Software Freedom Day @ Mumbai

A session to thank everyone contributing to Open Source

The enthusiasm triggered when Akshat posted in Mumbai Mozilla group chat that, this year, Software Freedom Day is going to be celebrated at September 28, 2014. I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. Hence, I came up with the proposal of “Introduction to Firefox OS” to present. But, unfortunately, all the sessions were packed and there was hardly any chance to introduce any new. Still, I persuaded Akshat to try his level best. I actually troubled him a lot, nagging continuously with a constant hope. To my excitement, I received a call from Purvesh Shah, who organized the event along with Naman Distro, saying that he can allocate some of his session time to me. My joy knew no bounds and at the same time, was feeling overwhelmed by Purvesh’s courtesy. So, finally, my talk was scheduled from 4.00 to 4.30 pm.

schedule           But, it’s not Amod’s life, if things happen very straight as desired. A day before, I was diagnosed with extreme cold and conjunctivitis. But, I decided to go ahead with the talk as I dint want to miss any opportunity. I couldn’t make up for the first three talks and I regret till now. I landed at Directiplex at 2.00 pm. I wasn’t sure whether I could gear up for the talk. Surprisingly, when I came across all developers, energy gushed in me and I totally forgot about my illness. Such was the aura of open source community.

I attended a session on SystemD, held by Gaurav Rajput. He especially came from Hydeabad to give the session. He was the first person I have encountered who detests slides. He used whiteboard and marker to explain his talk. It was very much effective, I noted down few concepts like cgroups with an aim to research at home.

Then came Akshat Kedia with Mozilla codebase. I felt it as a narration of my journey through Mozilla as I had started my contribution with bug fixing. He described the seven tools required to get started with codebase and also introduced with bugsahoy and one sample bug.

After a tea break was my session. Everything went smoothly. I even showed the video where Christian Heilmann had introduced the features of FxOS phone. I then covered the topics like: why FxOS, steps to make an App, demo with boilerplate. My talk was accompanied with few doubts which were collaboratively resolved. All the presenters were felicitated with a coffee mug.

The event was successful even though organized within a very short time. And the credit goes to Purvesh and Naman. Thanks to attendees as well for showing great amount of interest. I made many new friends and their company would help me gaining more knowledge and experience in future.

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Firefox OS Hackathon at IITB (June 25-26, 2014)

June 5, 2014, the day when I received a mail thread from Soumya-Da stating that a Research Assistant at IIT Bombay named Mr. Santosh Shingare and Mr. Rahul Deshmukh, along with their Firefox OS Community, has proposed an idea of conducting a 2-day Firefox OS Hackathon event on June 25. Since the duration of organizing was pretty less, decisions had to be taken quickly and equally accurately. I was finalized as Mozilla Presence Organizer. It was my debut event that that too, on a grand scale. Soumya-Da and Kaustav-Da, helped me getting through all the pre-event activities like Swags Request, Budget Request, etc. There was even an informal discussion held at Mozcamp Beta at Bangalore. Santosh sir, Manish Goregaonkar, Harish sir and Rahul Sir took care of the entire infrastructure related to the event.

Hackathon arena
Hackathon Area
Fred giving his talk
Fred giving his talk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First day of hackathon began with introductory sessions. Fredric Harper, Senior Technical Evangelist at Mozilla, who was present at Mozcamp at Bangalore extended his stay to attend Hackathon. This was delightful news for all of us. His lecture was awesome. I clearly remember that the keynotes and suggestions (regarding how the talk and slides should be) which he delivered at “Developer Relations” session at Mozcamp were clearly implemented by him at this lecture. That was an exact dose of training for me, as I got to see the implemented version as well.

Kaustav giving his talk
Kaustav giving his talk

Next was Soumya-Da’s talk about Dev Tools and Kaustav’s talk on WebIDE, Fx User Profiles, Inspector usage. Then Jai Pradeesh demonstrated Cordova/Phonegap. After the talks, the FxOS Hackathon was declared as “Began”.

