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2010 Septiembre 25 [sábado]

PyCon-IN-2010

Kinda sad to see all the effort put into a complete community volunteer-driven event almost come to a standstill under the shadow of local communal politics -- the Ayodhya verdict. Given that I missed last years even for personal reasons, it seemed the Ayodhya verdict would be the roadblock this year. Not.

Today, David Goodger kicked off the second Pycon-India 2010 in Bangalore with his keynote speech while briefly dwelling on his Indian 'adventure' -- no seat-belts in the autorickshaw!? The auditorium hall echoed with laughter!  Then it was a series of talks on python 2to3, multicore programming, and many more talks .... The only irritating part during one talk was one audience member interrupting the speaker to discuss the topic/ask questions. Probably this resulted in the speaker not getting enough time to finish his talk and demo the code completely. In a 30-min talk it would be a lot nicer if the audience restricted their questions to the last few minutes *after* the speaker completes the talk.

Another interesting talk was the screen scraping talk but I'll return to my lazyshell under the pretext that the videos will probably be uploaded online in a few days. Else, you could just attend the second day of pycon coz the nicest part was good 'ol networking, old friends, meeting new ones and the barcamp style corridor chats with people. Considering that the attendees were almost 500+, the inpycon team really pulled off a community event quite successfully! Now I gotta get some sleep if I need to make it for tomorrows event!



2010 Septiembre 24 [viernes]

CFP - PyCon 2011

Call for proposals -- PyCon 2011 -- http://us.pycon.org/2011/

Proposal Due date: November 1st, 2010

PyCon is back! With a rocking new website, a great location and more Python hackers and luminaries under one roof than you could possibly shake a stick at. We've also added an "Extreme" talk track this year - no introduction, no fluff - only the pure technical meat!

PyCon 2011 will be held March 9th through the 17th, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Home of some of the best southern food you can possibly find on Earth!) The PyCon conference days will be March 11-13, preceded by two tutorial days (March 9-10), and followed by four days of development sprints (March 14-17).

PyCon 2011 is looking for proposals for the formal presentation tracks (this includes "extreme talks"). A request for proposals for poster sessions and tutorials will come separately.

Want to showcase your skills as a Python Hacker? Want to have hundreds of people see your talk on the subject of your choice? Have some hot button issue you think the community needs to address, or have some package, code or project you simply love talking about? Want to launch your master plan to take over the world with Python?

PyCon is your platform for getting the word out and teaching something new to hundreds of people, face to face.

In the past, PyCon has had a broad range of presentations, from reports on academic and commercial projects, tutorials on a broad range of subjects, and case studies. All conference speakers are volunteers and come from a myriad of backgrounds: some are new speakers, some have been speaking for years. Everyone is welcome, so bring your passion and your code! We've had some incredible past PyCons, and we're looking to you to help us top them!

Online proposal submission is open now! Proposals  will be accepted through November 10th, with acceptance notifications coming out by January 20th. To get started, please see:    <http://us.pycon.org/2011/speaker/>

For videos of talks from previous years - check out:   <http://python.mirocommunity.org/category/conferences>

For more information on "Extreme Talks" see:   <http://us.pycon.org/2011/speaker/extreme/>

We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

Please also note - registration for PyCon 2011 will also be capped at a maximum of 1,500 delegates, including speakers. When registration opens (soon), you're going to want to make sure you register early! Speakers with accepted talks will have a guaranteed slot.

Important Dates:
  * November 1st, 2010: Talk proposals due.
  * December 15th, 2010: Acceptance emails sent.
  * January 19th, 2010: Early bird registration closes.
  * March 9-10th, 2011: Tutorial days at PyCon.
  * March 11-13th, 2011: PyCon main conference.
  * March 14-17th, 2011: PyCon sprints days.

Contact Emails:
  Van Lindberg (Conference Chair) - van@python.org
  Jesse Noller (Co-Chair) - jnoller@python.org
  PyCon Organizers list: pycon-organizers@python.org

2010 Junio 13 [domingo]

PyCon-India-2010 CFP

After much debate on the list, it was decided some months ago to hold Pycon-India 2010 in Bangalore....Yay !!

Its scheduled to be held at MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology on the weekend of 25th and 26th of September 2010. The call for proposals has been announced on the PyCon blog site at http://pycon.blogspot.com/2010/06/pycon-india-2010-call-for-proposals.html.

