Saturday Aug 11, 2007

FOSS.IN 2007 - announced!

FOSS.IN 2007 has been announced! And this time it is \*different\*. This will be the third time Sun will be participating. So, if you are involved in any of the opensource communities at Sun and interested in attending, drop me a note.

For more details:

From: Atul Chitnis
Date: August 5, 2007 18:14:07 BDT
Subject: [] FOSS.IN/2007: Event Announcement

Dear all,

It's that time of the year again, when we reveal details about this
year's FOSS.IN.

FOSS.IN/2007 will be held from December 4th to December 8th. That's
Tuesday through Saturday.

The venue will be (for the most part) the National Science Symposium
Centre (NSSC) of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

As always, there are plenty of changes, improvements and new things at the

The event itself is in two major parts:

- The Main Conference, which is on December 6/7/8 (Thu/Fri/Sat)
- "Project Days", which are on December 4/5 (Tue/Wed)

The formats of each of these are very different from each other, but both
are integral parts of the event. Both will take place at the main venue.


The Main Conference (Dec 6/7/8) is similar to the format of the event in
previous years, with some dramatic differences:

No Tracks:

Unlike in previous years, the main conference will not have tracks. Each
session will be self-contained. While talks will still be classified
according to the broad topic, they will not all be concentrated in one
hall. This will encourage movement between halls and getting exposed to a
wider variety of topics.

Talk slots:

Each slot will be 90 minutes instead of the usual 60 minutes. However,
this does not mean that talks will be that long - each talk will be about
45 minutes talk time, and about 30 minutes discussion time. And there is a
15 minute buffer between talk slots to allow audiences (and speakers) to
move between halls, grab a coffee or a snack, etc.

In addition, the main conference will only use the 750, 120, and 90 seater
halls. The 250 seater is still being considered - we will use it only if
the number of high-quality talks selected exceeds our capacity. The 60
seater hall will not be used for talks (we have other plans for it).

Talk Depth:

The Main Conference will differentiate itself from previous years in the
way talks are selected. Most of the talks will be by recognised experts in
their fields. Because our Talk Slot format dramatically reduces the number
of talks from previous years, we can afford to be choosy. And we will be.
While we will still have a formal Call for Participation (CfP) for all
talks, many talks will be invited, and others will be brutally scrutinised
for depth, context and value to audiences.

Talk Feedback System:

In addition, we are introducing a talk rating/feedback system that will
allow people to comment on and rate talks online after the talk completes.
The feedback system will be moderated and authenticated (you know, to
prevent our friends selling body-part enhancements from turning this into
a market place :), but the comments will be public and permanent.

This will achieve two things:

- The feedbacks for each talk will act as a reference for the speakers, if
they need to prove their bonafides as speakers, they simply have to
point at the FOSS.IN site where information about the talk and the
feedback from the audiences will be recorded.

- This will encourage speakers to be far better prepared than some have
been in the past. A last-minute preparation speaker is almost certainly
going to get bad feedback, so the tag "was a speaker at FOSS.IN" can
work against the speaker if s/he wasn't prepared, but work wonders for
those speakers who do prepare, deliver an in-depth talk and who
interacts with the audience.

Feedback will be on a per-talk basis, not per-speaker, but multiple-talks
per speaker will be an exception anyway - you'd have to be a superstar to
achieve that. :)


Both the Main conference and Project Days (described below) will focus on
development and contribution to FOSS Projects. General talks will be
limited to a few, and in general the nature/background of the speaker will
decide whether the talk will be selected.

As it was last year, advocacy and basic introductory talks will not be
accepted. This is to avoid the "preaching to the choir" problem, as well
as avoid duplicating the efforts of other FOSS events in India.


Project Days (Dec 4/5) are new to FOSS.IN. Loosely based on the
mini-conferences made popular by events such as (LCA), these
will be an implementation of the "topics" idea proposed in 2005.

Project Days will be full day sessions on a single topic, and the topic
will be a specific FOSS project. Led by project leaders/contributors, the
sessions will expose audiences to the current stateand future plans of the
project, and show where and how people can get involved. Workshops are
encouraged to be part of such sessions.

The number of projects will be limited. As the 750 seater hall will not be
used for Project Days sessions, sessions will take place in the 60/90/120
and 250 seater halls. That means there can be (2 days x 4 halls)=8 Project
Days Sessions.

To makeit clear what we are looking at, here are some examples of Project
Day Sessions:

KDE, Gnome, Fedora, Ubuntu/Debian, OpenOffice, IndLinux, etc.

Here are examples of topics that are NOT eligible for a Project Days

Web Development, Developing in PHP/Python/Perl/Ruby, System
Administration, etc.

If look closely, will that we are targeting contribution to the project,
not deployment of the project. For example, "Developing Python" is a good
topic, "Developing with Python" is not.

Talk slots:

Talk slots will be 1 hour in length, with no more than 45 minutes talk
time. This works because unlike the Main conference, all talks related to
the topic are in the same hall.

