Let me start with a story I had heard about long ago when I was at Adobe.

There was this guy who had come in for interviews for a technical role. He passed all the tech interviews with flying colors, the team liked his personality and felt he would fit in well, and the manager was all smiles. In the last HR-style round with the group head, he was informed that the team works on products that are completely owned by the Bangalore-based group and that there won’t be any travel to USA. The guy was taken aback. He told the group head “Sir, please let me go to USA for just one day. If I have a USA stamp in my passport, I will get one crore dowry.”

Needless to say, the guy was not offered a job.

I’m sure you can draw your own lessons and observations from this incident, because it will come into context below, about a discussion we’ve been having on Twitter. It all started with @debabrata who read my previous blog post on the magic of foss.in and asked:

why this ‘5 years limit’ applies to Indian software pro ? In other countries people are happy being programmer after 20 years .

I asked the tweeps for their opinions, and it got very interesting.

@cruisemaniac said: society defined age to get married and settle down = ~27 = 22+5 failing which u’re an outcast!
and: also, post that age, ur risk apetite goes down due to family and other commitments…

to which:

@HJ91 said: True. Very true. Outcast is the right word, and its sad. Outcast. Insulting, hurting and pathetic.

Wow, this feeling runs deep.

so I asked:

You mean risk appetite or time commitment? … how does risk appetite relate to interest in coding?

And the replies came pouring in:

@mixdev: One of the reasons why brilliant people end up being (just) tell-me-whatto-do-n-leave-me-alone software engineers

@cruisemaniac: I’d say both… U cant risk a new tech and venture 4 fear of financial security… U want tat cozy safe zone and pay packet.

@cruisemaniac: time is a big costly commodity 4 us… we indians cant afford to spend it at our will with spouses and children at home…

@mallipeddi: It’s very hard to keep getting bigger paychecks yr after yr if you’re a 30 yr old coder. You’re expected to become a mgr/MBA

@abhinav: I believe the reason is our society. We tie success to degrees, and later, more ppl you manage more successful you are.

@abhinav: Where in western societies your idea fails, here it is you who have failed! Our society doesnt appreciate risk takers

@abhinav: Yes, more money, higher status, easy life. And most importantly, more dowry!

@mixdev: Because our goals are set by the society & achieving them also in their control. You get bored faster.

@debabrata: I guess to the great extent our society dictates us what we want to be unlike the west

I found it surprising that the situation why people cannot remain coders in India is almost the same as why people want to become entrepreneurs! It’s like this: The passion for coding will remain only when you’re doing cool and interesting stuff. But big companies (at least in India) want only stability which implies boring tedious jobs with standard languages and libraries. There is no room for experimentation. So the coder will have to move to a smaller company or a startup if he/she wants to continue to like coding (I’m ignoring the case of research laboratories for obvious reasons of numbers).

But moving to a smaller company or startup is, by definition, not encouraged. As @abhinav mentioned, there is societal pressure for more money, higher status, fancier cars and bigger houses. There is nothing wrong with wanting this, but don’t force it on other people! Alas, it is hard to reason regarding this. I remember having a long argument with an uncle of mine, he was, hmm, “strongly” suggesting that I buy a car and I reasoned out why it makes no sense (after all, most peers of mine use the car only for weekend drives, not for everyday commute) but it fell on deaf ears.

So I’m conflicted here: Are there not enough people who are actually interested in coding, or is it that the interested people are being peer-pressurized into “moving up” into managerial roles and hence lose touch with coding? Or are we completely off the mark here?

Update 1: As suggested by Peter, read this entry tited “Stuck in Code” by Ravi Mohan for his tale on this topic.

Update 2: A related article in NYTimes recently titled “In India, Anxiety Over the Slow Pace of Innovation”

Why do I keep going back to foss.in? Because I’m the kind of person who needs extrinsic motivation. That’s why having a good circle of friends with a positive attitude is so important to me. And that’s why the foss.in community is so important to me. Because one must always strive to be in an environment where you are “the dumbest guy in the room”, i.e., be surrounded by really really smart people, so that you are forced to work on raising your own level. That’s how I feel when I’m in the midst of fantastic people such as bluesmoon, t3rmin4t0r, Srinivas Raghavan, and so many others. They are perfectionists who deep-dive into anything they are passionate about, and are invariably good at whatever they focus on.