You can tweet, dent and blog to spread the word around and as the event draws near there will be calls for volunteers on the mailing list, so do pitch in. Usually I keep away from some of the Indian communities which are riddled with a handful of rude jerks (whose favorite pass-time is flaming another person), or arrogant control freaks and even cyber-stalkers !

I've never understood how a silent majority can allow a loud-mouthed minority to overshadow all the good work they do. Beats comprehension!!

Well, thusfar, pycon-IN is one space I find different -- The event is community driven and run by volunteers, mailing list discussions can get hot and yet its open and transparent. The part I liked the most-- almost everything, including finances are open and available to mailing list members -- now THAT is very much unlike _some_ Indian event(s) with sekrit cabals pulling the financial strings behind a "community" veneer. Its such a welcome change that I try to pitch in when I can.

2010 Marzo 11 [jueves]

PyCon2010@Atlanta-II

It r0cked....an amazing experience that got over even before it started (or so it seems) when time flew past so quickly that each day at Atlanta now seems like a blurry dream.  Each day (moment?), there was an overflow of so many interesting things to learn and absorb, before and after b'fast we had there were lightning talks and at the end of the day too just before the keynote speech you have 5 minutes on stage with your slides -- less likely that you get to lull the audience into slumber in five minutes ;).

Besides, there were open spaces, sprints (Sunday evening onwards), and poster sessions -- which was very interesting as it allows the participants to talk to the presenter and exchange ideas, ask questions, clarify or even suggest a new line of thought. Carl had put up a poster session on Indic languages and there he was drawing huge crowds in an already overcrowded hall. I met a professor and another news broadcaster who were interested and shared their woes with devanagari script and the poor unicode handling by free software in general. 

There was tons of swag flowing around and the mandatory single negative incident at the conference which Van handled very professionally. Onstage, he apologised on behalf of the PSF to everyone present in the hall. I had attended the keynotes and talks on Saturday and Sunday, attended the Chairmans party and met a lot of folks but personally speaking, the closing keynote presentation on 20100221 by Antonio Rodriguez kicked ass. He spoke about giving commit access to everyone and he meant EVERYONE -- even folks from the marketing and sales team in his startup got commit access. Wow, just WOW...HUGE amount of trust that :-)

Ofcourse I did the usual tourist-y stuff: walked around the Olympic park ; visited the Coke museum and tasted 64 flavors of coke ; Thomas, Yarko (who won the community service award. Yay, congrats :)) and me (i even cracked my knee for good measure) dined at Vegan soulfood, a chain of US restaurants run by African Hebrews -- HIGHLY recommended!!

BUT the most memorable and fun time was spent in the Georgia Aquarium-- its the world's largest aquarium. The Beluga whales had just arrived and were acclimatising. However, I got to touch sting-ray's and sharks (yeah i really did), clicked tons of pics but the sea-otters...gosh, they stole my heart :) We didnt know that they put on a show and honestly I could have stood there all my life and fallen in love all over again at their antics. Here is a video of those cute animals high-fiving. I miss them :(

I am thrilled that I got to meet a lot of people I knew online and met even more interestingly intelligent people too. The wonderful community that surrounds and makes Pycon such a memorable experience deserves full marks. Words are inadequate to describe an experience that is best experienced live :)  It simply r0cked.

2009 Octubre 7 [miércoles]

more PyCon-IN-2009 moments

Finally both the key organisers decided to blog and its always nice to read detailed posts. 

Shyamshankar : "......The next session, was mine...... on “Idiomatic Python”.......The focus of the talk was ........ Python 3.x. .....there should have been more core language talks......."

Kenneth writes : "....my first experience of interacting with with a non-foss group,...... I stayed cool ........ During the testing period, there were a lot of suggestions, comments and criticism, by and large constructive and helpful, although some of them were totally inane...."

My tiny (almost zero) contributions were testing his app online, so i hope any comments / suggestions didnt sound inane ^_^

Noufal modestly opines : ".......and I don’t think I’m being immodest if I said that I did a decent job. The credit for the whole event though belongs to the entire community since everyone pitched in at the right time to keep the whole thing running smoothtly. Give yourselves a hand..........."

Although I couldnt make it, all the attendees who blogged about the conference had only good things to say about pycon india 09. That, in my view, is the best credit any event organiser can get.


2009 Octubre 3 [sábado]

PyCon India 2009

Last weekend, when I got calls asking which talk I was attending at Pycon-India, I kicked myself for not being in Bangalore and missing the event which we started planning in Feb'09.

