Report from MiniDebConf India 2010

by કાર્તિક

* So, here is late report!

Sometime back Praveen started discussion at DebianIndia mailing list about having MiniDebConf kind of conference here in India. MiniDebConfs are generally focused on ‘development’ rather than at ‘introduction to Debian’. But, since this was our first attempt, out focus was more on to introduce Debian to student community and after writing this after 5 days – I realize that we’ve done good job!

Many thanks to Joerg Jaspert for setting up ‘Mini’ website: http://in2010.mini.debconf.org/

Praveen got bunch of sponsors, many thanks to CDAC and other sponsors for making event happen with testy food and tea that kept me awake.

Now what really happened at Pune?

My flight was nice. I went to guest house of COEP (the host college, 2nd old engineering college in India) and took some rest and called Praveen. He was already at computer lab and setting up Virtualbox and other things. We had two places – hall and lab. Unfortunately, both were at different buildings and subway between them 🙂 I discussed with couple of students and we went to dinner at late night. Pro. Abhijit – who was kindly give permission to use lab and college hall – was another source of energy. He is handling many FOSS events in college and probably only faculty who encourage students to use and learn FOSS.

The Day 1 started with long lines of registration process. As we had around 200 registration, turn out of students were 100% on first day. Hall was almost full. Dr. Shashikumar from CDAC gave nice lecture about ‘contribution’ which was well received. Praveen and Onkar then took the stage and gave nice introduction about Debian.

I met Onkar first time. We had really nice discussion ranging from becoming Ubuntu MOTU to his Powerbook’s adapter. After that Vikram took lively session on ‘i18n and l10n in Debian’ and I took boring session on ‘Contributing to Debian’. Yet another boring session from me was ‘Developer Toolbox’.

Packaging workshop by me at hall made many faces to yawn heavily while Onkar and Praveen handled it nicely at Lab. Main reason for yawning was Wifi and my Macbook’s capacity to deal with ndiswrapper and crappy broadcom’s drivers. (Note: I should get nice machine.)

I met Sham first time. I met Kushal once again and felt energetic again!

Day 2 – As we expected – number was very low compared to Day 1. So, we closed hall and moved entire stuffs to Lab only. Vikram took again nice session on ‘Debian Edu’. It was very interactive and I should learn something from his act of presentation.

Another nice thing from Day 2 was discussion with BOSS Linux team. Hold on. Lets keep some old woes aside. They are basically doing what their ‘bosses’ are telling. Developers were clueless about ‘Sending patches’ to upstream. Their bugzilla had ‘Zorro’ bug reported. I made promise to follow-up on this and set-up ‘patches from boss’ at somewhere depending upon their response. That mail is my draft – let me finish it by weekend. Pavi and others took video from session. It will be nice if someone will post it somewhere 🙂

We then continued on discussing ‘bugs’ and ‘packaging’ area. It was amazing to see ‘Praveen become DM’ during conference and also to see: upstream, maintainer and sponsor in one room.

I really had nice food at dinners. “Mango Mastani” was nice. Beer was nice. How can I forget discussion with Ramki, Ninad, Pro.Abhijit, Praveen, Pavi and others after dinner?

So – lets work for MiniDebConf 2011 now!

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