The Good

Attending foss.in/2009 felt great for me because I took comfort in the fact that there are still people out there who are passionate about code and passionate about software. That is becoming rarer and rarer off late. I think it’s the “5 year limit” that I have observed in batchmates, most of them don’t want to code any more, and have moved on to so many other fields. While that is okay, the problem is that it has become a fashion to dis IT and software field.

Another factor was that everything is in the cloud and everything is a website these days, so does open source as a process matter anymore? First of all, the applications are not open source and even if we have the code (rare situation), you and I can’t fix the application/website unless you host it yourself.

But the foss.in community made me remember the joy of coding and joy of hacking.

Kudos to Team Foss.in for making the only community event and only IT event that is worth attending.
It was fantastic to see how the concept of workouts had just taken off.
And everyone’s been saying that all the keynotes have been fantastic.

In case you are wondering, I’m not the only one who was so enthralled by the event, for example:

fossdotin_janakiramm

fossdotin_ramblinggeek

See Lakshman’s writeup on the same. And so on.

Bottom line? Shut up and hack!

The Bad

Will miss the direction of Atul Chitnis.

What was missing

What I felt was missing is a discussion on the state of the art of software in each field, not just specific PoTDs. And I think this is more of a community perspective rather than the organizers’ perspective — organizers just provide the platform, community provides the content, as Atul keeps reminding us.

For example, consider my pet topic, the state of NoSQL databases – what’s good, what’s not, is it strange or expected that so many of them have come up in the last 1-2 years and all of them are open source (or at least the ones that we hear of). Taking it a step further, how it affects other fields of software. I’ve attempted to ask this before in a session at barcamp on whether webapp frameworks will adapt to NoSQL.

Similarly, what is the future of compilers, will LLVM + clang replace GCC (as @artagnon was speculating)? Will WebKit and V8 take over the world and leave Mozilla + Tracemonkey behind? Why are there so few projects using AGPL? What does it take to get full database dumps out of Wikipedia ? Will open source phones never take off? How does Eucalyptus help have an alternative with EC2? How does appscale help have an alternative to GAE? And so on.

In toto, I think there are three parts to this and I believe only the third part of which is done well already by the community and organizers: (1) what are the different fields and layers of software, (2) what is the state of the art of open source software in those fields, (3) getting people started and involved. I feel that only when we think on these lines, we will achieve Atul’s stated vision of “open source being the mainstream, proprietary software being the special case”*.

Thoughts?

* No flamewars please. I believe that the world will be better off by having all the infrastructure as open source software and having only the business logic / trade secrets as the proprietary part. At each stage of evolution of software, the stack grows higher, and the infrastructure/open source stack can grow higher along with it. For example, Robot Open Source and the Hadoop umbrella.

Today is the first day of foss.in/2008, and on this occasion, I’m happy to announce the first public release of my Creative-Commons licensed book on the Vim 7 editor.

This book is meant for both beginners and advanced users.

For beginners, it walks you through the first steps to learning about modes, discusses about typing skills to be effective and moves on to the editing basics.

This book will definitely appeal more to people who are Vim users already because it helps add a huge number of tricks to their arsenal, whether it is more efficient editing, personal information management, coding your own plugins or making Vim a programmers’ editor.

I hope that fellow Vimmers will find these notes useful. Even though it is in a book format, the writing style is more like a tutorial and is informal, which should be familiar to readers of my Python book.

Both books are under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license, so you’re free to download it, email it, share it and improve it. In fact, the book is on a wiki, so you can just click on ‘Edit’ in the left sidebar of any chapter to improve the book in a matter of seconds. When in doubt, please use the ‘Discussion’ link to add your suggestions and comments.

For those who prefer reading books they can hold in their hand, please consider purchasing a printed copy of the book. This will also help support the continued development of the book.

For those PHP gurus familiar with GeSHi syntax highlighting, I would greatly appreciate any help in improving my vim syntax highlighting source, especially in handling Vim-style comments, etc. Please mail me if you can help.

This book has been in the works for several years, so I’m glad to see it finally in good enough shape for releasing it. Although I haven’t done as many rewrites as I would have been satisfied with, I decided it was better to <insert cliché of “Release Early, Release Often.”>

I dedicate this release to foss.in and GTD principles.

Two days before the BMS College Information Science Department Fest
called “Genesis 2007”, I received an email from a couple of students
asking me to talk about “introduction to open source”. Apparently,
they were frantically looking for a speaker. Since I’m not the right
person for this, I agreed to come only if they didn’t find someone
else… and I ended up going there on Friday.