Parthan opines : "........When the first discussions happened, everybody doubted it might become just another conference discussion that will never happen. It has taken the support and sheer determination of quite a number of people to make it happen. We just wanted to try it once, to at least see how the Python community responds to such initiatives and it has ended up being more than encouraging to make this a yearly event......."

This shows that a true-blue COMMUNITY event can be pulled off and flawlessly executed in around six months, where all the planning was online via lists and irc, with 3-4 ground meets. Cool ! The folks who deserve to be congratulated are Kenneth, Noufal, Anand. Kamal Govindraj, Ramdas, Anand, Senthil, Indudhar, JANASTU, and many other people whose names I have missed (and didnt mean to) here. Do holler if you helped out.

Here are some more blogger opinions.

Shailesh Kumar : "....It was first Python Conference in India and I felt inclined enough to go all over to Bangalore from my home place Noida and attend the conference....."

Jaganadh : "...talk by Anand B Pillai  on "Python tools for Network Security". ...The next talk was by Senthil Kumaran on "Algorithms in Python".....Really his presentation style was rocking one!...."

Baiju shares some pyctoral moments by Ponnusamy.

Raji : "....my first experience ...proud to be the only female to give a talk in Pycon India 09....my friend Shrini who encouraged me...."

PYCON.Blog : " ....Over 350 delegates and 30+ speakers attended the event.... A notable instance is the participation of 75 students from the Rajalakshmi Engg College in the neighboring city of Chennai, who just hopped on a train to Bangalore en-masse....."

Abhishekh Mishra : ".........Idiomatic Python and other language features - What an excellent talk on the language by Sykora. Like, did you know a try... except block could be faster than an if.. else in a loop. This has been tested by Sykora. Differences between upcoming Python 3.x and 2.x were clearly highlighted,.............."

Arun : ".........This was my first lightning talk.......creating a simple casual game using Pyglet called ‘FruitCatch’..........."

Pavan : " .......I spotted a snake in the green lawns of IISc,......I thought IISc would have a good infrastructure, but when I went there all I saw was smelly loos, broken benches, ....connectivity was very good, the WiFi was also pretty good...."

Chandan : "......Hall L4. This session was given by Senthil....the implementation of Sieve of Eratosthenes....brief overview of various sorting techniques...bisection sort , tim sort of python, sorted function and timer function. This session was very informative...."

Harish : "....The fifth talk was on ‘Automated Testing of Web Applications’ by Sai Venkatakrishnan. The talk focused on the popular web application testing tools available in Python......"

Lakshman :" ......There was a talk on design patterns that explained various design patters: Singleton, Iterator, Factory Method, Strategy, observer, decorator. Creating a singleton using decorators is a nice little thing I got out of this talk....."

Three months to go for 2010, and among other things, I look forward to SCIPY from 12--17Dec2009, comprising of a conference, tutorials and Sprints which I hope to attend for 2-3 days atleast.

2008 Agosto 7 [jueves]

masti@mukt.in

I started this entry last thursday, before leaving for HYD to attend mukt.in from Aug1-3 but as is wont, had things to update the draft with. Last week at this time, I was travelling with Hemanth to talk about "women in Libre software communities" at mukt.in, an (un)conference which had talks, demos and sessions on Libre software.

Pavi picked us up and I met another main organiser of mukt.in, Srikrishna Das ; then it was off to OU for the event where I met all the Chennai LUG members. For some reason a lot of people thought i was coming from Chennai. I wonder if it has anything to do with the whois <evil grin>.  Attended a talk on Sahana by Ajay a gsoc student, met sudharshan - gsoc for openmoko (yeah I still owe you a chocolate), Shakthi, Narendra and so many folks.

In the evening we visited Hussain Sagar lake, got caught in a heavy rain shower. I was more worried about the laptop getting soaked than myself. Instead of T-shirts a nice laptop raincoat would be more useful in India. Ofcourse, getting drenched in the rain was the perfect aggravator for my sinus and i was sniffling through out. Walking on Hyderabad streets at midnight felt safe because I had 10 guys to protect me and we returned with difficulty. I still had to prepare change the slides for my talk on Saturday....doh!!

Not having slept all night didnt make me drowsy and my presentation went well. After seeing Randy's Last lecture I was inspired to follow that style. However speaking to some girls on friday made me realise why it would not work... most people expect slides with information, resource, links, etc... and may not feel like googling for every thing you spoke about.

