Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Look for Dorrie

Thanks to Hiemanshu, Dorrie now sports a cool new look.

Monday, December 7, 2009

FOSS.IN - Day 5 and TRDP

Hey all,

Apologies for the late blog, but since there is no FOSS.IN - Day 6, I could write this at my leisure.

Rahul said that he was sick and would be coming later. I was late and I had missed the bus and so had Debayan and Kedar, so we took an auto. I went there and started hacking Dorrie. I was surprised to see that Hiemanshu had committed a new template for Dorrie already. With that and Glezos's patch I had a lot of code with me and the changes needed to be committed. Meanwhile Rakesh pinged and asked whether I had any work for him. ;-)

Soon I realised I should be attending some talks as well. There was nothing that looked more interesting than the Gnome Project of the Day. So I went into the auditorium and continued coding in there.

There was Tobias Mueller giving a talk on Gnome bug triaging. Then Dimitris and Sayamindu shared the stage talking about the advantages of localising one's software. Their slide had a great title! They ranted for quite sometime on the existing translation workflow and advised using Transifex.

A lady (whose name I cannot recollect) gave a talk/demo on Anjal that turned out to be a intuitive mail client based on Evolution and had cool features like tabbed browsing. Next Olivier CrĂȘte talked on Telepathy and Empathy. Meanwhile I had managed to commit my changes to the dorrie git and thus I left the auditorium.

Mrinal Kalakrishnan's gave the closing keynote on Open Source Robotics. He talked about ROS also known as the Linux for Robotics (or something like that). He showed some cool videos and code demos to an applauding crowd. Then Atul Chitnis talked for sometime.

And then The Raghu Dixit Project started performing. I had never heard them before. They was just awesome. They sung Kannada and Hindi Folk-Rock fusion. I was at the very front, head-banging to whatever I could head-bang to. Someone had this idea of playing the live twitter-stream of #fossdotin, and it worked out well. Raghu Dixit was exceptional with his crowd interaction. He would stop playing to get back-benchers to come forward and he would scold if people clapped along to an emotional love song. I loved the performance!

Dinner was quiet at the Dosa Place (which had a sign board written in only Kannad [you get a lot of those in Bengaluru] and served Masale and Rave Dose).
We chatted until two. Then we went and slept.

I had truly an amazing time at FOSS.IN

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 4 - FOSS.IN

Friday, December 4nd 2009,
NIMHANS Convention Centre,
Bangalore, India

Today was the best day (so far) in FOSS.IN 2009.

I got up in time, had breakfast and reached the venue in time. Rahul Sundaram said he was a bit feverish. I got onto hacking Dorrie as soon as I could. Hiemanshu was very enthusiastic to contribute to Dorrie UI and I gave him commit access to the Dorrie git.

I then attended Krishnakant Mane's talk on Pylons. He is visually disabled. I liked his enthusiasm towards open source. He demonstrated to us the Pylons framework with the help of his a11y tools. I found Pylons quite similar to 'my precious' Ruby on Rails. That was cool!

I came out and had lunch. Hiemanshu and Jeorg Simon wanted to go to a Shiv Temple at Old Airport road. They asked me and I went along. The temple was awesome with a huge Shiva Idol and an unmelting ice Shiva Linga and all. It was a good place to visit. Me and Hiemanshu gifted Jeorg a Laughing Buddha.

Back at FOSS.IN Dimitris Glezos had already downloaded Dorrie code and was giving me some useful tips. He pointed me out to a paid mockup building tool. Before long he told that he was sending me a patch. He was ranting away to glory about GIT and advised me to use Mercurial.

I then went to the day's keynote by Philip Tellis. The talk called "Shut up and hack!" was awesome. Its inspired awe, it demo'd bits and pieces of code and showed how useless-but-awesome they were. And he got the audiance involved in his l33t shell piped commands.

Then followed an outstanding Rock Performance by the band "Blues before Sunrise". Sheela Sequira did a good job as the lead singer. I liked it! :-)

We then came to the top floor of our Pai Viceroy Hotel for a dinner party. Beer was aplenty. Highlights were Ramkumar Not Knowing Who/What Jane Is/Was And People Taking His Case, Lenny/PulseAudio Rocks/Sucks and Kusal Dash Can't Pronounce His Name Right Says Kishore (# apt-get me -a beer) Bhargava.

Was fun! ;-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 3 - FOSS.IN

Thursday, December 3nd 2009,
NIMHANS Convention Centre,
Bangalore, India

Dear folks,

I went and started hacking Dorrie straight away. I am a bit drowsy today. So I'll open up my twitter stream to check what I was upto.


