Advocacy, chit-chat and event planning for GNOME in India

I could possibly see it coming. Sitting on a draft mail to the list for Advocacy, chit-chat and event planning in India I managed to misplace it completely. So what’s in this post is a faint recollection of what I had drafted along with hopefully additional ideas.

The list has been existing for a while now (from 2003 December onwards) but there’s not much that’s been done through the list. This is to be construed as a “Call to Arms” for pushing GNOME visibly across India. The mission of the GNOME Marketing Team can be taken to be a jump-off point. The idea that was around when the list was proposed was:

+ Enabling companies/developers doing work with GNOME in India to connect to others through the list
+ Coordinating and planning “show-n-tell” sessions at various places
+ Track GNOME desktop deployments across the country
+ Figure out what can be done in education with regards to GNOME

With the Project Days around the corner (where I think Shreyas and Sayamindu are cooking up something – folks can you do that on the above list please ?) this seems like a nice time to discuss what can be done. Additionally, this can perhaps be extrapolated to what are the easy to do “show-n-tell” for various tech-fests and other meets which are coming up.

There’s a substantially more number of developers/companies working with and on GNOME so it seems to be a nicer idea to spread the reason to be talking more about it. The obvious question that I get asked is “why should I be on this list since I am already filing bugs/posting to other GNOME lists/insert-your-favorite-task”. It is a fair question. As on date the list does not offer anything that would make it sticky for companies or developers. But given that it is right now relatively low traffic, it might not be a bad idea to start being on the list (and the channel #gnome-india ?) while spreading the message across. There’s another planned blog on “why you should be here” but that’s for another day.

Tracking GNOME desktop deployments would assume increasing importance if coupled with tracking the usage of localisation. I never tire of repeating that it is time enough that folks started to really “use” localisation on the UI and the localisation framework (input-rendering-printing) so as to enable all the existing rough edges to be polished.

The education bit would perhaps be best explained by Sayamindu, the short bit is coming up with a list of technical stuff (I prefer to call them developer fundamentals) which would allow students to begin contributing to GNOME. If he does not blog, more on that later.

An idea called Prajna

This month the iLUG-Cal list has a thread on Prajna or the Cognizant FLOSS Corps. You can read more about it here. Without even attempting to summarize what the concept is all about, I’d request anyone who is interested to read up the blog. Right now what I expect from the Prajna team is a Plan of Action which would allow others from outside of Cognizant to join up. There are a large number of like (if not similar) projects that are running piecemeal across the country. What I like about Prajna is that it has within itself the seeds of being an over-arching umbrella to create a federation of such projects.

What Prajna also has the ability to get going is training up a skillset in FOSS that can be useful to startups and companies alike. Having a hands-on experience in managing deployment prepares the mind to face different challenges as can be read off Indranil’s blogs on the internship experience. Prajna also is well placed to have a means to extend the reach of localisation. Right now there’s not much happening in terms of usage of localised desktops in the area of education.

How Prajna ties in existing Commons Knowledge and experience into a project that can be readily replicated across various states remains to be seen. I wish them all the best.