The talk was supposed to be an introduction for a day-long session on
Open Source
Hacking
which was
organized by few enthu students trying to get other students
interested.

I started making the
presentation
on the midnight before Friday, so I didn’t have a very polished
presentation, but I had something reasonable. The title of the talk
was “How to make money from coding (or Why Open Source)”. That should
get their attention.

15 minutes before the talk, there were 2 students in the hall.
I wanted to start the talk on time and decided to start without
much crowd anyway. My sore throat was troubling me and I was
coughing every two minutes. Anyway, I started off with a funny
anecdote. It flopped. Oh boy.

Then, I decided they’re not warmed up yet, and recovered quickly. 15
minutes later, the 225 seater hall was full. Phew.

Genesis 2007 at BMSCE

An hour later, they were still all there, they were asking lots of
questions and they seemed genuinely interested. I hope the students do
take FOSS software seriously, if not for the freedom and open source
aspects, at least for their own career aspects which I detailed out in
the talk. (And I’m sure once they’re hooked, they will later “get” the
freedom and open source aspects.)

Why do I say that? Well, it comes down to the first question in the
Q&A session – “How to get into Yahoo!?”, and I replied “Well, do
you want to know how I got into Yahoo!?”. A unanimous yes. I told them
the MySQL story,
the Python story
and few other tidbits. Now, they’re really listening. I pointed out
that I didn’t have any special skills, just the knowledge of these two
open source software got me the job at Y!, and it saved me from
a service industry job (no offense meant, just a personal preference).

Next question: “Any regrets in college life?”. It caused a flashback
in my mind on Atul’s words
: “There are two times you innovate in your life – one is when you are
a student, the other is when you retire.” Back then, I didn’t believe
him. Now, I do. So, I told them “I haven’t yet regretted not scoring
well in college. This is the only ‘free time’ you have, so use it
well.” I got lot of smirks and “oh, please, we have so much to study”
looks. I said “Two years later, I’ll see how many of you come back and
tell me I’m wrong.”

Genesis 2007 at BMSCE
Genesis 2007 at BMSCE

Then, after the session ended, a few electrical students said they
wanted to get into the software industry and don’t know where to
start. I told them that some of the best programmers I’ve known are
from a mechanical background, so that’s okay. You should prove your
skills, that’s all, your background shouldn’t matter, although it
may be difficult to get your first job because you’re not a computer
science student. Then, a telecom student. I was happy about this guy
because he said he wanted to remain in the telecom domain but learn
coding really well, I said that’s a very good decision he’s taken and
told him to see open source projects such as Asterisk and OpenMoko. He
said “I’m in my final year, just 8 months to go, am I too late?”
I said “8 months is a really long time, you’re not late, you just have
to start now.” (8 months is a long time when you think about it, but
it seems to fly away so soon).

After that, students headed towards the computer lab where I gave
a crash course in using subversion. I had to get back to work, so
I didn’t stay for the rest of the day, but I heard there was a “good
response” from the students.

In the end, I don’t know if anyone was inspired about FOSS or not,
but I did see that few students absorbed the fact that knowledge and
projects are going to get them good jobs, not just marks (of course,
you do have to have a decent score), and working on FOSS projects is
one way to achieve that.

P.S. If you’ve read this far, and you’re interested in learning how to
contribute to open source software, then you’re in luck, because the
foss.in community event is coming up soon. You
can start right now by reading Atul’s latest post on
foss.in
.

Update : A related must-read article is “How to Get a Job Like Mine” by Aaron Swartz.

The past 3 days of foss.in/2006 have been very interesting. As Gopal said, this conference is in the hallways. I’ve seen/had a fair share of amazing conversations from watching a passionate debate of companies “exploiting” people by getting them to work on their open source product vs how is it exploiting if it is voluntary (Aaron Seigo did the defending :)) to conversations about generator expressions in Python to Java being GPLed to how the ambitious KDE 4 reminds me of Vista (although the KDE community has proved itself time and again before), to Ubuntu Dapper vs Edgy (Edgy has been causing some problems for me). Regarding the talks themselves, lot has been written and clicked already.

Audience for Keynote by Suparna Bhattacharya
Hallway discussions

The most I got out of this conference was seeing the passion again. The love of programming. The love of helping others. The feeling of being part of a community. The smile on the face of a coder when he comes to know that software he wrote is helping a poverty-stricken country modernize itself. Most of all, the first point again, the love of creating something. I had forgotten that feeling.

Yesterday was such a long and awesome day.