Ok. So we were all wearing the SaniSoft sponsored KDE Hoodies today. A lot of us, thanks to Pradeepto. He was being quite generous with the swag last evening. It was KDE PoTD today, so it made sense.

I was getting livecd-creator to work for me, when I decided to check the schedule and discovered that I had missed a lot of Lakshman Prasad's talk on Django internals. I went in just in time to satisfy my RoR ego. :-D

Then I spent the next hour switching between Ramkumar's talk on cPython and Lennart's talk on Pulse Audio internals. He was 'crappy'fing quite a lot of libraries and advertising his own libraries as the best ones to use. Guess a lot of people hate him for some obvious reasons. He is a good speaker though.

Lunnh went quick. I spent a lot of time trying to convince Susmit and Gang why I was not wasting time and waiting for my livecd to build. tThey compared it with "My code is compiling". #strange folks

I went into Rahul sundaram's talk on Package Kit post-lunch. It was pretty good. I got to meet Debayan again, he was busy preparing slides for his workout-listed-as-talk. I wrote some code for Dorrie there.

Debayan took the stage next. His talk on Indic OCR was exceptional. His work in the field has been very impressive and so has been his initiative. He had just returned from Chennai with a Round Table on "Technology for the disabled( or something on those lines)". He is an awesome speaker and he left the little audience in the auditorium dumbfound and crying awesomeness. (Am I being a bit over the top here?)


[Meanwhile, I stole a visit to the KDE PoTD. It was like totally stuffed with people. Apparently it wasn't because of the free swag(as much as I'd like to believe). It was the real deal. Of what I was following on Twitter, they were doing some real cool talks and hacks and bug-fixes. Kapital-K Kudos to the KDE folks and Pradeepto the uber-Kool KDE Rockstar!(not to mention the KDE folks jumping around outside the venue for a photo shoot by Gopal and Devdas).]

I spend most of the rest of the time hacking around the Fedora Booth. There were a few eager folks asking for F12 ISO's and repos(??), which I sincerely provided. A cool dude called Mourya popped up and clicked my pic and twitpic'd me. That was awesome!

I did not attend Miloch's talk. I was sitting outside and following the reviews on Twitter as usual. It was too hardware-ish anyway :-P. When Debayan came out we went for a drink at a dingy bar.

Nothing important happened after that except that me and Rangeen managed to convince Debayan to get his Indic-OCR packaged for Fedora.

Heh! :-)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 2 - FOSS.IN

Wednesday, December 2nd 2009,
NIMHANS Convention Centre,
Bangalore, India

This time I woke up early enough to catch the bus! :o)

The bus discussion was mostly taken up by Ramkumar's rant of how crappy Pulse Audio was and the idea of rewiting it, and Rahul Sundaram arguing how we sometimes need to shut our eyes and deal with crappy code. A classic argument between Usability and Good Code followed. The discussion continued until we reached the venue and it was time to start the Fedora Project of the Day.

We were assigned Auditorium 3. We started with Jeorg Simon's talk on the Security spin. Though I did not understand most of the technical details, I found that Jeorg was a good speaker. Though he frequently ranted about his English, I found that it was pretty OK and the German guy did a pretty good job.

[The Fedora Project of the Day mainly comprised of talks, and introductions to workouts. As the FOSS.IN workouts were flexible, it made sense for the speakers to use the auditorium to give the attendees a idea about the Workouts which then could be hacked for the next three days.]

Rahul Sundaram followed next with his Workout on "How to integrate a Free and Open Source software into Fedora". He demonstrated a live package build on the stage. The internet was a little slow and so was the Fedora Project wiki due to some maintenance issues, and Rahul kept up his constant rant.

It was followed by lunch. After lunch I got a multi-colored LED stuck to my collar, just like Kushal and a lot others had on their FOSS.IN Cards. We also spent a lot of time talking with the Greek (Dimitris Glezos) and the Germans (Joerg Simon) about Indian Cusine and how it differed from their food.

We wend back into the auditorium where Kedar Sovani was giving his talk on "Fedora ARM". I wasn't very interested in that so I spend most of the time updating my slides and getting nervous about my upcoming workshop.

Kushal Das took the stage next Combining his "Deadly Combo" talk with his b00g workout. I was then busy building a repo for my Dorrie workout. Soon it was Rahul Sundaram on the stage trying to build a Fedora Remix 'Live in Concert'. The talk about the Kickstart and everything was really nice, except that it stuck infinitely at the place where he was actually supposed the build the Live CD.

