I was invited to visit Sastra university – Trichy for a workshop on Free Software. I joined with Aditya and Srishti at KPN office bangalore. We boarded an air-conditioned sleeper coach by 11.30 P.M and reached Trichy by 6 AM. The road was bit bumpy, i couldn’t sleep much. As expected Trichy was much warmer than Bangalore in the morning. Trichy main bus stand has couple of Kamaraj statues. Sristi was surprised to see the ‘Golden’ statues of kamaraj.
While we were discussing about kamaraj, our cab arrived. The Sastra university is 45 minutes drive from Trichy. It is located between Trichy and Tanjore. We were asked to stay at the Guest house.
By 10 A.M i started my session on Free Software at one of their ‘smart classrooms’. I explained students about free software and its importance. My second talk was on GNU/Linux Commands, the talk was based on Stanford universities open classroom session on PracticalUnix. Students tried various commands on their laptops as i explained them. Aditya introduced python and Srishti introduced QT to students on the first day.
We had a good dinner at ‘Canopy’ Sastra’s canteen which is being managed by students. We finished the dinner with a tasty creamy cold coffee sponsored by Srishti. I was very tired after travel; so i went to bed early.
After a good sleep, I started the second day by introducing Django to students. I explained Django by creating a small blogging application. Many students tried to follow my instructions and came up with the small blogging website (Yay!). Next I joined with Sristi and introduced git revision control system to students using Shakthi‘s ‘di-git-ally-managing-love-letters‘ presentation. The students loved it! Aditya did a workshop on puppet on the second day. We also met the I.T department professor and had a little talk. She presented us with a memento .
By 6.30 P.M we left the college by saying good bye. We had to board the bus at Tanjore. Tanjore is famous for its Brihadeeswarar Temple. It was built on 11th century. We visited the temple and spent some time there. After dinner , we boarded the bus back to Bangalore. Srishti took lot of pictures during the visit (will be uploaded soon)
This is my first ever foss.in. My flight arrived at bangalore by 8.30 in the morning. It took me nearly 2 hrs to reach my hotel from the airport. Beware if you want to catch a flight you better prepare and go well ahead of the time ’cause bangalore’s traffic sucks. I met aditya, amit and shreyank at the hotel and we headed towards the foss.in venue.
Everything started an hour late. The first talk was about wikipedia. Danese cooper CTO of wikimedia foundation gave a talk on the technology that drives the world’s fifth largest website. Santhosh thottingal’s work on wiki2cd was appreciated by the wikimedia team. wiki2cd helps in creating offline content out of wikipedia.After the talk we met rahul and got our Fedora t-shirts (yay!) .
In the afternoon aditya and i went into meego mini-conf sessions by Nokia. Nokia is really trying to push meego into the mainstream (Good luck Nokia). In the evening the keynote address was given by rahul. He talked on a topic named “Failures of Fedora and what we have learned from them”, he gave us insights into what red hat/community did wrong and what they learnt from it. It was an awesome talk. Some points from his talk includes merger of core/extras repositories into a single repo, opening up the infrastructure, focus on improving packaging quality/guidelines, the problems they faced with documentation(because of red hat’s initial stand on freeing up the documentation license) , the proposed removal of CLA, the new update policy etc.
Finally we Fedora folks including lennart poettering went into a bar/restaurant and had a very good dinner. Thanks to the community architecture team for everything. We spent lot of time talking about what could be done to improve the project. Harish pillay joined us there later in the restaurant. He explained why LTSP in Fedora needs some love and how it is getting distro centric. We came back to hotel by 11.30 PM.
More pictures at http://www.zer0c00l.in/impressions/index.php/FOSS-IN-2010