Re:MiniDebConf in Amritapuri, Kerala
If people think we have gone all silent, then you would be wrong. What
happened was I initiated an invite to people and that invitation
thread (which was supposed to be smallish) evolved/devolved into
suggestions and ideas of what we could do in the minidebconf. So I
made a series of notes on suggestions which were made by one and all
(me, Pavi and Harish mostly) .
Forbearance, this would be a long mail, so either see it over the
week-end or have your cuppa of chai/coffe or something stronger to
help you along :P .
Without further ado here goes :-
1. Website for mini-debconf (Todo by volunteers)
https://wiki.debian.org/DebianIndia/MiniDebConfSiteChange as links for
The gitorious link - https://gitorious.org/minidebconfindia/
Note :- Have no idea if the host institution wants to make it's own
website as well or not, it's not clarified yet although somebody from
the institution has volunteered but have seen no mails from her or
merge requests to the repo. yet.
some suggestions :-
a. ruby gems packaging for diaspora - Perhaps both Praveen and Nandaja
could lead the efforts or just Nandaja leaving Praveen and Kartik to
lead general packaging efforts ?
No response from Nandaja on this yet.
Aneesh KR - he has replied and offered to help with web design and
graphics for the site. He has also offered to present as well as do a
workshop on blender.
We are trying to know what is and would be possible to do in the mini-debconf.
We could have a 2d and 3d workshop on graphics and could share/tell
people of projects where they could train and use their skills. I
shared OpenTTD as a possible entry for graphic skills, as the graphics
skills seem to be simple as most of the graphics seem to be 8-bit
graphics (early 1990's graphics).
There seems to have been some sort of push to 32-bit but not much activity :-
There are some youtube videos as well which show openttd with 32bpp
graphics, for e.g. :-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDobrpoFdMs - how to install the
newish 32-bit graphics.
You could look at the featured videos as well
Rusty Walker also has lot of good OpenTTD videos
Of course both Aneesh and community members are welcome to share any
alternative game/Video where we could channel the energies.
I did share gooseberry and lunatics web series as alternatives.
Both of these could be more presentation material (especially
cloudberry as that project would be using cutting-edge blender as well
as making some new features and workflow within the blender system or
at least that's how the whole project has been hyped.)
Lunatics might be doable as the graphics requirement are much lower. I
did see some renderings which didn't have many polygons (read less
rendering/CPU/GPU utilization needed among other things).
Aneesh-KR would be able to shed some more light on the matter.
I also asked about chambaproject as a possible alternative as well but
the site link still shows a 500 error, maybe the project got buried or
not. There are still some videos on youtube if people want to know
what the idea was about.
I made another suggestion if we could have a presentation/workshop on
both WebRTC and XMPP protocol. This could be a demo+presentation
session or a demo+presentation+hands-on session depending on who is
Harish asked/shared it would be nice if some of the students gave some
sessions on topics of free software.
Basic git was one which Harish said could be given by one of the
students although no names have been shared yet.
It seems Amrita University has done quite some contributions in FOSS,
some of the projects were in the following projects :-
a. Tor - secure, anonymous browser and uses the tor network.
b. Mozilla Thunderbird - email client for recieving and sending messages.
c. Moin Moin, Mediawiki and acawiki - all are wiki software used to
d. E-cidadania - open source e-democracy platform written in Django.
e. gnome-music :- music player for GNOME.
f. honeynet and OWASP projects - guess honeynet is a play on honeypot
(a type of trap/surveillance technique white hats do on black hats).
Both projects seem interesting.
g. Drupal - PHP based web-building platform/software. Could be used to
make websites, forums, blogs and more.
h. Mozilla Firefox - Web-browser to make sense of web-pages.
i. Sympy - seems to be a python library on symbolic mathematics
j. tox - secure instant messaging.
k. Haiku - Another FOSS distribution.
I find all of them could make for interesting presentations.
Some of the things the presentation should have :-
b. The student's involvement in the project.
c. Where they see the project going
d. Future involvement.
Many of the applications shared above are not packaged within Debian,
at least I could not find them (exception are Drupal, Mozilla
Firefox,Tor, gnome-music, moin moin,mediawiki some libraries and tools
of owasp and sympy).
I have not seen which of the above projects have matured code-bases or
not but perhaps some which have some stable API could be packaged for
Apart from the above, I proposed some generic talks as well.
a. Aaron Swartz, the man, the circumstances and the explosion
afterwards - There are many people at least here in Pune who have no
idea who or what Aaron Swartz was all about , why he committed
suicide. Undoubtedly, we would also need to talk of issues about Open
Access and what it means as well.
It would be cool if Amrita University could have a sort of
mini-competition or something and let whosoever is the best add
contributions from other essays as well and present it at the
minidebconf. It would also raise awareness of the issues at hand.
b. Similarly about Edward Snowdem, Anonymous,Wikileaks and Data Privacy.
Both these topics would have references of both Politics, Data
Analytics, Encryption, Civil and Human rights, Civil dis-obedience
I do know that Kerala eats, breathes Politics but dunno how the
University would perceive that. Both the stories have both strong
parallels and lessons for a fledging connected place such as India.
We could have presentations from one or two people and after that have
a panel discussion.
c. We could also have a talk on Intellectual Property, Patents and
Copyrights. There is lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainity and Doubt) about
all the above terms with lot of myths perpetrated by lawyers
themselves. I put up a recent blog post which could be used as a
basis for a presentation.
It is pretty much a basic info. article but could serve as a base to
make a presentation on If somebody wants. If there are any people who
might be interested in the above topics, share the above link with
them and let them do their own research.
d. We could also do 'Making businesses with Free software' and have
people like Aneesh Sheela, KK (Krishnakant Mane), Anoop John share how
they do their business as case-studies. If anybody knows of any more
people who use some sort of free software business model are welcome.
If anybody has any names, feel free to invite them, if needed PM me,
Praveen and Harish.
e. Taking it further, you could also have a session where if some
youngsters have some ideas with free software, they could pitch it
these eminent people, take their feedback and improve their business
idea or/and technical implementation or something.
f. Debian installation - it would be nice if some of the students try
some of the methods of installation.
Pavithran adds -
"Though I like the idea of having a debate/discussion about snowden
or/and Aaron Schwartz. I would really like to have a talk on
implications of the leaks and how freedombox and debian would
strengthen privacy. We could also join Diaspora talk here.
I am not sure how everyone would take it, but if we could succesfully
connect all of them it would be great. I would definitely recommend
Anivar to lead the debate :) " - Pavi
Apart from the projects that Amrita University shared, I shared couple
of more namely graphviz and 'Sofa Statistics' . While Graphviz has a
sort of community around it, sofa statistics is a lone developer
activity. He needs help packaging it for debian. It would be nice if
some of the students also studied those and presented them at the
Visual representation of statistics does have lot of positives to it
as far as the future is concerned .
I also shared Paul Wise's huge list about interesting software which
could be packaged (apart from RFP's from wnpp.debian.net)
Looking forward to people's ideas, suggestions, criticisms etc.
Shirish Agarwal शिरीष अग्रवाल
My quotes in this email licensed under CC 3.0
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