foss.in day 1
Today’s the first day of foss.in/2005 and I actually managed to wake up early.
When I reached the venue, I saw a looooong queue of people waiting to get into the place. It seems there was a power outage and because of that, they couldn’t do the registrations. But one of the privileges of being a speaker is that you get to bypass these queues and directly walk in, heh.
It was a delight meeting Taj again, and I was standing next to Alan Cox although I didn’t speak to him because I had no idea what to say. He has this persona around him similar to Stallman. Maybe it’s because of his long beard. It was good to meet Andrew Cowie and Dr. Tarique saab too.
The talks started one hour late, and first off, Atul kicked off the inauguration by explaining why foss.in is different from other conferences. Some of the points I remember is:
- Talks are the side-show. Discussions, interactions, exchange of ideas, etc. is the real agenda.
- There are FOSS villages, etc. where people can go and start talking, discussing, etc.
- If 1000 people attend, and 10 people are convinced and jump in to open source and actually contribute, it’s a success. If it’s 50 people, it’s a mind-boggling success.
- We have no chief guests. The audience is the chief guest. So we have representatives from various Linux Users’ Group to do the Indian tradition of lighting the lamp to inaugurate the start of the conference.
- The motto of the conference is the poem [“Where The Mind
Update : First, WP was cutting off comments, and now it’s cutting off posts too!? Anyway, I’m adding some of the points of the first day I still remember but it’s been 3 days already… :
- The motto of the conference is the poem “Where The Mind Is Without Fear” by Rabindranath Tagore. I love the last line – Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
- Every line of that poem has some significance for the FOSS community.
The first keynote speech was “Use the source, luke” by Alan Cox. Surprisingly, for a hardcore technical person like Alan Cox, he spoke very well and catered to a non-technical audience as well. He illustrated many points very well, such as learning by doing as the only practical way and stressing that reusing code should be done and is strongly encouraged. Also, he explained how bug reporting is a simple aspect of getting non-programmers involved in the community as well.
Danese Cooper’s talk on FOSS : Opportunities for India was very good. She stressed on various things, including teaching your daughters to code.
Due to the delays in the morning, the talks were running in different orders in different halls, and I missed Rasmus’ talk on XSS in the confusion.
Then, I attended Pradeep’s talk on educational content sites using Plone.
Gopal’s talk on DotGNU was interesting, and he explained how he became the de-facto guy because of which DotGNU was moving forward since the main developer was no longer interested and turned his attention to building model ships. Though, I had heard this talk before when we were in Kerala last month.
Next, we attended Cowie’s talk on equivalence which is a nice word play. Equivalence is useful to build java-gnome and getting it running. He explained why the current tools suck and why he needed something to simplify the entire process.
Finally, I caught the latter part of Atul’s talk on Impact of FOSS on Everything.