The day started with me missing Taj’s talk on Entropy and I’m still kicking myself for that one. I attended Gora’s talk on IndLinux efforts and I got to know about the various efforts in localization and translations going on.

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Then, Alan Cox spoke on Modern Linux Device Drivers. There was so much information that he was doling out that I didn’t quite follow, but I did get the gist and understood that kernel stuff ain’t that much of a voodoo as I thought it would be. It simply requires a lot more discipline and awareness of how design impacts performance.

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Then, it was Welte’s turn to talk how he reverse-engineered Motorola’s EZX linux phones to allow a full free software stack to be used on the phone. It was interesting to note the various steps he takes, including using an oscilloscope to find out which probes and points actually work! I didn’t stay for the whole talk because the amount of jargon involved was simply beyond me.

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Next, I was listening to Volker on the Munich City’s transition to free software. Interestingly, in the city’s evaluation, they found the proprietary solutions to be cheaper than the free software contract quotes (we are talking a difference of 10 million or more!) but they took many more considerations such as long-term costs, support, localization, etc. and finally OpenOffice+Linux got lot more points and was finally chosen by the Munich city. The last-minute offers by MS which include cuts of 7 million dollars, etc. were not considered by Munich.

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After that, we were in an Advanced Python BoF with Taj, Siddharth, and many others. With Sid being present, the talk veered off in various directions and that’s a good thing. Sid was talking about how to have some feedback values put in generators and Taj gave an example of how such a problem is faced in producer-consumer setup when they are using python generators. Taj said there’s a relevant PEP that’s out there but with no consensus yet on what’s going to be done about it. There was much more discussed including decorators, metaclasses, and Ruby too (no, we didn’t bash it).

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(more…)

Today, the keynote address was by Andrew Cowie on Inside|Outside, and it was a brilliant talk. Cowie is a very animated and fun person. The talk was about how people are on the inside or outside of the community and what it takes to cross over. He gave various examples, including himself on how he had to step in to take care of java-gnome because the original author vanished from the scene. He also explained we need to be pragmatic and show a united front. For example, he was particularly appreciative of Hari Krishnan’s posters and why it shouldn’t matter whether he used a proprietary software such as Corel Draw. Actually, Hari needed some vector drawing ability which was not available in any of the open source tools. The people who bitched about using a non-open source software would better have spent their time fixing the actual problem. Similarly, he slammed the “GNU/” thingy issue raised everytime in a conference and people actually cheered him! I liked the way he stressed “No one can tell you no” … Cowie has put up the talk slides online.

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Then, I attended Till Adam’s talk on Kolab and got to know how a German ministry funded Kolab 1 and subsequently how Kolab 2 has become a real viable alternative to the Exchange/Outlook combination. The technical bits were interesting, like how Kolab just reuses Cyrus-imapd for everything and treats all the information as just imap mails, including memos and calendars, etc. Since Cyrus-imapd is very scalable and kolabd is a lightweight daemon, Till said that many deployments of Kolab had scaled really well.

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Then, I caught the last few minutes of Dr. George Easaw talking about Moodle. He was very enthusiastic about Moodle and is using this course management system in their college.

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The FOSS in Agriculture : OSCAR talk was very interesting. OSCAR stands for Open Source Simple Computer for Agriculture in Rural Areas and has been sponsored by the French Institute of Pondicherry. OSCAR has a database of plants and images of the different parts of the plant. Once a farmer selects how the plant looks like, the list of species that match it are shown, and the correct species can be selected. In the species page, many details are present such as the names in local languages, whether it is a weed or a plant, whether it is good or bad, etc. They have developed this software in conjunction with teams in the field coordinating with farmers. Apparently, they want the software to reach a certain stage of completion and then open source it, which would likely be around March of next year.

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Then, Sai Sreekanth spoke about FOSS in primary education. He presented his experience with schools in Kuppam and how freely available software made a difference to the learning of the children. Interestingly, he said that training and English were not the barriers – just having a computer running with all the software loaded were enough and the kids really learn to explore on their own. He demonstrated a few software that were very useful and the audience were quite fascinated by the breadth and depth of the software such as Tux Math Scrabble, Celestia, Anagramarama, edu.kde and many more. There is a whole lot of software out there available for school education that need to be taken advantage of, especially in hinterland areas where good teachers are rare and there are budget constraints. For example, if a school can’t afford a real chemistry laboratory, then ChemConnection is an amazing piece of software where you can mix and match chemicals and see the result of the reactions. Sai pointed to many more resources such as iosn.net, ofset.org, pratham.org and Edubuntu.