I went next. It was my first Talk in a Conference of this stature. I was nervous and fumbled a lot of times. But then I gained confidence and I demo'd my stuff live. It did not break (It never does, but knowing Murphy...) *I thought Glezos wasn't paying attention*. People were mainly concerned when was Dorrie going to be deployed, Susmit and Himanshu helped me out here saying it was a Fedora Infrastructure decision and I added that it still needed 3-4 months to gain enough maturity.

Susmit followed next with his Workout introduction to "Redefining the Fedora Distribution Process". I Liked the idea of using GeoIP to point a person looking for Fedora Media of a place closer to his home, instead of him going through the entire list. I suggested we could ask the user his/her location on a World Map, as GeoIP is not always reliable. I don't thing Susmit liked the idea, but anyway.

With this we wrapped up the Fedora Project of the Day with the promise of workouts later today and tomorrow onwards. I spend some time idling away, building a Fedora repo on my External Hard Drive, reading Tweeviews (Tweet reviews) on Herald Welte's talk and eve's dropping on the two BoFs going on around me. Kinda felt pleasant and sleepy. Sayamindu hacking on something beside me looked tired too.

An hour and a lot of shouting/screaming Kushals later we found ourselves having a nice dinner and beer at a place close to our Hotel called "Gufha". We billed 18,000 INR. Damn you Kushal!

[*I thought Glozos wasn't paying attention* to my talk on Dorrie but then he spent some time with me after dinner discussing web frameworks and why he liked Django and liked that I used Django for developing Dorrie.]

Somewhat tired/drunk/sleepy now. I guess no late night BoF in the hotel room today. Rahul Sundaram snoring away as usual.

Ok. Good Night!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

FOSS.IN - Day 1

Tuesday, December 1st 2009,
NIMHANS Convention Centre,
Bangalore, India

As usual I woke up late, not very late, but late enough to miss the cab that took FOSS.IN speakers from Pai Viceroy Hotel to the FOSS.IN venue. I had to take an auto rickshaw to the venue. Not surprisingly the rickshaw dropped me at NIMHANS Hospital and said that "there are wards inside". I paid him 20 bucks and asked/walked my way to the Convention Centre.

There was a line for delegate registration starting to form outside one of the gates. I went straight in. Kishore Bhargava was waiting at the door. I went in. There was a group of early arrivers that formed a huddle just inside the gate. I recognised Ramkumar Ramchandra a.k.a artagnon whom I had met once before in Barcamp Kolkata and had been following on Twitter. It was cool that I knew a lot of folks almost personally, although had never met them before just through Twitter.

I caught up with Kartik Mistry and Pradeepto, whom I had met before. Soon I found myself a part of a BoF on the 1st floor (also in the sense that we were sitting on the ground).

Then we went into the Opening ceremony where Atul Chitnis was speaking. I kinda spend most of his talk trying to mimic the "Talk is Cheap, Show me the Code" style into my spoof poster (meet me if you want to see how it stands). Me and Rahul Sundaram had the idea of making a T-shirt out of it, but that did not happen (yet).

Atul was being quite strong in his opinions which was kinda OK but not necessarily necessary(you know, just for the effect!). Atul was followed by Sayamindu's talk on "Reading, discovering and publishing e-books". It was ok. I was hungry because I had skipped breakfast. So me and Vignesh went out and got egg-puffs.

After I came back the talk was almost over. After that I was kinda roaming about when I found myself in Anant Narayanan's "Making Identity on the web rock" session. I was planning to attend the workout, but did now know it would be staring so early and without informing me (??!!). Anyway the audi was so full that Anant decided to make it into a talk. It was interesting. Siddhesh Poyarekar came in with his libyahoo workout next. But I went upstairs to participate in Anant's workout. We were meant to hack Weave. This is what I chose to work on.

Soon it was time for the day's keynote by Dimitris Glezos. The talk was ... wait for it ... Legendary. I was sitting on the last seat of the auditorium, twitting and following the #fossdotin search trend. Glezos was all over!

After that we had lunch at the venue. When Sheela came and asked whether we wanted to leave or not, I thought it was 11 p.m. or something, turned out it was just 7:30 p.m. We came back to the hotel.

Rahul Sundaram is already asleep. A lot of us are in Pradeepto's room, having a BoF of FOSS.IN Day 1, and me blogging.

Enough. Bye.