After my talk, we had a BOF on entrepreneurship and post lunch I took off for the SalarJung museum with Cyberorg (Jigish Gohil). I had hardly finished seeing a few artifacts when they kicked us all out at 5pm sharp. Gee, I wish we Indians followed punctuality elsewhere too. For me a whole day in the museum would not have been enough. The ivory carvings, belgian cut glass, silks, swords and 11th century artifacts were soooo beautiful, with a lots more that I missed when I could not stand and stare, admire and dream about. Next time maybe!! Later Ajay, Hemanth, Warren and me had some chow and returned to base with my nemesis "rain" to keep us company and aggravate my sinus.

On Aug03, the last day, I awoke with a splitting headache with the sinus problem aggravating it. Eating the Chole Krish's mom made (with due credit to A :)), which was just YUMMY and tasted exactly like D makes it, alleviated the headache somewhat. I managed to walk in (albeit late) to a talk on "how to lead an open source project" by Sebastiaan Deckers and also heard Antano Solar talking about getting involved in the libre software community. He had interesting snippets on how to start contributing, following the learning methods with curiosity, isolating concepts and keeping it simple. I love the example of the child he used to illustrate his point and the best part about his presentation was he allowed people from the audience to come on stage and share the limelight with him. That is something few speakers do and definitely worth emulating imho.

A special word of thanks to all the OU volunteers and the mukt.in team. They did a fantastic job of pulling it together. Minus the rains, things would have been perfect. I had tons of masti with people who were absolute strangers till then, just loved the rapport and spirit each person brought, not to mention all the laughs we shared. FUNtastic, will-do-it-again !!

For those who like visuals, here are some pictures :

http://www.shakthimaan.com/Mambo/gallery/album49

http://picasaweb.google.com/sudhasiva2006/MuktIn2008?authkey=4IrfOLkuDMs

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/hhemanth/MuktIn02


2008 Julio 15 [martes]

Mukt.in

Some days ago the indichix list got a mail on mukt.in. Here is the excerpt....

Mukt.in, a Libre Software event is being held at Osmania University, Hyderabad on 1-3rd August 2008. The 'Call For Participation' for 2008 is now online and speakers can register here. Attendees are requested to register on the site.

The feature list for 2008 includes :
* Student talks
* Student project Exhibitions
* Birds Of Feather Discussions
* Stalls exhibiting different open source technologies
* Prizes for local Open source contributors

You can volunteer for the event by adding your contact details and  skillsets at http://mukt.in/wiki/index.php?title=Volunteers or chat over #mukt.in at irc.freenode.net

They are looking for generous support/contributions from companies/organisations to make mukt.in 2008 a roaring success. Please do pass on this information to any companies  / organisations that might be interested in sponsoring the event.

2008 Febrero 13 [miércoles]

Accessible software at OSI week

On Monday I had attended the star speaker Klaus Knopper's talk at OSI week and came away impressed. Besides the Knoppix project he touched upon the synergy between Free software, OpenSource and propreitary software. I found his approach very balanced and it was interesting to see the way he tackled the Q&A sessions. He had a good grasp of the licensing issues and spoke at length on that during the Q&A, which leapt into overtime by almost 35 minutes so I had to wait until he finished attending another talk to get a chance to meet him.
I was quite surprised when Klaus was gracious enough to allow me to paste an Indichix sticker on his laptop... am touched by his lack of airs.... and to think I wandered into the wrong hall and almost missed meeting him :-) Later I also met Krishnakant Mane and if nothing else we practiced our Marathi and Deutsche and mine is definitely rusty as hell. In the last few months I have even forgotten my Marathi and Hindi....*sigh*. Amidst the six degree friends and chattering, we almost missed another entrepreneurs workshop but walked in towards the end for the Q&A so although I dont know who were the panelists, i did take aways some nuggets of wisdom from there.
On the second day Adriane (Klaus's wife) was to conduct a workshop on accessibility software which she works on with Klaus but that morning she was not feeling well and Klaus conducted it. When he spoke about the technological drawbacks and other social problem areas related to barrier-free websites, I realised the extent to which sighted people like us take such things for granted. The lack of standards is another grouse. Although technology is gaining momentum we are leaving behind a section of the population when we dont build humane and inclusive technology. That gets stronger for hardware, especially the portable kind which manufacturers dont care much about. So whether its a camera, phone, laptop or any other other portable device we, as a paying customer have a right to ask for free software based technology. It was interesting and also sad to note that the Indian government has not made it a mandatory for sites to be accessibility-friendly unlike the EU where its a law. Hmpf... we hardly even have government websites that are Firefox-friendly so accessibility is such a loooong way off. As far as our government is considered such things are miniscule, hence not worthy of attention.