University of Hawai'i
(808) 956-8856 Telephone
For Immediate Release:
October 19, 1998
Contact: Keola Donaghy, Director of Media and Telecommunications
Hale Kuamo'o, University of Hawai'i at Hilo(808) 974-7339; fax (808) 974-7686
Hawaiian Language Internet Browser, The First of It's Kind.
Hilo, Hawai'i - Hale Kuamo'o has announced the release of Ka Ho'okele, a Hawaiian language Internet browser for the World Wide Web (WWW). Ka Ho'okele is based on the popular Netscape Communicator Internet program developed by Netscape Communications Corporation of Mountain View, California. It is the first such translation completed for any Native American or Polynesian language, and only the second such project completed independently of Netscape. The translation was enabled through Netscape's Universal Localization Program (ULP).
"This Hawaiian language browser demonstrates the viability of the Universal Localization Program and the value of our open source code concept," said Rick Elliott, ULP program manager, Netscape. "We believe this marks the beginning of a new wave of customized Internet browsers that will help many people access the Web in their native language."
Ka Ho'okele contains a World Wide Web browser, email, news reader, and a module for creating web pages. All user interface elements-menus, dialog boxes, window names, etc.-are in Hawaiian. At this time only a Macintosh version of Ka Ho'okele is available. Translation of Windows and Linux versions of Ka Ho'okele are being considered.
Though designed specifically for the students, teachers, parents and support personnel involved in Hawaiian Medium Education programs, Ka Ho'okele will be made available for the Hawaiian-speaking community at large and anyone with a Macintosh computer and an Internet connection.
On March 31, 1998, Netscape Communications Corporation publicly released the source code for Netscape Communicator, and shortly thereafter contacted the Hale Kuamo'o to determine if there was interest in providing a Hawaiian language version of the program. Translation and testing of the program was completely done by staff of the Hale Kuamo'o during the summer, and testing was completed in late September.
"We have been told that 97% of all websites on the Internet are implemented solely in the English language," says Keiki Kawai'ae'a, Director of Curriculum and Teacher Development for the Hale Kuamo'o. "We are so pleased to afford public access to those who choose to 'surf the net' through Hawaiian and in Hawaiian."
Hale Kuamo'o also runs Leoki, a Hawaiian language Bulletin Board System (BBS) that is used by nearly 1,000 Hawaiian language speakers statewide, and which links all of the Hawaiian immersion schools, Punana Leo preschools, Hawaiian language university offices, and other support organizations. In addition, Hale Kuamo'o designed and maintains Kualono, the most complete and diverse source of information on Hawaiian language on the Internet. It uses a unique dual-language format, allowing users to view most pages in both Hawaiian and English.
Funding for these technological initiatives is provided by the 'Aha Punana Leo through its consortium agreement with the Hale Kuamo'o to provide curriculum and support to the Hawaiian immersion schools.
Hale Kuamo'o, The Hawaiian Language Center
College of Hawaiian Language
University of Hawai'i at Hilo
200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, Hawai'i 96720
Ka Ho'okele homepage: http://www.olelo.hawaii.edu/OP/resources/kahookele/
Hale Kuamo'o homepage: http://www.olelo.hawaii.edu/OP/orgs/hk/
Netscape ULP homepage: http://www.mozilla.org/docs/l10n