Software for paleeograpy of Indic scripts

Those of you who know me a bit better will know that my now ex-{fiance,girlfriend} is studying indian philology and indian cultural history at Freie Universitaet Berlin. Now when you think about philology, you will probably think of old people wading through books and paper.

To the contrary. I've always been amazed how much software development they actually do (or have made) there. Some years back, I learned about Sanskritreader, an OCR (optical character recognition) software package for devanagari script.

Now their latest software is IndoSkript, a Palaeograpy software. It comes with a ~600MB database of scans of anciend Indic handwritings, where evey glyph in those scripts has been individually separated, and the scripts are annotated, etc.

Using that software (it's mainly a database software) you can for example check how a particular glyph was written in a certain timeframe in a specific dynasty in the Mysore area. Or you can draw [or import a scan?] a glyph and have it do pattern-matching, giving you a probabilistic analysis of which already-known glyphs match your new one the most.

As of now, it ships with a database of Brahmi, consisting more than 700 scriptures of more than 170,000 glyphs total.

It's great that they develop these tools, and it's even better that they are published as public domain software. What would be even better, is if they made their software Free Software and publicized the source code. This way other people could contribute and e.g. add a much-needed non-German localization, a precondition for any kind of international (e.g. Indian) use of it.

Maybe I can find a minute (and a minute of their time) to explain to them the marvels of Free Software.