Categories
Analysis

WordCamp culture in India – It is still early days!

Last month on 24th January, along with some friends I attended WordCamp Baroda 2014. This was the second time I was attending a WordCamp in Baroda and overall I have now attended four WordCamps. Will be attending a fifth one but more on that later.

The WordCamp in Baroda, itself was a good one. The venue was at the outskirts of Baroda city. It might have been difficult for some attendees but there were bus pickups arranged from two different points in the city. It meant a big benefit which was, that most attendees came to the venue and left the venue at the same time.

WordCamp Baroda 2014
WordCamp Baroda 2014

The speaker sessions were interesting and a lot of impromptu discussions were held too. These unstructured discussions are one major reason I actually like visiting WordCamps. One such impromptu discussions was actually a self-appraisal of speaker sessions themselves by Saurabh Shukla. The simple question was to ask if some sessions were adding any value to the attendees. This stirred some passions but in the end the tone of the WordCamp Baroda turned from officious to camp like.

The formalities were dropped and the informal discussions ended up being a blessing for healthy debates and a lot more audience participation took place over the two-day event.

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As an organizer Rahul Banker did an exemplary job planning and executing WordCamp Baroda. I also must add the team of volunteers who worked tirelessly and diligently behind the scenes were true champions. Any amount of praise to the volunteers is not enough.

I have a lot of respect for WordCamp organizers and volunteers today than I ever did before. That is because I have ended up in the organizing team of WordCamp Mumbai 2014, which takes place on March 15th-16th. In this post more than reviewing WordCamp Baroda, I am taking stock of the WordCamp  and by extension the WordPress culture in India.

Some delusions about meetups in India

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There were some arguments made about how tech related meetups do not work in India. I do not mean tech related events but meetups organized by like minded people where entry is free and control over what is discussed is minimal to none. The constant argument made against organizing such meetups are “Meetups do not work in India as India is different from other countries”.

In my personal experience is absolutely untrue. I am part of WordPress meetups in Mumbai for over a year and we might not boast of a large community but all the organizers of WordCamp Mumbai 2014 met each other at meetups and did not know about each others existence before these meetups began.

This clearly shows that India is not any different and meetups can and do work in India. It just requires people to keep having meetups regularly. I have attended meetups with only four people (me included). I have a simple rule to decide if a meetup is successful or not. If I meet someone new, the meetup is successful. 🙂 In Mumbai we organize meetups over coffee or even dosas which always get decent number of people attending. 😉

Too many celebrities at WordCamps

I found a disturbing trend at all WordCamps I have attended till now. There is a bit of a celebrity culture around some people. These celebrities are usually popular bloggers. Too many people mob and excessively praise popular bloggers. I won’t blame the bloggers themselves and I think most are a bit embarrassed by the attention.

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I think this can be toned down a bit in the future – again back to the importance of meetups – if these bloggers were accessible with local meetups, I do not think there would be too much fawning over individuals.

Organizers need to contribute their experiences

I think people who have organized WordCamps in India, have missed a trick by not writing down detailed posts on what went behind organizing such an event. Explaining how they approached WordCamp Central and what should other budding organizers do would be a lot more helpful.

Hopefully after WordCamp Mumbai 2014 is over, I will write a series of long posts on what exactly happens behind the scenes while organizing the event.

Over to Mumbai!

WCMumbai

As I wrote earlier, I am part of the organizing team for WordCamp Mumbai 2014. There are some very good speakers lined up and one of them is our very own Rahul Bansal.

The big challenge was to make this WordCamp in Mumbai accessible to everyone. We have started that by keeping the ticket prices to a minimum of Rs. 300/-.

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Here are some of the useful links for WordCamp Mumbai 2014 (March 15-16)

The WordCamp culture in India is still nascent but I can see it has moved forward since I wrote about my experiences at WordCamps a year ago. It is definitely becoming more informal and approachable. Hopefully it continues down this path. There are several thousand WordPress experts in India and hopefully they do not remain just a talent pool for companies but also end up becoming a thriving community.

Update: Rahul Banker brought to my notice that he had chronicled his experience as a organizer in a post last year.

Categories
Tips

3D Globe shows Google Search Volumes by Language!

Google has introduced a new Chrome experiment, which visually represents Google’s search volume by language from across the world. The globe is a lot like Google earth, and runs on Google Chrome.

The globe uses the computer hardware for creating the 3D graphics.

Google_search_globe

Interesting trends from Search Globe!

  • India seems to have a lot of search traffic, but the language is still English. Possibly the only country in Asia with such high volumes for queries in English.
  • The lack of search volumes in Russia, China and much of Africa is because of various reasons. Lack of internet freedom and lack of internet facility in many places in Africa shows those region dark.
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Try out Google Search globe by visiting the Chrome experiments page. The project has been open-sourced and web-masters can even include the globe on their own website with their own data.

I tried checking if the experiment works on IE9 and Firefox 4 and it did not work on both browsers. It had no issues working on my Chrome browser. Maybe it is another back-handed way of showing off Chrome’s superiority by Google.

Do try it out and drop in your comments.

Link: Google Search Globe

Categories
News

Google Summer of Code 2011: Students start applying!

Every year Google holds a global competition which encourages students to write code for open source projects. Google even offers the students a stipend to write code all summer.

Google_Summer_code_2011

Google has announced that it will start accepting applications for the Summer of Code 2011 program.