However, actual distribution of talks will be decided by both Team FOSS.IN
and the Session organizers. Since there will also be workshops involved,
things have to be a bit more flexible.

Talk/Workshop selection:

The actual Project Day sessions will be decided over the next two weeks.

First, discuss on the mailing list, identify topics, scope of topics and
who possible speakers could be.

Next, formal Project Days Session Proposals have to be made. These
proposals will be evaluated for completeness, scope, context and other
factors, very similar to the way talks will be selected for the Main

The 8 sessions will then be selected, session organizers appointed and
sessions will be announced, and the CfP will open. People will now be able
to submit talk proposals, choosing either the Main Conference or one of
the Project Day sessions.


The FOSS.IN HackCenter:

The Hack Center is a new addition to FOSS.IN this year.

It is a large area which will be open throughout the conference duration,
from 9:00am to 7:00pm, where people can get together to work on FOSS

The Center will be provided with PCs, power, switched networks and
internet connectivity, tables and chairs.


There are a few rules that are expected to be followed:

1. This is not a download or surfing centre. People are not expected to
settle in and use the bandwidth to download stuff from the net. The
area is provided for people to get together to work on FOSS projects.

2. PCs provided will be few. In general, there will be one PC per group -
people are encouraged to bring their own laptops.

3. This is not a general community assembly hall. People are requested to
only use this hall for actual development work, not for general
sit-downs and discussions. For discussions, BoF tents are provided.


Birds-of-a-feather sessions will happen throughout the main conference, in
semi-open tents equipped with wireless LAN, power and whiteboards.


New to FOSS.IN is a social evening on Friday, the 7th of December. The
party will take place at an off-site location, close to the event venue
(actual venue will be announced close to the event).

This party is open to all participants of FOSS.IN - speakers, delegates,
exhibitors, sponsors and of course volunteers. There will be a nominal
cover charge that will be paid by people wishing to attend the party, and
it is optional - only people who wish to attend will have to pay.


As every year, there will be an exhibition of commercial and
non-commercial, FOSS-related products. Details will appear on the website.


As every year, we are restricting costs to cover only direct expenses on

Because of the multi-part nature of the conference, conference fees will
be as follows:

1. Main Conference only : Rs.500

2. Project Days only : Rs.300

3. Main Conference + Project Days: Rs.750

4. Optional Party@FOSS.IN: TBA


Conference Swag (like last year's mug, T-shorts, etc.) is only for people
attending the main conference.

All packages include Lunch, tea/coffee and snacks for each day.

Corporate Support Package:

In addition, there is an optional "Corporate Support" package, to help
companies support the event. This package is identical package 3 above
(Main Conference + Project Days), at Rs.3000 per head.

This package is optional and meant for organizations who wish to help
support the event. Attendance of the Party@FOSS.IN is included in the
package, as well as all other benefits.

In addition, all passes and other materials will be sent to the
organization before the event, so that such sponsored attendees will not
have to stand in the queue to register at the conference.

Additional funds raised this way will go towards additional facilities for
delegates, subsidising the party, etc.

Travel Assistance:

As usual, we have a limited budget for aiding selected speakers to travel
to Bangalore. Speakers are requested to first attempt to get sponsorship
from other sources before asking for Travel Assistance.

All speakers at the event (Main Conference or Project days) get
complimentary passes to the event, and other speaker-specific goodies.


The website for the event will open in the next 24 hours. It will not
contain all details yet - this will improve as we pin down various things,
and as feedback and suggestions come in on the mailing list.

You are best served by adding to your newsreader of
choice to keep track of changes on the website, and of course to subscribe
to the FOSS.IN mailing list.

This note does not cover a lot of details, so feel free to start asking
questions, discussing things, making suggestions, etc. Note that not every
suggestion can be implemented, so don't take it personal if we have to
reject one. Also note that FOSS.IN is one of four international FOSS
events (the others being Linux.Conf.Au, OLS and now Linuxconf.EU), and
because of this there are certain things we can do, and some which we

As usual, we ask people to leave the politics at the door, and help make
this an enjoyable event for everyone. A lot of hard work has gone into
this event already, and a lot more will happen in the months leading up to

For now, the best way to help is to spread the word (buttons, banners,
etc. will be on the website, as will be PDF brochures, posters, etc.), and
to discuss on the FOSS.IN mailing list.

Please remember - this is an to get people get involved in FOSS
development and contribution. Our primary objective is to get more Indians
involved, and to get them to interact with people from all over the world.

Expect a lot more news from us as time goes by. Tons of stuff up our
sleeves. :)



Atul Chitnis
Project Lead


BOSUG hackathan - today!

is going on right now! Thanks Shiv for pulling this off. I cant wait to see the count of spec files that we generate today.

Hi Group,

I hope all of you are set to get started...
Lets meet at 10am tomorrow (same place where tutorial was held).

We'll have some inputs to draw our work upon
1. Belenix sources that were used to build previous Belenix release
2. Some of the sources that we intend to port to OpenSolaris will be
available on the server
3. The spec file repository already has 520+ softwares for which spec
files are written. I have gone through all the patches for the same
and pooled the code corrections done. I am attaching the same for your
reference. This will be available tomorrow.