The 5 hours of Hackathon Day1 passed by enthusiastically where all the participants came up with new ideas and tried their level best to implement them. Few of them were familiar with FxOS earlier and had started working on Apps. This session continued till 12 noon next day (Day 2). I interacted with the interns about their ideas and their implementation progress.

And their efforts were extremely inspiring. Within a short duration, they had developed a range of worth-watching apps. That was a moment of proud for all Mozillians as the real aim of the event was getting fulfilled.

There was Pro-apps like Wireless Touchpad, Keystroke Based Authentication, M-indicator, Wiki Speak, Circuit Simulator and also a number of start-up game apps.

The hackathon came to an end by 2 pm, after that was session held by Jai on Validation and CSP (Content Security Policy). He also mentioned about the factors we must avoid, e.g. Avoiding inline scripts and linking the jquery on the web (it would be beneficial to download it to local repository). The sessions ended by throwing a light on building blocks of Firefox OS.

Then was a prize distribution session appreciating the notable apps and developers. Interns came up with a number of doubts and suggestions which were answered very effectively by Mozillians. The 2-day session came to an end with a group photo and evening snacks.

As a first hackathon, it was a new thrilling, innovative and a great learning experience for me. I thank all the project staff and students of Firefox OS community @ IITB who planned and organized the infrastructure excellently which acted as a driving force to all developers to concentrate more on their app development. I am looking forward to such meetings and events in future because being with Mozillians itself gives me an energy to work harder. As I had mentioned in the lightning talk @ mozcamp beta, “Knowledge, talent , efforts and excellence have no limits. And this belief of mine becomes more stronger when I be in the elite company of all Mozillians. I am proud to be one amongst them. I am proud to be a Mozillian.”

Feeling Honored…

Everyone have their own parameters of why and how they feel honored. I was lucky enough to experience many of them in a sequence. Few days before, I received a call from an unknown number. The guy said that I am invited for a felicitation event in my engineering college. These words itself were a dose of appreciation to my efforts. Today i.e. on March 13, 2014 I went to my college where I saw all students celebrating their cultural event with great zeal. Immediately, the sequence of frames in my mind went on a rewind mode to those memories where I used to be a part of it with fervid fervor.

Names of toppers with their university rank and percentage.
Names of toppers with their university rank and percentage.

I went inside the college. It seemed to be much amiable and soon I found myself very much ambient rather than being formal. I met many of my ranker friends and my juniors and spent some time talking with them. This reminded me how quickly the 4 years passed away transforming me from a fun loving boy to professional serious man.

Then was the prize distribution event. My name was announced along with my percentage and University rank. When I was pursuing my graduation course, I always wished to be among the top ten university rankers. This happiness of getting my wish fulfilled made me feel honored.  Touching the feet of H.O.D. and receiving blessings from her is ineffable. Then I met all my teachers who were equally happy to see me. This affinity made me feel honored. And finally, my name is added to the list of toppers of the department which, again, was my dream during my graduation era. I would like to thank all my enthusiastic friends, seniors and juniors and even foes from whom I got to learn many lessons of life. A salute to my parents who gave me life and by educating me, gave an art of living.

Day 2 and 3

Sorry for the delay. In this post, I am clubbing Day 2 and 3 experiences. On Day 2 while heading for breakfast I spotted Mr. Sandip Kamat in the lobby. I wanted leave no stones unturned of introducing myself to him. Initially I was a bit apprehensive but as we started discussing, I felt very comfortable. […]

Day 1

Day 1 of summit started with a great hurry. I woke up at 6.20 am and realized that there was a morning walk round Silicon Valley organized which was sharp at 6.30. I immediately messaged Vineel whether it was held. I thought since everyone was super-tired after 18 hours journey, the walk would be postponed. But unfortunately, all Mozillians are usually sleep-deprived 😛 :P. The walk took place as scheduled and all left at sharp 6.30 leaving us behind. We tried to find them but in vain.

