What I heard …

Yesterday I had gone to meet an angel along with Sayamindu. Now the angel told me a few things which stop folks from “using” Linux as the operating system of choice for DTP and thus a large segment of potential users for Bengali (India) are not using Linux for their daily usage. She spoke very fast, so I quickly jotted down what were the important issues:

+ Capability for “mirror printing” ie, the printed page should actually be like the way a normal printout when viewed in the mirror would look like

+ Capability for treating a printable page into 2 software pages ie turn a A4 page into landscape mode and make two numbered physical pages out of that

+ Handling of floating frames

+ Metrically equivalent fonts for the traditionally well used ones

+ Conversion from .p65 and like formats

+ Handling of Indic properly

Does anyone have inputs on these ?

Mozilla and “mobile”

This is a juicy blog entry about the “Mozilla Mobile Community”. Would be good to have this as part of the Mozilla Project Day, though I daresay the name might require some rethink (the first thing that came to my mind was BatMobile – talk about stickiness). On a completely side note, I’d be interested to see the Mozilla Project day spread some love about “Report a broken website” batteries_included feature of Firefox along side coming up with a set of simple test cases whereby frequent reports like these are handled at the user level. A set of test cases would also be an easy guidance to folks who would soon being doing web development for the plethora of Government projects. Given that the mandate for equal functionality in English and local languages is going to be in place (or is it already there ?) ensuring that the presentation/rendering tool is well prepared to take on the challenge is prudent.

Laws of Motion as applied to FOSS conferences

The first law of the celebrated owner of the-dog-named-Diamond states that “Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare” or in simpler words, Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed. That’s what fairly sums up the reboot.

The one fallout of this should be an increase in entropy of the system, wherein other conferences would be required to introspect a bit on the focus : new_or_potential user/contributor/developer/evangelist/mix_of_all_of_them. I’d be really happy to see a change in the way the conferences align their focus and arrange their theme. Given that a closed system has a constant momentum (or, to be more precise – one that cannot be changed unless by external forces), throwing in such ideas normally generate a fair bit of healthy churn. I don’t think that the team expects that this year (of all the years) would suddenly lead to a spurt of contributions. But waiting for 2 more years (as Pradeepto hinted on the list) is not going to solve the problems of low contributions or developer base.

There has been a significant amount of heartburn on the list, this mail from Shreyas does sum it up well. A bit too late in coming – the “vision” blog/mail should have been a bit earlier, but I guess the sheer volume of submitted talks did finally light the bulb that the mail was required :) In fact, if things go well, the Project Days would be expected to shoulder and deliver the significant responsibility for pushing up the contributor base in as much diverse areas of the Projects as possible. I can tell you that some of the proposers are listening. Good work folks.