Category Archives: KDE

Random Scribbles

1. The FOSS teacher training cum workshop (2nd edition) at WBSUB, Kolkata on March 13-14 was great. IDG, Susmit, Subhodip, me along with 3 other wbut-lug guys trained them about the basics of FOSS, desktop environments, openoffice, productive internet etc. Really, it was good to find school teachers getting trained in FOSS as they would have a ripple effect on their students. The sessions were exhaustive and handouts/handbooks were also distributed. The photoset is here.

2. Google Summer of Code 2009 is on and OpenStreetMap, Fedora, KDE & lots others are participating this year. Student applications have started yesterday. Head out here to open the doors of freedom. Btw, this is the 5th year (anniversary) GSoC is happening and hence the Retro 60’s logo theme. :)

3. Went to Burdwan yesterday for some work. But the cool thing is drove all the way (up & down 160 kms) from durgapur myself. It was fun! Never went so far considering me a newbie in driving cars.

4. Kinda pissed off that college tech-fest is not happening this year. Permission problems and all. well, a long story in itself!!

KGEC + FAD

I decided to be at the Fedora Activity Day at Kalyani Government Engg. College on the last moment. So on 21st February morning ~0530 hrs, three of us (rtnpro, tux_440volt & me) boarded the Durgapur-Kalyani state bus. Well, en-route @ Memari some protestors stopped the bus and then, we had to change three local trains to finally reach Kalyani.

Once there, Rohit (2nd year, KGEC) came to take us from station. We reached the venue at a fairly good time ~1130 hrs inspite of the hackles. While entering the main building, we saw a long queue of people registering for the event, getting their student kits (F10 media, stickers and other stuffs). Was like Fedora everywhere, took some snaps.

Without wasting anymore time, we briskly went to the auditorium. Rangeen was there overviewing the event. Shortly after Indranil Das Gupta and some college faculties came in. Shreyank and Mitesh from NIT-Durgapur were also there. Couple of college faculties kickstarted the FAD then after. It was nice to hear that the college management amply supported FLOSS though that needs to increase more & more :) Indranil was the chief guest of the event. He then gave a good introduction on “What is *this* all about?”. Then it was time for lunch.

Post-lunch, we started our session. We were running one-hour late due to a power-cut though.

At 1400 hrs, I started it out with a nice ‘Introduction to Fedora‘. Subhodip did follow it up busting ‘Myths of Linux‘. The two sessions lasted for around 2 hrs. After that we both did a half-an-hour Q/A session. I liked that the number of students were same throughout the day. There were hosts of questions. We showed them about common nitty-gritties, like network, proxy configs, packagekit, look and feel of KDE 4.2. Some were also redirected to Rangeen to be answered in the installfest that was lined up after this.

Soon after the installfest started ~1630 hrs. We all went there (it was a CSE lab AFAIR) to have a peek into what was going on. Initially there were around 60+ students which is quite good. We (me and subhodip) had to leave shortly after this. I had my sisters’ wedding reception in the evening and I gotta *be* there at any cost. The installfest formally/informally lasted upto 0200-0300 hrs late into the morning thanks to Rangeen and Ratnadeep. They did a fantastic job. rtnpro did some cool things with his mini mirror-in-a-box ;) More about it here.

And last but not the least, the organizers did a great job to put up the event. They told me that network administration at their hostels was in their hands which was great. Though, all the 5 halls were not interconnected. But anyway, they can have local mirrors for each halls. They have also formed a LUG just yesterday, which will consolidate them more.

Photos are over here and here.

AXIS’08 Event Report

I should have blogged this a lot earlier. But I was badly busy with the current workshop. So sincere apologies for that.

AXIS is the annual technical fest of VNIT, Nagpur. So, on the afternoon of 24th September, we (Susmit, Subhodip and me) boarded Gitanjali Express for our visit to Nagpur. Thanks to Susmit, as most of the preparations were done by him like buying tickets, printing of stickers, posters, dvd labels and burning the Fedora dvds etc.

)

snap #1: fedora goodies :)

According to schedule, we had two slots for seminar and workshop, a 1.5 hour slot on 26th September for talks and another 2 hour slot on the 27th for workshop. Thanks to our hosts, they arranged for a room with sitting capacity ~100. So, we started the talks nearly on time (~4:30 pm). Susmit started with ‘Introduction to Fedora‘. The hall had around 70 sudents by that time. They really liked the ‘Truth Happens‘ and ‘Choice‘ videos. Apart from that Susmit quite categorically explained ‘Why Fedora?‘ and then ‘How you can contribute to Fedora?‘.

