June 12, 2010

F13 Release Party, Bangalore

Although I was thinking about a release party for quite some time, but lack of a proper venue was acting as a deterrent. Thanks to Dependra Shekhawat and his colleague Saket for giving the idea about FSMK office as a possible venue. Within no time I contacted Vikram Vincent and Naveen Mudunuru and fixed up everything. Invitation mails were sent to the various mailing lists and the preparations were on.
Ankur and me decided to share the job of burning media. We together burnt around 15 F-13 Desktop Live CDs. The attendees were also requested to bring their flash drives along with them. We were expecting not more than 10 attendees and were keeping our fingers crossed. I was hoping to meet some new people and also understand what FSMK does. I also planned to distribute some stickers and buttons I got from Pune and others that I had from previous events.
It was a little difficult at first to find the place and Hiemanshu called up a person who knew the place to find out the exact location. Google map was wrong this time. Without much ado we reached the place where two people were already waiting. It was a small apartment although sufficient for our purpose. we waited for some more people to come before starting. Deependra had brought his colleague along (who is from Jadavpur University and off-course a Bengali). My friend Vignesh, who is actively involved with FSMK was also there along with his colleague from On Mobile. One of my colleague also joined us. To all our surprise, a very aged person, who had seen the invitation on one of the mailing list, also joined us. I was overwhelmed. He wanted Linux to be spread to to the SMEs and also gave us some ideas. More on that later. After a few more people joined in, we started the event beginning with a very interesting discussion FLOSS scenario in Bangalore and Karnataka in general. Naveen gave us some really interesting facts. They are trying really hard to take Linux and FOSS to the grass root level and have been successful to a large extent. They have also done some community computer center projects similar to the Bijra Project.
By the time we started our Release party agenda, there were around 15 people in the room and eager to learn about the new Fedora. One guy arrived a little late. Everyone was given the one page release note and a Live CD. Some also Live USBs to be made and we obliged. Ankur was the designated candidate for elucidating more on the chic Fedora 13 features. He did a really good job. When I was busy taking snaps, Deependra talked about the functioning of the Fedora project. I also added my own experiences. Some guys who had brought their laptops started trying the live CDs. At this point Naveen tabled the proposal that they can arrange some workshops in the various engineering colleges once the hols are over. Deependra was very excited at this and to help out. We decided to have atleast a couple of such workshops at different colleges sometime during August. A few people also got interested to join the efforts. At the end the people were told about the various resources, and ways to contribute. Naveen said that he can do some documentation and translations to Telegu and Kannada if required. I promised to get back to him regarding this.
All said and all done the pizzas were getting cold and without much delay we started treating ourselves. With this and a few closing notes we closed the release party. The head count was around 15. Overall it was a small yet productive release party with lots of discussions and sharing of experiences. Hope to see more such events in the future.

June 3, 2010

FAD Pune 2010

It all started with a discussion on having a FUDCON India this year. Someone suggested some agendas, others observed the agenda as more suited to a series of FADs, and we decided to have a FAD, off course in Pune as that would make the job of finding a venue, internet connectivity and people a piece of cake. More on that later.

FAD, which is the abbreviated form of "Fedora Activity Day", is an event where people meet up together and work towards getting things done. Everyone has some plans of how they want to spend their time during a FAD and so did all of us. Someone wanted to do some packaging, others aimed at some serious bug zapping and some just wanted to sit and hack on some tough piece of code. Mine was the simplest plan of getting stuffs packaged. I wanted to get some packages reviewed and review some in return. The next few lines shines some light on what I did in the two days.
I had a very start on the first day when I accidentally broke my specs. Wasn't really able to read stuffs and could not get much done. Still I tried to review rtnpro's python-keyring package as I had taken that up earlier. It was missing some dependency and wasn't really compiling. Tried to fix that for him, could not get it done. Even Kushal da tried his hand on it but in vain. Next was getting python-plwm reviewed which I had submitted earlier. Rahul happily took up the task and recommended a few changes which I did and submitted. In the afternoon had a great discussion on Open Hardware with Siddharth from BHASHA . He is a great guy with a barrage of ideas. tuxdna DNA got interested in the ARMStrongIDE project and took it up actively. In the evening, Rahul showed me how to start a different window manager by using .xinitrc . It was really fun. Thus the first day bode farewell.

After a good night sleep, all of us were back on Sunday, all charged up to get things done. Second day was a little more eventful for me. Got my specs repaired. Susmit da had already prepared a wishlist for Fedora Medical Spin. Started packaging one of those, GNUMed to be precise. Also helped Ankur in his glorious attempt tp package kufper which uses the waf build system that too an age old version. Sayamindu da's talk was the highlight of the day, "OLPC as a downstream of Fedora and problems faced". In the mean time rtnpro worked on his vocab building application and Ankur on Fedora tour. Harsh did some packaging for Medical spin as well. Runa spent the day working on Gnote help. By this time, it was evening and Rahul wanted to discuss what we achieved, what more could have been done, what went wrong. Everyone had different opinions but on one stream all agreed - "We need to have more specific agendas". An online version of this event ought to follow soon. The day was concluded with some FUDCON related discussions and so was the FAD.

This was the first FAD I ever attended and it was a great learning experience for me. It was lot more fun and productive and collaborative than any irc version can ever be. Hope to see atleast annual FADs in the years to come if not more.