Then there was breakfast. We saw a table with only 3 people and choose to sit with them. And who knows I would meet some of the brilliant minds of Mozilla. Yash shah, Jignesh Kakadiya and the great optimizer (Girish Sharma). Talking with them was a superb experience. Breakfast included Omlets, fruits and chicken stuffs (Imagine all were boiled). Later I had a similar-to-Falooda-like-stuff having strawberries, raspberries, grapes, etc. We realized that it was very late and we rushed to our room. After a bath we reached California Ballroom. The session had already begun, was given by Branden Eich, the CTO of Mozilla. The session was about Webmaker and Geolocation through Web.

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Then was the world fair. I dressed-up in traditional and took our chivada to the Mozilla India showcase. Priyanka, Sara and Diwanshi arranged the contents very beautifully. As the session started, all the foreigners visited and tasted some of the food items. It was the best experience I could ever get. Interacting with foreigners was simply awesome. I just loved it. Then we picked up the lunch bag and proceeded to attend next session.

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Here comes Christian Heilmann and Sandip Kamat into picture. Discussion on FFOS was on its peak. The good part of it was that it facilitated interaction with students. Kaustubh, Soumya, RyanV were volunteers and contributed in making the session a super-hit. We had our lunch…Pastas, salad were boring but desert and fruits were awesome. It was the first of its kind I ate sunh a lovely apple. My legs were super paining and we were literally drooping. So we decided to skip the session and have a sleep for a while. That “while” turned super-while and we woke at 5.30. So we missed the Branden Eich session as well as group photo Then was Moz Reps meeting. That included introduction and expressing one lovable and unlovable feature which we feel so. Many mentioned Budget request and monthly reports as disliking one. I mentioned Welcome swags as great but a blank black tshirt as disappointing feature.

Then was the FFOS grand party. We met Ankit Bahuguna, Shahid and Shawn outside. After having few friendly talks we approached the Party. The tables were beautifully arranged giving us a very “Royal” Feeling.

The dinner was awesome. Salads as starters, main course included Tuscani chicken and fish and wonderful cake for dessert. Thus was the end of day 1.

Day 0.. Mumbai to Sant Marriott

Mozilla Summit was one of the most memorable events I attended. It was my first international travel and that too in Silicon Valley. The exuberance started in Dubai itself when I started meeting all Mozillians with whom I had interacted through IRC or Facebook. In my flight as well, I had Sai Kiran, Hema Bhanu, Meeraj Imran, Maniraj and many more around me.. So the fifteen hours went awesome. Also the tasty food on UAE Emitrates added to the splendour. Finally we reached San Francisco and after the immigration interview, we reached the arrival section of airport. Mozilla Volunteers were already present to receive us. We reached Santa Clara Marriot Hotel through a shuttle arranged by Mozilla.

On the way we saw something which I never thought I would ever see even in my happiest dreams. We saw offices of MICROSOFT, ORACLE, BROADCOM, EVERGREEN NOTE, MOTOROLA, MCAFEE…(heavenly feeling). Also I saw the 4-star royal hotel rooms for the first time. That made me feel very special. We were presented awesome Mozilla Welcome package. After a bath, we went to Grand Ballroom for dinner.

That evening I met many of the splendid personalities. First was Glob (inventor of logbot), then was RyanV (most of my bugs have been declared as resolved only with this approval after testing the patch on try server.) . After the awesome dinner and desserts, we roamed in the hotel conducting a recee of the magnanimity and royal aura. 🙂 Even though feeling tired, I was eagerly looking forward to the following day i.e. DAY 1 of Mozilla Summit

Thank You RituparnoDa.

It’s not like that I have watched all his movies. Nor it’s like I have read his biography. I know him only through a single movie, but it’s enough to adorn a sense of respect towards him. On May 30, 2013 when I was having dinner scanning through television channels, I came across the news of his death. I was extremely flabbergasted, my body stood still for a while and my thoughts migrated from present day to two years back when I was watching his movie named “Memories in March”.

