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Tag - Ubuntu-Women

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2009 March 2 [Monday]

UbuntuWomen meetup and BarcampBengaluru

Living in different countries means syncing oneself across the timezone span and after the fever and sinus torture of last weekend I was not sure if I'd have it in me to stay awake till midnight staring at the screen or making any coherent statements in the current heat wave. I hate Indian summers :( but I digress ...

Technology makes it easier to sit at home and meet various folks online in real-time so we (read Ubuntu-Women) did just that and had an IRC meetup last night as a kind of stock taking on the project founded (by yours truly :)) three years ago. Gosh 3 years already !! Everyone agreed that UW was doing well and that we love it in its present form :) We would like to do more but given that each of us is handling more than we can as is, its stretching things to take on additional responsibilities. Mamarok volunteered to do a series of interviews for Ubuntu's Full Circle mag so that is something to look forward to.

On saturday, someone asked me if I was attending BCB8 this time too and i remembered that Jose's talk (now postponed) was scheduled on the same day...darn !! Since Ram's office was hosting us it was imperative that we release the space for others. Jose was in great demand from a lot of groups who wanted him for a talk at their college/lug meetup so I will need to see when he is free next.

Talking of Barcamp bangalore, there was a lot of angst (on the list) over the undue focus on technology to the exclusion of non-techie technology enthusiast. The wiki has been replaced and one has to register an account now for bcb8. I completely understand why the blogger or general technical enthusiast would feel excluded but in retrospect I also realise why there is a tech-focus (even if it is forced on us, the unwilling junta). I have attended only 2 barcamps thus far, loved BCB6 the most, with BCB7 lacking the magical spell that I had so come to take for granted at a barcamp.

I dont really want to see a sales pitch, even if it is a startup and they have done something cool or got VC funded and hence the listener must endure a monologue, one-way conversation. Whoever wants to be talked down to? How boring. I want to be able to interact and talk to people and share ideas. For me a barcamp would mean seeing someone talk about linux and not really about sessions on astrology and Kamasutra/dating.  Even if they had maximum participants and maximum laughter was heard from the rooms where these sessions were being conducted, I didnt plan on attending the dating/KS session and Tania and me sat through the astrology session at bcb7 because that was the only room where we could charge our laptops :( Gah, so much for attendees.  Travelling 32 kms on a weekend suddenly seemed a waste of time :-(

I hope bcb8 @ Y! changes into an upswing with the magic of bcb6

2008 April 24 [Thursday]

no real name

Finally the real name policy (on LP beta testing team) has been done away with. In the past, there have been many discussions against the policy with zero outcome and not so nice things like people being kicked out for not following the "real name" policy. Last year, I was rejected for not agreeing to the RNpolicy and in Jan when the fridge was in transition mode, we editors were going to trial out the list via LP. Since I've felt the RN-policy was restrictive, I offered to leave the team rather than being forced to accept something that encroached on my individual/personal freedom of choice. That LP is not GPL'd is subject matter for another post.

I have always been a supporter of using nick's online and not necessarily because of gender and the accompanied harassment. If fame and recognition is what people want, they know how to get it, but in my case its a question of personal choice/freedom. That said, in the libre software community you are what you do/behave/act and one is not defined by name, age, nationality, colour, country, beliefs, etc...

.... Which brings me to policy making. Most times, on closer observation it is evident that policies are adhoc despite the good intentions behind it. If they lack the multi-dimensional view-point we wont be anywhere closer to a possible solution than when we started. Which will only leave us with procedures and processes which people will blindly follow (hint : the CoC signing, which needs a separate post too) because it exists and needs to be done with inorder to get to the next level of power. Wrapping a coat over the real issues does not get the desired positive results, if that is what the community wants to see happen....especially not if you are trying to solve a social problem with technical solutions. Does not work. Period.

So I am really glad that someone's been listening and finally got rid of the real name policy. Thanks, dil se :)

2007 December 19 [Wednesday]

ubuntu-women article in fullcircle

Ubuntu Women is almost two now, so I wrote an article for the Fullcircle magazine (which is a really nice colourful mag :-)) as I wanted to highlight each UW volunteer and their involvement in the different aspects of the Ubuntu community and while proofreading it realised that Ronnie had given me a limit of 350 words and I had written more than double :-(.... Some heavy editing (almost by half, which is not that easy for me) later i was done so hope I did not miss any grrls. Ideally we need to get this done on the UW wiki pages. You can download it from here : http://www.ronnietucker.co.uk/issue8marketingPreview.pdf

Its been raining all day today and has managed to kill my ideal notions of how winter weather should be ... snug and warm in wollens, not rainy 'n soggy and increasing my caffine consumption by litres (literally). Atleast i got to eat undiyo (a nice gujarati dish), something i dont get to indulge in down here. Hmm... my experience with eating north-indian food in south-india has been dissapointing to say the least, so the less i say about it the better.