What you need to do:
1. In case you need VMware images to be put onto your laptop, it helps
to come early so that we can make space on your laptop and provide the
setup VMware environment on your system with the required network
2. If you have any favourity softwares that you want to port, either
get the sources or have the list of softwares so that the sources can
be downloaded during the event.

Kira Morrow (from US) & Ananth.A(from mumbai) had registered to
participate online. We will be using the #bosug IRC channel on for staying online. Incase of Kira, the hackathon starts
at midnight 00:00hrs US time! Kira drop me mail about the time during
which you will be online.
Kira/Ananth, I'll provide a suggested list of softwares that you may
build. The softwares will be chosen such that there are not too many
dependencies on other softwares. I'll send out the list a few hours
before the start of the event.

\*\*\* Lets gift ourselves with a fantastic session tomorrow... \*\*\*


Friday May 04, 2007

'Linux For You' magazine is shipping with Solaris Express Dev Edition in May


'Linux For You' - one of the popular linux magazines in India is carrying Solaris Express Developer Edition in its May issue. Ananth Shrinivas has authored an article on installing SXDE as well.

Linux For You has a circulation of over 40,000! That many linux geeks (or possibly more), get a chance to give Solaris a whirl.

My heatfelt thanks to Jaijit, Ananth, Sam, Jaggy, Savitha and Anu for making this happen.

Linux For You - May Issue - Cover Page


Tuesday Feb 13, 2007

Only live distro to carry Netbeans

.. is BeleniX!

Did you know that? Thanks to a blog entry by Dave. There is one another distro which carries NetBeans. But, that distro is no longer updated, and seems to carry a pretty old version of netbeans.

Here are some of the comments on Dave's blog which talk about.


4. Miki800  |  February 11th, 2007 at 3:29 am
googled and stumbled on this page…} oh wow, this is the first live-cd
I’ve encountered since Pollix (which hasnt been updated since 2004 or
so) that has NetBeans [my top fav IDE] in it! :D

so happy now that I know it exist! :) I will download it right away,
hopefully it will work swiftly in my collage’s comps labs

I can use NetBeans faster and better then the slow pace I have to
suffer when I use it at the lab under \*caugh\* M$ \*caugh\* XP :-)

am kind of used to linux since I’ve been using it now for 3 monthes or
so everyday so I hope that solaris isnt all that different and hard, I
meant opensolaris…

hurummz… say, if u guys know any better NetBeans Oriented LiveCD OS/\* mind sending me an email?

5. zencin  |  February 11th, 2007 at 6:00 am
Good to know that you found this blog entry helpful. This is the only
Live CD/DVD that I know of has NetBeans 5.5. Have fun with Belenix DVD
and let me know if you have a better luck with Belenix for recognizing
your college’s computers.

6. Miki800  |  February 12th, 2007 at 3:35 am
wait, you mean to tell me that Belenix DVD is the only Belenix released
versions that has NetBeans built-in in it? as in - the LiveCD CD and
USB versions doesnt has NB on’em?or.. do they? cause… in my labs, each
comp has a cd drive and 2 USB slots, so the 2 latters are my only
options of Belenix

7. zencin  |  February 12th, 2007 at 7:31 am
Belenix DVD edition probably is the only one out of 3 Belenix editions
that has NetBeans. There are other out-dated Linux live CDs that has an
older version of NetBeans. I also found out that Solaris Developer
Express also has NetBeans 5.5 bundled. However, it will require
installation (i.e. not a Live CD/DVD) (source:
If the computer has USB 2.0 ports, then you can always install Netbeans
on an USB flash memory stick and use it with any live USB or live CD.
Hope this helps.


Friday Feb 09, 2007

Kudos for Sun from the FOSS community

I was made aware of this discussion in an Indian Linux User Group. It relates to Sun's enthusiastic participation in the 2006 opensource symposium Vs Google and others

> well what do you expect google to show..  a screen with google search
> opened..? or gmail? or orkut? or youtube? or google earth?... at
> least they have something to do with FOSS.. whether they are there for
> hiring..or drumming up for SoC...
> what would tehelka show except their weekly.., or Novell ..except
> their half propreitry stuff.. so with other stalls.. while all other
> stalls used it in their own way.. they were atleast related to FOSS
> ... while M$ aint..
> after all it was LA... not / freedel / gnunify..
> Karunakar

If they have something to do with FOSS then a demo would do wonders.
Frankly I'm disgusted at Google stalls I see at conferences everywhere
- and yeah was at too this year where they had six big couches
and two (admittedly better looking) girls =).

Contrast that to the Sun stall at and the energy and enthu of
the people there was amazing. Used to think Sun was a crappy company
but just the tech demos there had me converted. Please note, this is
not a comparison of what M$ did versus what Google did or is doing,
but just a comment on their conference stalls.


My thanks to all the folks from the OpenSolaris and Sun FOSS community who made our participation in FOSS.IN 2006 a great success. We rock!




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