It was the first movie of its kind I had watched, the movie which you may label it as “An Art Film” or to put in more sophistical “Parallel Indian Cinema”. After watching the film, I realized what exactly a movie is. Till then, I had seen only ‘action’ or ‘comedy’ or ‘mystery’ or ‘thriller or ‘romance’ or anything else majority of which were devoid of emotions. In those lists of movies, actors were just technical robots who performed because they were paid for having no devotion towards the character of that role. This is the reason why critics pan majority of the current Bollywood movies as they don’t live to the expectations. This is again the reason why vulgarity, costly locations, item songs have become a part and parcel of B-Town because they don’t deserve a single word of praise that is purely based on story.

Rituparno belonged to that category of film-makers who stick firmly to their principles and don’t deviate from them beyond acceptable limits. His main motto was to project a new, good, elegant and heart touching story which we would term it as ‘out of the box’. That’s why he bagged 12 national awards even before turning 50.

I would classify him among those film industry legends who, unfortunately, passed away very early. Another such example is Late Smita Patil who left us when she was only 32. But till then, she had received Padmashri Award, 2 National Awards and 3 Filmfare Awards which is sufficient to prove her exceptionally brilliant persona.   If such people would have lived longer, they would have changed the face of Bollywood into something more meaningful and better. I bow down to all such people and thank them for their marvelous contributions to the arena of film-making.

My MozTalk on OWA

Hello Friends. Here I am going to explain what I delivered at MozTalk. I, along with Abhishek Potnis and Pratik Patil (who are my college-mates and project team members), successfully completed an open source project of Mozilla titled “An Open Web App for Editing Rich Text Documents”. For more details on concept of OWA, click here. You may also refer my slides which i presented at Talk.

Here I am going to explain right from how exactly we came across the topic to the completion of the project. The steps that we followed are:

1. Mozilla Student Projects: It was David Teller [:Yoric] who brought the project topic to our notice. He had created a list of student projects at github (Click here to see the list). When we had checked that time, there were only 7 issues in the list which today has increased to 55. We see that there are two tabs : Open and Closed issues. Open issues means that the projects are yet to be completed and Closed means they have been completed successfully. So we selected the issue #1 and commented on it to show our interest and also started working on it.

2. Github Repository : Github is one of the best methodologies of online collaboration. People residing at different geographical regions can collaborate easily on the same piece of code using github. Abhishek created a repository named editOnTheGo and we committed changes there. There are two approaches as concerned with repositories: fork an existing repository and work on it OR maintain a single repository and commit changes there. I was suggested the second approach to avoid merge-conflicts.

3. Hosting on github: As you can see on github repository, there are 2 branches: master and gh-pages. “master” is the default branch whereas “gh-pages” is used for hosting the page on github server. our project is hosted at abhishekvp.github.com/editOnTheGo/

3. Issues: A list of issues were created which symbolizes the tasks to be completed in the project. Here as well follows the same concept of Open and Closed issues. We self-assigned issues and started working on it.

4. Review by mentor: We used to notify the mentor on the completion on the issue. The mentor would review the code and ensure the working and well as check for any dead or redundant code. If there exists any, he would comment to bring it to our notice. Click here to view an instance of this.

5. Demonstrate on Firefox OS Simulator: OWA are primarily made to run on Firefox OS. Hence it is essential to test it on Simulator. It is available freely as an addon. Click here to add it to your firefox browser.

In this way, following the above steps, our project got completed in duration of around 6-8 months. There are few bugs and issues remaining but most of them are due to shortcomings of owa.Hope this information was helpful to you. In case of any discrepancies, feel free to comment here or contact me. My nickname is greatwarrior at IRC
Please make this post worth by extending your contribution to Mozilla bugs and student projects. Remember that even a small piece of code can bring a lot of change. We Mozillians encourage you all to participate to make the product even more better.

Note: Since I am a beginner, I may be wrong somewhere. So feel free to comment here and help rectify me.