How will Google Summer of Code 2011 work?

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  • The concept is simple. Through March, Google invited organizations to be part of Summer of Code program. Some of the major participating organizations are Apache, Mozilla, Melange, Wikimedia, Drupal and WordPress.
  • Now in April, students have to register along with proposing a project for approval by a participating open source organization.
  • Once the proposal is accepted, students can write code all summer from April to September. Hence the name Summer of Code.

Eligibility

  • The age limit for participants is 18 years old or over.
  • The students also need to be enrolled in a college program. If they are graduating in the summer they need to be enrolled in a college on 26th April 2011.

For complete details on Eligibility click here.

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The Prize

  • Other than boasting rights; the participant get a hefty cash prize if their projects are selected by Google.
  • Also very often Google end up recruiting the participants who do well. This is not really a declared part of the prize but even Google admits it does hire from the program.

Last year, Google held a similar program for school kids who were under the age of 18. The program was called Google Code-in and Devils’ Workshop guest author, Gautam Gupta was ranked 5th.

If you are passionate about code and open-source do look up Google Summer of Code 2011 and start applying.

Link: Google Summer of Code 2011

Categories
Reviews

JJSplit: Free Opensource alternative for HJSplit

I’ve been using Linux for some months and was searching through the synaptic Package Manager and cannot find an equivalent Utility to HJ Split. The Linux version of HJ Split was not very effective and I went through many forums and posts. Got some results but not really satisfied!

I wondered if I’m just not using the right search parameters?

So, I tried randomly by replacing ‘H’ with ‘J’ in HJ Split as in for example I have entered JJ Split and hit the search button.

I found a software that is named JJ Split.

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What does it do?

  • A file splitter made in java to split and join files very quickly for easier transfer over the internet.
  • It has the option to delete parts one by one while joining/splitting.
  • Supports joining .001, .002 parts as well. Just double click to join the files..”
  • I was pleasantly surprised and stunned in its speed and performance. It guess it is surely be few times faster than any other software like  HJ Split.
jj split1
jj split

Features of JJSplit

  • Just open the first part to join.
  • Option to delete the parts one by one while joining to free up space and time.
  • Multithreading (supports multiple splitting and joining at the same time)
  • Portability (no need to install)
  • Platform-independent
  • Supports joining the popular .001, .002 split-files as well..
Requirements:
Requires Java to be installed but chances are that if you are downloading this, you probably already have Java installed.

I found that, it is a product created by a student by name Vigneshwaran. 🙂

Hats off to him for making my splitting and joining tasks more easier than ever before  🙂

Links : GTUG Madurai | Sf.netsoftpedia

Categories
Reviews

ReactOS: Free, Opensource alternative to Windows! A Preview.

This is a guest post by Tushar, if you like to write for Devils’ Workshop, do read Devils’ Workshop revenue sharing program.

We all know about free Linux based operating systems, free open-source office and graphics softwares, and so on! Open-source softwares are future of computing software! No doubt!  But open-source does not only mean Free. It also means for better quality, higher reliability, flexibility, lower cost, reviewing & contributing to the development process!

Few days back I came across this new OS called ReactOS. This OS is based on Windows NT architecture. Which means that you can install your existing Windows device drivers & softwares on this OS. I have followed it up since then. Recently when I checked, I found that the development has come a long way since I first saw. And I thought of sharing with you.

I am specifically writing this post to let all software developers know about it and take part in this project development if they can.

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It happens so many times & we hate Windows for frequently annoying us. Sometimes a developer may feel like doing something about it, but one can not (unless works for MS). So if you’re a software developer then you too can contribute for development of this OS. Click here to know more.

What is this ReactOS?
According to ReactOS website, ReactOS® is an effort to create a Free Software replacement for Microsoft Windows® that is compatible with existing hardware and software! ReactOS is a free and open-source operating system based on the Windows NT architecture, providing support for existing applications and drivers, and an alternative to the current dominant consumer and server operating systems.

Click here to read about ReactOS

I first downloaded the ReactOS Live CD to preview prior to the installation. But somehow I could not preview completely as few areas are yet to be implemented in a live cd version. You may download ReactOs Live cd here.

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As of now the ReactOS seems very lightweight and fast! Installation ISO which I downloaded is only 46.5 MB in size. I was surprised. Final release size may vary as the project develops. You can download installation ISO of ReactOs here.

I installed ReactOS through VirtualBox. I purposely avoided installing it on my current hardware so that I do not disturb any ongoing projects, just in case anything goes wrong! Unfortunately because of this, I could not install any device driver nor any Windows software I am using.

Installation was quick. The installation process and post installation user interface look very similar to Windows. It also offers multiple desktops as we see in Ubuntu or FedoraReactOS definitely needs more robust development to be able to reach to the practicality benchmarks & improvements set by popular open-source operating systems we know.

Few screen-shots here

ReactOS website has plenty of screen-shots to show you. See them here

Below is a video of screen-shots to show you how it looked at my end!

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According to me, this is a great beginning of something that I never thought will ever exist. I would really like to use this OS if it works great, but let’s wait for some more time until they say ReactOS is ready for daily use.

Please Note:

  • ReactOS is in development stage now and is not suitable for daily use!
  • My suggestion to developers is, if you find it interesting & worthy then take your time and contribute to the project at your best. Who know, what happens next! 🙂

ReactOS Project Website