. What is being attempted here is an approach to accomplish this animation on a web page. The basic principle of HTML for creating documents will not help here since the animation referred to requires the execution of an appropriate program within the Browser. Java Applets provide the means to accomplishing this though we must admit that this may not serve the purpose on systems where the Java Virtual Machine is not installed or the implementation of it differs in some aspects.

  In 2001, we had experimented with a primitive animation method using Java Applets and it appears that the desired effect had been achieved on most Browsers including those on a MacIntosh. However Java Technology has undergone many changes since the time we introduced the animation applets and there is no guarantee that the old animation applet will continue to work. Worse still, there is no guarantee that any modifications effected to the old applet to bring it upto date with today's Java technology, will also work properly. 

  Keeping the above in mind we have attempted to rewrite the animation applet consistent with the changing hardware and software scenario. The new applets allow control of the stroking speed and also display information relating to the akshara being stroked. We have also included animation of the medial vowel forms so that the placement of the ligature is correctly understood. Audio has been added to allow the viewer hear the vowel or consonant.

  Besides the Applet, the page has a provision to hear sample words for a given akshara as well as written examples of words which can be matched against the ones spoken.

  The applet seems to work properly on Browsers such a Netscape (4.8 or higher), Mozilla and Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer-6 using the recent versions of the Java RunTime Environment from Sun Microsystems.

  Regrettably, we have not been able to get the new applet to work properly on a Mac. Anyone who might want to help us figure out the problem may please contact the lab. People at Sun seem to feel that we had used some deprecated features of Java  but it is difficult to accept that we need to change. The Sanskrit lessons and the animations have been seen by thousands of viewers from 2001 and we would not want them to feel disappointed when the new applets fail on their older Browsers. 

  We will continue our efforts to see if the applet with new features works across a spectrum of Browsers and JREs. If the applets linked form this page fail on your system, please bear with us. The old animation applets for Sanskrit and Tamil are still available and should work.

About the new Applet

  Given below is a screen shot of the applet. When the page with the applet loads, no animation will be present. You select the akshara to be animated through a mouse click and a subsequent click on the animate button. The rate of animation can be controlled by repeatedly clicking on the faster or slower buttons. It is possible that the hear button lets you hear the akshara but this may not work on all systems. Please use the alternate method given in the page. Unlike the old applet, the new one will draw the akshara once and stop. Scrolling the page up or down will result in the akshara getting redrawn.

Animation of Akshars is provided for the following scripts.









Punjabi (Gurmukhi)


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