Back again…

Back to blogging after being away for sometime. Came back to know that will be off in the 1st week of March going here. The pictures sure look lovely – and Goa is apparently a good place to be.

Was in Kolkata over the last week (due to personal exigencies) and managed to catch up with Prof Ashoke R Thakur (VC of WBUT). One of the nicest things that the University is doing (besides the fact that it has mandated the use of FLOSS within its campus) is that it is taking a lot of administrative work on to the internet. Given that adequate network infrastructure is being put in place by the various stakeholders, this is a really bold step. The next stage might just be to go through a VPN driven digitally signed framework with each student being provided an unique e-identity. This might just be a good place to try out the Fedora Directory Server. The University has recently started off an incubation center – Ekta Incubation Center with the aim of guiding upcoming technology based businesses and business models towards fruitition. All these are healthy signs which will take their own time in showing good results. What however is not really healthy is that the students of the various institutions affiliated to the University are taking a very hesitant and tiny leap towards FLOSS. Reminds me of the discussions we had all along during LinuxAsia – will FLOSS skills land me a job ? Evidently it will. One has to take a look at the principal IT consultant to the University – L2C2 Technologies who have done decent work with Koha including getting a Koha LiveCD out. Additionally, there is the Senpai framework which is a customisable appropriate technology 😉 solution. But one needs to figure out a way to reach out with the Fedora Mentors project so as to provide a well mapped way to the students to figure out what to do.

Not much is happening on the Computer Literacy Project at Kolkata – so if someone has inputs on that please feel free to mail me at sankarshan dot mukhopadhyay at gmail dot com.

We have nice T Shirts for you

Well the event is over, I have had a good 13 hour sleep and of course some folks have been quick on the go in putting pictures up here while others have blogged about it. A few good things came about from the meet – we talked a lot about our favorite project and got some folks interested in checking out our focus.

The device driver project was pimped in a subtle way – part of Satish’s talk on Enabling Device Drivers which was well attended. The important theme during the present at LinuxAsia was to figure out

* WHY should students/developers contribute to FOSS in India ?
* HOW could they be part of Fedora ?
* WHERE could they turn to in case of help ?

The crowd at this year’s event was largely students which was good and bad. Good since it gives one the means to seed ideas for various projects into the young minds, bad because it sort of revealed the lack of that something in the current education system which would enable them to take to FOSS. Venky had an Education Track which focussed on the same thing and one would have to wait for results to come in from that. The Fedora Booth had frequent visits from our high profile stars – gregdek and blizzard. In fact the latter had the unfriendly job of fielding questions related to the desktop initiatives and the roadmap ahead as the feature requests tend to keep on piling up. Do read this.

On a side note – Ankur Bangla Project received a long deserved special citation for the best dot ORG project. It sure felt good to go up on stage and receive it.

Update: Runa has put up some pictures here