2007 April 18 [Wednesday]

Women in the FLOSS community

While typing the title I was thinking "there we go again..." but ignoring does not make a problem disappear. Jono is meeting with UW members for a discussion about the issues women face whilst volunteering online, discuss, address and probably find a path to minimise the problems and reduce misunderstandings (perceived or otherwise). Not everyone has the same experience but many women around the world have experienced it in different forms. Sadly women restrict it to discussions on lists or irc, rarely do we decide to be proactive and do something about it. Worse, sometimes women who do speak-up are told not to over-react, even ignore such things - Is that in the hope that the abusive and harassing person will go away or stop indulging in such nastiness? However, I found that ignoring does not work as most Indian men equate silence with fear, hence a validation that they are correct. Victory!

Discussing it with other chix on a non-archived LC list last year, I was surprised to see many women respond with a "yeah, I experienced it too", "We want some document we can link to in the case of inappropriate behaviour", and so on...
Taking it a step further I proposed a "online behaviour guidelines" , something along the lines of a "How-to encourage women in Linux" which does not address such issues in depth but the LC site was (is) still being reworked so its in a limbo state as of now. For lack of a home currently Chris hosts the draft on her wiki.

The first step toward a solution is always "recognising and accepting a problem exists" but before meeting Jono I hope we can come up with some "workable" ideas on how to address the problems, find solutions, mitigate (if not eliminate) the issues to a larger extent. I hope UW members will discuss the draft, improve, add comments and critically analyze it, both on the list and in the forums so that maximum number of women (and men) can give their feedback.

Some weeks ago I became the KDE-women list admin. Its a very quiet list so I hope to juggle it with other volunteer stuff.

2006 July 18 [Tuesday]

Willful mis-interpretation of reality

Baishampayan Ghose, if you opine the Ubuntu-Women project is sexist and useless ; then why list yourself as a UW mentor, especially when you were never subscribed to the mailing list, nor participated, nor read or understood the goals of the UW and the Mentoring project in the first place. So what was the real purpose of subscribing to the list on the same day as this mail asking to be listed as a mentor in UW, after which you never bothered to reply to the mentoring survey, nor reply to this mail asking you to do so.
People are free to think whatever they like about *-women groups and I would not waste my time in explaining its existence or try to convince those who willfully choose to mis-interpret reality. Anyone seeking more answers with regards to the founding of the UW project can ask him why he approved it, or better still raise an agenda at the CC meeting. That is the official Ubuntu way!

2006 June 29 [Thursday]

Ubuntu newsletter

Some months ago while dredging for ideas to make women participate more in Ubuntu via Ubuntu-Women, I had suggested a Bi-weekly development Newsletter. I did find the random, un-structured way of finding information on the wiki a bit tedious at times but moreso the latest info is only available if you followed the various Mailing lists. So imagine sifting through all that mail simply to find out what is happening .. and where?

Ofcourse, a bi-weekly newsletter would also have been a convenient way for women to start volunteering in any Mukt (free software) OS community besides the whats-up now factor. Happily, the task has been undertaken by the Documentation team in the form of a Weekly Newsletter, which is even better. So enjoy the hot-off-the-press Issue #4 !

2006 April 27 [Thursday]

created the Ubuntu-Women website

today i announced the ubuntu-women website, which was largely possible with Jutta (thanks :-)) guiding me with the css over the last 2 weekends. Hmm... no more all nighters even if it means learning something new in the bargain.

I like designs which are free flowing and blend seamlessly, so keeping it simple and minimalistic while conveying the relevant information was a challenge. Besides static pages had to be minimum so that people can use the wiki as a collaborative way of communication.

The old wiki page was translated so i tried to retain the same chunks of data as much a possible which should make it easier to port most of it to the new wiki. The mentoring program will be redone based on the suggestions and feedback received. I do have a lot to say and ask about mentoring since i did benefit from it at DW but that will be upon my return.

2006 February 26 [Sunday]

Ubuntu-Women mailing list

I am so excited to announce that the ubuntu-women mailing list is now up for subscriptions. Yay1

I just sent a quick note to the ubuntu-women, ubuntu-announce list and linuxchix-announce list - LC is another women-oriented technical space where i volunteer.

Immediately, I got a some sweet and encouraging emails from a few women (and guys too) which tells me i am on the right path. Thanks for the encouragement and please join us and make ubuntu rock (which it already does ;-)) even more and UW got a mention on LWN too :)

Here is another announcement at LWN.

2006 January 16 [Monday]


The Ubuntu-Women will be setup pretty soon but for now we have a mentors wiki-page where anyone can list their skills, including the tasks they wish to teach or share opinions with others. Pretty soon we hope to get a mailing list too. watch this space ... :-)