Tuesday, March 27, 2012

RubyConf India, 2012

This was my/the 3rd RubyConf, first time in Pune. Like last year, I couldn't/wouldn't submit a talk. But I did manage to buy a ticket in time, before they got sold out. My friends were over, and very dear to me that they are, we stayed up Friday night playing UNO, until it was 7am. 8am I was up and reached the Hyatt Regency venue by 9.

Day 1

After the Welcome speech, it was Charles @headius Nutter with his keynote on JRuby and other Ruby VMs. It was great to know how the other ruby VMs were coming along, and how IronRuby was dying. Next was a recorded video keynote by Matz. I started missing the first RubyConf India, where we had the opportunity of having Matz on a Skype video conference. Matz said one place Ruby lags behind Python is SciPy and NumPy, and they would focus on having that in Ruby in the next few years.

After a coffee-break I was attending Ruby CLI talk byNikhil Mungel and Shishir Das. I was a bit put off on having to see only slides in a talk which could have made more interesting by throwing in some cool CLI demos. Next I was attending Tejas Dinkar and Jasim A Basheer's talk on Sandboxing Ruby Code, where they discussed their experiences on developing rubymonk.com.

As usual, lunch was awesome. I met lots of people, unlike my previous RubyConfs, where I operated as a lone shark.

Post lunch (and a bit drowsy) I was attending the Everything Ruby talk by Ajay Gore. It wasn't very interesting. Next up during the Clojure talk by Steven Deobald, I was feeling a bit lost. Noticing nothing interesting lined up next, I headed home.

Day 2

Next morning's keynote was by Mikel Lindsaar. It was a motivational speech, which talked about purpose and value exchange in software development and life in general.

Post coffee, I attended Sou Sheong's talk on Sex, Money and Evolution. That was one of the most interesting talks I have ever seen. He took some virtual bots called roids, and simulated a culture of them after adding external parameters like energy (money), reproduction (sex) and natural selection (evolution). The result was a beautiful visualization of life. Most of it was written using Ruby and R, so I would have been a happy puppy has he demonstrated some of his code. But the source code is on github, so I could have a look at it later. The session was very interactive.

I tried attending the next talk titled "What lies beneath the beautiful code", but the sheer uninterestingness, and the fact that people started walking out ensured I followed suit.

Lunch, again, was full of #win.

Post lunch I attended "Smells and patterns in test/spec code", by Sidu Ponnappa and Aninda Kundu. It talked about the anti-patterns while writing tests. After that I spent some time in the Hack Room discussing some list archive crawler ideas with Anurag, and clicking photos, which I won't publish. No.
Later I found myself in the method_missing should be recursive talk by Matthew Kirk.

Post a couple_of_cutting_chai_and_sandwiches, I was attending the lighting talks. Highlights were nursery_rhymes.rb by Shakthi Kannan and Users == Bugs by Charles Nutter. And that was how RubyConf India 2012 ended.

Some observations

The quality of talks this time wasn't really upto the mark. Some talks were really great, but some were just downright bad. Most of the talks were unrelated to the Ruby language. And many failed to excite the audience. I know it's easy to criticize when I myself didn't submit a talk, but then I will make sure that doesn't happen in RubyConf India 2013.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A translation editor for DTD resources


I am Shreyank and I will be mentoring the project "A translation editor for DTD resources" under Ankur India.
Since Ankur India has been accepted as a GSoC Organisation, I am hoping to get a lot of queries on what the project is really about. If you are reading this post, it is possible that you have asked me a query, the answer to which I have here.


Although Ankur India deals mostly with issues relating to the Bengali language, this project idea is not specific to Bengali.

A very common translation workflow consists of translating po files, which in turn are used within applications using gettext. One can use tools like lokalize, gtranslator etc which reads the po files, provides a GUI to help translate the strings and save them back to language specific po files. Thus a file relating to Bengali strings would go into a file called bn_IN.po.


Although a lot of translation use cases are covered by po files, some aren't. For example, Mozilla uses DTD and properties files for the purpose. The idea is to extend the existing localisation tool(s) to cover these type of data files.

A logical first step would be to write an engine which is able to read dtd/properties files, take user input for translations and write a new language specific file. This program should be modular and API driven so that it can be quickly used to extend with any existing localisation tool, desktop or web based. On the other hand one should be able to quickly extend the engine to work with other similar data files.

Once that is ready it should be integrated with an existing translation tool, preferably a desktop app so that we have a proof of concept and a finished product which can be used by translators.

The application should be platform independent and can be written in the programmers choice of language, keeping in mind the scalability and portability.