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Next, I attended Kalyan’s talk on Web Application Security. He made revelations on how insecure sites can be and how easy it could be to circumvent the “128-bit SSL encryption high-security” stuff and do nasty things. All you need is 10 min to look around the HTML code. In fact, he demonstrated how we can easily get DVD players from Rediff Shopping or Indiatimes Shopping by changing the price from say 2999 to just 2 rupees in the HTML code and then clicking submit… Don’t try this at home, kids. His stress was that cryptography gave a false sense of security, it was easy to bypass the security. What is most needed is common sense and strict input validation is one of the best ways to be secure.

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Then, I attended the Foss in Education : A Panel Discussion. Yes, it’s a recurring theme in the discussions I attended today. Many points were discussed but Atul came in and set the discussion straight explaining the difference of FOSS in education and FOSS as education and why we need to differentiate between the two. The former is using FOSS as tools for education whereas the latter means FOSS becomes syllabus. Obviously, I think the former is a better idea. There were professors and students participating in the discussion actively. Gopi Garge was chaperoning the discussion and summarizing the points regularly.

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Unfortunately, attending these sessions meant missing Kaustubh’s podcasting talk and Mrinal’s FOSS Studio talk as well.

Finally, I last attended the KDE Development Workshop by Taj and Till.

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Outside, people had gathered in groups and were all discussing away. You could just feel the ideas and discussions and opinions whooshing by.

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Update : Philip has put up his notes on why foss in education makes sense.

Today morning, the first session was a Linux Kernel roadmap by Jonathan Corbet. Although I’ve never been a kernel-level guy, the talk was interesting and he clearly explained how features have been added and improved over the various versions, and how the development process has improved and become more “professional.”

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Then, it was my turn to talk and I talked about TurboGears. The talk went pretty good and it was well-attended which made me quite happy even though I had some tough competition, heh.

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I did make two mistakes. First was that I got worried about the time I had to finish the talk, and second, I concentrated too much on the slides. Whenever I have presented well (which has been most of the time, thankfully), I tend to leave slides as guidance for the audience, and have my thoughts free-flowing enough to be coherent and entertaining. Well, I don’t think I’ll be making these mistakes again. However, I did get good feedback about the talk from various people, and a good number of questions after the talk, which is always a good sign. For those who couldn’t attend, my TurboGears slides are online.

And one more thing … my book’s website byteofpython.info is now running on TurboGears! This is only the second public website ever running TurboGears after diggdot.us.

Then, I attended Gopal_V‘s talk on programming in the Mozilla platform. He gave a very detailed approach to creating Mozilla applications and how to go about things. I must get the slides from him later, but it shouldn’t be a problem grabbing hold of him since he works in the same floor as me at Y! His slides are online.

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I was on my way to the OpenLaszlo talk, but took a peak in the Ruby on Rails tutorial. Does Ruby on Rails really need the CREATE TABLE SQL statements to be written by hand? …. I think I prefer the SQLObject approach of having all the database-schema in one place as simple Python classes instead of having separate database creation and database manipulation (ActiveRecord) parts.. Update: The new RoR migrations feature is simply brilliant. Thanks to Mark Ramm for the tip.

Other than that, Rails looked cool. The directory structure created by rails as well as the test-driven nature was good.

Then, I got into the OpenLaszlo talk by Nirav Mehta. I had seen the OpenLaszlo demos before and used to follow Oliver Steele’s blog, but I never got around to writing anything with it. Nirav kept the audience engaged and showed off some eye candy stuff that OpenLaszlo provides from images to animation. Somebody in the audience asked him to put audio as well, but unfortunately, he didn’t have any mp3s.

Then, my friends and myself headed to the food court and then went around the FOSS Expo section. The Sun Microsystems booth was the best one and they showcased real open source projects such as Belenix (the OpenSolaris LiveCD) and NetBeans. I got a demo of OpenSolaris’ DTrace functionality and it was pretty impressive.

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Sadly, the other stalls like the Google and Yahoo! booths didn’t showcase any open source projects at all! When Google has open sourced many projects and Yahoo! has contributed open source stuff such as the Alternative PHP Cache, why can’t they show it off and demonstrate they too are part of the community (and invite people to join the company), which I thought was the point behind the stalls…

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Then, I saw Pramode in the Phoenix stall and it seems people are showing interest in Phoenix which was good to hear. Nearby, Anush and Tejas were in the Python stall and trying to entice people to talk about Python, heh.