After this, it was time for Subhodip to take up the thread and delve the ‘Myths of Linux‘ that people generally possess. His talk was quite cool especially the myth that you can’t play songs and videos properly in Linux was killed. He also talked about indichix.org.in for motivating girls into Linux. Both of them took somewhat more time than we decided. So, i was left with only 10-15 minutes i guess. But as i said, the hosts were very accomodating.

vnit crowd @ FOSS talks

snap #2: vnit crowd @ FOSS talks

fedora live

snap #3: fedora live

My talk was on ‘Fedora Live‘, that is Live CD and Live USB creation, install/test them, and emphasizing on the cool transition that’s possible today, from other operating systems into Fedora. Also the fact that ‘you have everything in your flash drive, both the Live OS and the documents et al‘. Since time was limited, i had to shorten up things. I quickly started the liveusb creation demo or rather a mini-workshop. One of the present students volunteered for creating the liveusb (which ran successfully from qemu). After that, some more of them did the same. Then i just briefed about scope of developments in this aspect (including submitting patches and bug-filling). The talks were officially wrapped up around 6:50 pm. Overall, the response was quite awesome. Three cheers!!!

Next was the workshop day. Well, there were some miscommunication within organizers. Because of that, the event started  over an hour late and turn up was low. We did the workshop but then came the surprise. They told up “We want another session tommorow…”. So then we again went back next day morning and encountered a hefty turn up quite more than we actually expected ~70 in a lab having just around 15-20 systems. And also most of them were 1st and 2nd year students.

During Workshop

snap #4: During Workshop

We locally hosted a dvd dump from a laptop and did network installation in all the machines. Many of them popped up with different querries, some of them were also quite interesting ones. We told them about yum, packagekit, livna, compiz, openoffice, gave demos of desktop environments and lots more. It went on for over 3 hours. Finally we ended the session with lots of photos and interaction regarding forming their college lug. They namely Arindam (not me!) and Anand told they already have a group of open source enthusiasts. So our question, ‘why don’t you form you LUG?‘. So that was the ending note…

Group Pic

snap #5: Group Pic

We returned the same day evening from Nagpur. It was a really great week!!

They told me over telephone that they will forward us the details of their LUG as soon as it’s in action :)

More Snaps are over here.

Update 101: “The magic has begun”

All these days i was continuously working setting up the infrastructure ready, doing custom setups and testing things for the i18n of openstreetmap, more precisely setting up internationalization in rails which will comprise a major chunk of my gsoc project.

I started off by setting up an osm local install on my desktop earlier this month. That was something because there different set of things to look after and configure each of them properly. I got little stuck with the mod_tile thingy…the configs. I just couldn’t find where was some hard-coded paths renderd daemon was trying to access. Thanks to TomH & Alex, for mentioning about gen_tile.cpp. I thought all of these paths should be placed in render_config.h and even made a patch of it (to ease my work) but later learnt and/or realized that they are meant to serve some greater purpose like module options actually.

So, crossing all this, when rails together with mapnik powered on for the first time i was awestruck. I just wanted to laugh…whew!! Then after some discussions with my mentor Mikel Maron, we looked up at the different options available. He gave me a comparative study of different ways to internationalize rails. I kinda liked two amongst them namely, globalize-rails and ruby-gettext (which i had proposed earlier). So as planned, I somewhat did some quick hacky test setups to test both of them. Though they weren’t free of problems, but as of now, i simply like the robustness of globalize combined with click-to-globalize plugin. Also the the fact that globalize currently supports more languages give it a plus. Sven Fuchs has written some really cool tutorials….thanks to him because i don’t know for some reason whatsoever i’m not getting the www.globalize-rails.org. Anyway, the current state is i’m trying to setup globalize in the rails_port of osm now. Its’ bound to have lots’ of problem…need to fix them. Another concern is that about the translators’ accounts. Whether it will be wiki-like so that anyone can put up translations or the traditional translation groups somewhat moderated. Though this will come at a later stage.

In the meantime, i actually upgraded my desktop to an E8200 2.66 GHz proc. + DG33FB motherboard + 2 GB combination and its’ showing some real power. So, another ordeal that came up of nowhere was shifting the entire setup to the new hdd. It made me remember of the osm vmware image that Milo van der Linden talked about in the early stages of the project. There was some real hike in the rendering speed compared to my 5-yrs old celeron 1.7 GHz mobo.

But now, my 6th semester exams are scheduled from 3rd-13th of June and i’m really getting low working hours now :( I will also put up a wikipage regarding i18n sooner than later. Loads of work still left…

Among other news, my activity oriented tutorials are up on the edu.kde.org …lots of thanks to Anne Marie (annma) for putting them up. I just love the logo guy pointing to the tutorials. Hopefully, i’ll try to put more of them. And more recently Debayan from NIT-DGP has put up the 3rd ntp pool server for India (with my WBUT starting the spur as always). I can now three ntp servers in http://www.pool.ntp.org/zone/in.

Update: Also as a matter of fact, globalize-rails now supports much more languages compared to ruby-gettext. And when combined with click-to-globalize plugin, i can see that we can even actually chip in translations from a WebUI….which is pretty cool :)

Kanagram Musings!!

Kanagram Musings!!Kanagram is a game to play anagram or solve jumbled words. Kanagram features several built-in word lists, hints, and a cheat feature which reveals the original word. Kanagram also has a vocabulary editor, so you can make your own vocabularies, and distribute them through Kanagram’s KNewStuff download service.

Here is a tutorial that actually will help you out to add more words/categories in different languages as well. Please put up your comments and suggestions :)