With the above points clear, I'm open to any other suggestions on how to best approach the problem. In case you have any further doubts mail me at shreyankg AT gmail DOT com and I'll be happy to take up questions.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Planning FUDCon Pune

I'm in charge of Wireless and Charging Points at FUDCon, Pune.

http://openetherpad.org/fudcon-pune-planning contains the ongoing planning details.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pycon India 2011, Pune

So I attended Pycon India for the first time in three years it has existed. It was held in Bangalore the previous two years, and I was being lazy.
Ratnadeep was put up at my place. I had originally decided not to attend the tutorials, but then since Ratnadeep wanted to attend, I decided to show up as well.

Day 1

Tutorials on Friday was a bit boring, considering they were long, and I wasn't exactly the student types. Navin Kabra had a session about Web API Programming using Python where I lingered for a while. I did however attend a part of Anand Chitipothu's session on Functional Programming. I liked the slides he made using Landslide. Must check that out sometime.

Day 2

Raymond Hettinger had his keynote on why Python is awesome. His talk highlighted what makes Python different from other languages. Then Anand Chitipothu had a talk on pyjs, which is a way to compile python code into JS. The talk was good, especially the AST parts. After lunch I went to attend Sajjad's talk on developing Android apps using Python. Track 2 was jampacked with more people waiting outside, so the talk was moved to Track 1 which was more spacious. Noufal then took the stage with his talk on using Emacs as a Python IDE, which then got side tracked to org mode. The rest of the day I spent chit-chatting.

Day 3

Sunday meant, my talk had to be delivered soon, and my slides were somewhat ready. Nevertheless I spend some (a_lot_of) time retouching the slides and doing up code examples. I was there, half-attentive to Jace's talk on the LastUser Service. It looked interesting and I am planning to use it for the FUDCon COD installation. After lunch and coffee, (and an indecent where I mixed up my laptop with Anurag's, and spend multiple attempts trying to log-in into his system), I gave my talk, on developing Django Apps based on REST Architecture (slides| video). For what it's worth, it wasn't very well received by the audience. Also this was the largest audience I ever had. Met people and photographed then the rest of the day.

All in all a good conference. Kudos to the organising team.

Below are some of the pictures I took at the conference.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The rest of FOSS.IN (and some of noname.conf)

Last you heard me talk about day 1 at FOSS.IN, while day 2 was in progress.

Now I will talk about Day 2 and Day 3 and noname, way after they all got over.

Morning I was feeling fit and I found myself at FOSS.IN just in time to catch href="http://0pointer.de/blog">Lennart talking on Open Surround Sound and href="http://www.pulseaudio.org/">PulseAudio. After that we went Upstairs (that's the phrase I will use for each time I had no interesting talks to attend and I would sit with the others, laptops open and chat[i.e. not over network]). Oh wait, no, we set up the Fedora Booth, and were clicking pictures there, of the booth, and media, and buttons and the White Fedora Table Cloth and us. Two things which I noticed at the Fedora Booth:
1. Media was more popular than the buttons.
2. x86_64 media was in high demand, and we did not have any (maybe next time [not next FOSS.IN though{as maybe they wont have it next year}]).

Post lunch I went over to Hall 3 where the Fedora MiniConf was running.

While I was blogging about the previous day, Amit Shah talked about Virtualisation in Fedora, Aditya Patwari talked about Fedora Summer Coding and his experiences of it, Arun SAG talked about Emacs, its plugins and how to get them packaged, then he announced that he was doing the packaging workshop upstairs and he took most of my audience away with him(despite my protests), I talked about Four Seasons of Code(that went fast as there were very few people and I did not want to linger as they showed no interest), Neependra talked about using ftrace and Suchakra talked about using embedded linux via a web-browser(he mentioned he was a Soft Hacker). There was half an hour left so Rahul started with his famous Fedora Packaging from Scratch workout. All was well.

After that I went Upstairs. I guess.

No, I was in James Morris' talk on Linux Kernel Security. Later in the evening Fahrenheit (with guitarist being Gaurav Vaz's brother) performed, some covers and some own songs. I enjoyed the show.

After the show me, Saleem, Sheela and the group of foreigners ended up at a lounge called Don'tRememberWhat. Had fun talking to Olivier Crete of Collabra. The best part was when he asked me why weren't they playing Bollywood music and that he likes the song and dance sequences, and I told him those don't happen in real life. Suddenly the DJ started playing Bollywood music and then the family at the other table got up and started dancing. Sheela joined in, and so did the rest of us. Lennart preferred to remain seated though.

~ * ~

Next day, Day 3 I was early to catch Dimitris talking about scaling web apps. It was informative, I took a few notes (just a few?). For the next hour I was Upstairs though I managed to peek into Mahendra talking about CouchDB apps.

