After the first day of foss.in, i never got the time to blog. Yeah i could have used the time between the talks to blog but wifi on my Compaq Presario 6000 series does not work on Ubuntu. Crap .......
| DAY 2 |
started with meeting Christian, Sam, Kartik, Pradeepto, Kushal, Alex, Tejas, Aslam, Ramky, Parthan and ?? ... Any missed names are unintentional... its just too many people these last few days so have not really connected each face with their nicks, gotchis and/or mail id's. After we had lunch I attended a talk on Dhvani: Indian Language Text to Speech System by Santhosh Thottingal and also Speech recognition and using CMU sphinx to build ASRs by ShyamK. I found these interesting but it would have been nicer if Santhosh had also kept another talk with some technical details explaining how they create unit selection synthesis, concatenation and collection of speech in the DB, the phonotactics of language which is different for each language and other stuff which i need to think about.
| DAY 3 |
Linuxchix BOF .... The previous night I created a few slides with minimalism in mind, so each slide did not have more than 3-4 words but apparently in any BoF the audience or participants control the discussion flow and since i have never done a BOF earlier, it was decided to let our participants hold fort. I was curious... By 3:35pm we had a decent crowd and for the first 2-3 minutes the women (and men) were reluctant to talk. I am not sure if it was the result of a heavy lunch but soon a discussion of sorts started off around different suggestions and ideas creating a nice web. Among other things, we discussed about women using nicks (btw, using a gender neutral nick != changing gender or pretending to be a man), which i support since its very easy to get away with harassment in India and the last thing I want to see happening to a woman since she would not know what to do about it. The general rule of thumb is that private mail should not be published on a list but imo, women can blog about it and people who abuse private mail lose their right to privacy. As Danese said the next day : "Dont be an a**.".... succinctly put !!
I had related an experience which occurred earlier in the day... We had kept linuxchix stickers at our stall and most folks used to exchange them with a bunch of their 'foo-project' stickers on our table which we didnt remove. Most of us were casually hanging around talking when up walked random dude, asked if he could take 'foo-project' stickers and i gently reminded him to take the lc-in stickers. He picks it up and says "linuxchix" (emphasis, as heard) rolls eyes upward and drops them onto the table and walks away. Ofcourse, 'foo-project' volunteer quickly removed his project stickers but irrespective of whether those other stickers lay there or not this person would have behaved the way he did. Classic case of a closed mind judging us here. Preconceived notions are hard to change so i would not waste my time in educating those unwilling to listen.
During the BoF, Runa & me were mc'ing and Aneesha, Ankita and Barkha did the hard task of taking notes and stuff. I have time and again observed that the commercial (not just propreitary) Indian IT industry has a gender ratio of 50:50 and yet Indian women contributors to the Free software movement is still in single digits. This is where the challenge lies, very unlike the issues faced by other nations. We did find new blood willing to participate and Runa announced the logo contest ... so all the artists reading this can get cracking. Please also remember :
- This is an India specific logo, and even if India lies in Asia, your
design cannot be used internationally or for Asia.
- Yeah we want an Indian-ish logo, preferably abstract art.
Do describe your design theme/representation in a few lines along with your logo submissions.
An interesting discussion was after the BoF ... it was pointed out how gradually by the time the BoF was nearing the end the men started 'telling' us what we should be doing... despite a guy saying that he learnt to listen more by stepping back. That kind of sums up the whole thing for me !
| DAY 4 |
After attending Danese's talk which was merrily entertaining, well paced and interesting, C, S and me went shopping and i was too tired to do anything.
| DAY 5 |
Started with attending Sam's talk on the Debian Project, and i kinda agree with the stuff he had to say... Debian needs younger blood where existing members can be excellent mentors. Second, a point i had mentioned in the BoF, we have just 4 DD's from India and this from a country that has the IT industry as its economic backbone. Rather than focus on the 'why' i shall try to enumerate on the 'how to change' in my next post.
Ford_prefect tried to get wireless working but it was time for Rusty's talk and i had to leave for my music class. Thus ended foss.in'07 which i enjoyed and wish i had more time to attend all the talks. Some overlap is to be expected given the short time. Hmm... what about having 24/7 sessions, which has its disadvantages but that might give people more opportunity and time. Maybe a foss.in at 11 other states or cities across India. Now that would be super !
Eek... something went wrong and now all my old entries are in BOLD letters. i am trying but am unable to change it... (thence solved,2007dec11)