Soon, we were back in the Intel hall for Jaya Kumar’s talk on GPL and non-GPL code interaction in the Linux kernel. He stressed that binary-only kernel driver modules are not a good idea and his explanation was pretty simple – it screws users on other architectures and users using different distro-compiler-etc. combinations. Another point is that they are not respecting the people who wrote the Linux kernel. He quoted Linus Torvalds saying it has to be a two-way street, if somebody wants to write something using the Linux kernel, they have to contribute back as well. Jaya Kumar was over-shooting his time slot but he had a lot of interesting examples and incidents to talk about. I think he had more than 100 (sic) slides in his presentation. Outside the hall, Jaya Kumar and Harald Welte were mobbed and they had a good time interacting with others.

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Then, I attended the “FOSS in Education” BoF. Philip, Manish and Praveen were also there. The discussion involved quite a number of issues and Praveen has added a nice page in the FCI wiki regarding the discussion. The focus was mainly in creating awareness, and getting students interested, at the high school level. The emphasis shouldn’t be in simply using open source but stressing the points on why open source is good for everybody, and how the community is the core strength.

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Phew. As you can gather, it was a long day but an exciting, educative and interesting one.

I was looking at planet.foss.in and hoping to look for any insights from the many talks that I missed today (there are 6 tracks running in parallel!), but it seems very few people write such long posts as dumb me!

Today’s the first day of foss.in/2005 and I actually managed to wake up early.

When I reached the venue, I saw a looooong queue of people waiting to get into the place. It seems there was a power outage and because of that, they couldn’t do the registrations. But one of the privileges of being a speaker is that you get to bypass these queues and directly walk in, heh.

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It was a delight meeting Taj again, and I was standing next to Alan Cox although I didn’t speak to him because I had no idea what to say. He has this persona around him similar to Stallman. Maybe it’s because of his long beard. It was good to meet Andrew Cowie and Dr. Tarique saab too.

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The talks started one hour late, and first off, Atul kicked off the inauguration by explaining why foss.in is different from other conferences. Some of the points I remember is:

  • Talks are the side-show. Discussions, interactions, exchange of ideas, etc. is the real agenda.
  • There are FOSS villages, etc. where people can go and start talking, discussing, etc.
  • If 1000 people attend, and 10 people are convinced and jump in to open source and actually contribute, it’s a success. If it’s 50 people, it’s a mind-boggling success.
  • We have no chief guests. The audience is the chief guest. So we have representatives from various Linux Users’ Group to do the Indian tradition of lighting the lamp to inaugurate the start of the conference.
  • The motto of the conference is the poem [“Where The Mind

Update : First, WP was cutting off comments, and now it’s cutting off posts too!? Anyway, I’m adding some of the points of the first day I still remember but it’s been 3 days already… :

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The first keynote speech was “Use the source, luke” by Alan Cox. Surprisingly, for a hardcore technical person like Alan Cox, he spoke very well and catered to a non-technical audience as well. He illustrated many points very well, such as learning by doing as the only practical way and stressing that reusing code should be done and is strongly encouraged. Also, he explained how bug reporting is a simple aspect of getting non-programmers involved in the community as well.

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Danese Cooper’s talk on FOSS : Opportunities for India was very good. She stressed on various things, including teaching your daughters to code.

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Due to the delays in the morning, the talks were running in different orders in different halls, and I missed Rasmus’ talk on XSS in the confusion.

Then, I attended Pradeep’s talk on educational content sites using Plone.

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Gopal’s talk on DotGNU was interesting, and he explained how he became the de-facto guy because of which DotGNU was moving forward since the main developer was no longer interested and turned his attention to building model ships. Though, I had heard this talk before when we were in Kerala last month.

Next, we attended Cowie’s talk on equivalence which is a nice word play. Equivalence is useful to build java-gnome and getting it running. He explained why the current tools suck and why he needed something to simplify the entire process.

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Finally, I caught the latter part of Atul’s talk on Impact of FOSS on Everything.

Continuing the nostalgia, here are pictures of the LinCDs.com shirts that Yashwanth (it was his idea) and myself wore at LB/2003.

LinCDs.com T-shirt
LinCDs.com T-shirt

The LinCDs.com name is a bit worn off now. Those numbers you see below the name is the version numbers that we had at that time. 9.0 was Red Hat, 9.2 was Mandrake, 3.0r1 was Debian, ….

Oh, and that shirt still fits me.