Post lunch I was generally lost, maybe Upstairs. I realised something must be happening in the Wikipedia miniconf, so I dropped in. Erik was talking about intresting wikipedia stuff, I was feeling drowsy, so I went to get a cup of coffee. By the time I returned, he was over with the talk. I went back to being lost, Upstairs. I was waiting for Aanjhan's keynote.

His keynote was titled "A Hackaer's Apology". It was an interesting collection of stories and stuff from Aanjhan's stint with FOSS. Atul Chitnis took the stage next. He talked for a long time and (among other things) thanked all the people associated with FOSS.IN over the years.

The Raghu Dixit Project came next with an awesome and mind-blowing performance. Having heard them for the first time last year FOSS.IN, I had listened to their songs over the year. I enjoyed the show a lot.

Me, Saleem, Rahul and Ram had dinner at Subway. We spend the entire night discussing about FOSS, Life, God, Human Beings and among other things, concluded that I was an anarchist. :-O

~ * ~

Next day I was at noname.conf at Jaaga. The place is a bit strange looking with plants growing on watery rotate-able walls, a metal structure with hardware hanging in a bunch in the middle. I met Roshan and Vignesh there. It was pleasant to see them. Saleem was also there. For the time I stayed at noname.conf, it seemed like a Barcamp of sorts with mainly startup crowd. I left with Roshan and Vignesh, had coffee at Cafe Coffee Day and visited UB City, with all it's grandeur. There I had the idea of XKCD on your wallpaper and dicussed it with Roshan and Vignesh. It works now.

Night till the next afternoon I stayed at Souvik's place, and met up with Gaurav, Rangeen and Saikat. By Sunday mid-night I was home.

Monday, December 20, 2010

XKCD on your GNOME background


I wrote this little script which would download the latest XKCD comic and put it centred onto your GNOME Wallpaper.

It screenscraps the latest XKCD homepage and looks for the image URL, it then downloads it to /tmp and uses gconftool-2 to set it as your background.

Try it out and lemme know if you like it.

I have put a cron like
0 15 * * mon,wed,fri /path/to/xkcd.py
That will update my wallpaper at 3 p.m every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

* Would like to make it Desktop independent.
* Would like to have the mouseover text below the comic.

Thanks to andy(see comments) this script uses JSON to get the data, and avoid screenscraping.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 1 at FOSS.IN/2010 (and maybe some of Day 2)

(Yes, I am blogging after a long time.)

And I am blogging about FOSS.IN, Day - 1, while I am almost halfway though Day 2. Well that I because I am now sitting through Aditya Patwari's talk on Fedora Student's Contributing a.k.a Fedora Summer Coding, and waiting for my talk which would start soon. Yes, I am nervous, as I always am before my talks, and I wanted to do something to take the pressure off. ;-)

(Aditya is a surprisingly good speaker.)

Coming back to yesterday, I was sick. I took some medicines in the morning which kept me going through the day and I did enjoy a lot yesterday. I went in and met old friends from last FOSS.IN, and Ramkumar with his huge desktop-like-laptop with the heavy-expensive-doubleUSB-nonprinted-keyboard. With a cup of coffee we went to attend the talks.

(I see people leaving.)

Kishore Bhargava kicked-off with the opening ceremony (read lighting of diyas). Danese Cooper had her keynote on Wikipedia technologies. She started off with "Wikipedia != WikiLeaks". The talk was a good insight into the tools and practices that wikipedia uses to manage its backend. I took a few notes, for later reading.

(Arun SAG is telling the audience how to package emacs plugins. Arun is an engaging speaker.)

I had lunch. The queue was long, for the lunch and outside the men's. I had less food because I wasn't well. After lunch I went into Balbir Singh's talk on Operating System Caches in a Virtualised Environment. I wasn't very interested in the talk, I was waiting for Lennart's talk on systemd, hear from the horse's mouth. The talk was good (and the confetti dropping from the ceiling), I could understand most of what he was saying, and I even managed to ask a question. ;-)

(The hall always starts getting empty before I am to talk.)

I didn't want to know about hacking LibreOffice. So I spend the hour chatting. Next I went into Philip Tellis's talk on Boomerang, which was a client side JavaScript code that measured latency on the client side and send it back to a central server. The software looked good, but fishy.

(Arun is still going strong with the specfile for emacs-identica plugin)

had his keynote next about the Failures of Fedora, and I was looking forward to that. It was informative, interesting at parts. After the talk they were starting off with a video interview of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. We the Fedora Public decided to skip that and do a dinner party of our own.

(My talk of Four Seasons of Code is next, and I'm nervous)

The dinner party went good. Food was nice with all the beer (I did not drink) and the drunk brawls about git behaviour with pipes. Back at the hotel it was another war to get the wireless running with one faulty router.

(That's all, Arun is done with his talk, I'll go up now. Bye!)
(My talk's over, I'll just add a few links now and submit this.)