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504[Draft] Mini-DebConf in India - Report

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  • Vikram Vincent
    Aug 16, 2010
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      Mini-DebConf in India - Report

      The Mini Debconf Pune is the latest in a series of conferences
      organised by the Indian Debian Community. The first Debian Conference
      was held at IIIT-Bangalore in 2005 (followd by conferences in
      Bangalore in 2006,2007,2009 along the sidelines of FOSS.IN) and Mini
      Debconf Pune is the latest in the series of conferences held by the
      Debian India Community.

      The conference was inaugurated by Dr. M Sasikumar, Director, Corporate
      R&D, CDAC India, who spoke about Free and Open Source Software and
      BOSS (Bharat Operating System Solutions), which is a Debian derivative
      that CDAC has been developing. Praveen Arimbrathodiyil, our newest
      Debian Maintainer, and Onkar Shinde guided an interactive session
      introducing Debian to the participants. Kartik Mistry's informative
      session covered the aspects of contributing to Debian and the
      processes involved. Vikram Vincent enlightened the audience on the
      localisation process and its effect in bridging the digital divide.
      The highlight of the afternoon session was the Debian packaging
      workshop mentored by Kartik Mistry (our Debian developer), Onkar
      Shinde and Praveen Arimbrathodiyil.

      Day 2 started at 8am with a continuation of Debian packaging. Vikram
      Vincent traced the history of knowledge development and percolation in
      society through various anecdotes and the necessity of technology in
      education in his talk on Debian in Education. Raghavendra Selvan's
      insight into the teacher training workshops and experience in
      Karnataka gave some focus on what needed to be done from the grass
      root levels and at the level of the government.
      A discussion between the BOSS-CDAC team and the Debian enthusiasts
      focused on how changes made in the BOSS distribution could be
      contributed back upstream into Debian,GNOME, etc as patches, bug
      reports being made public and training the CDAC team on the FOSS model
      of software development.
      Both days saw huge participant numbers with the first day at around
      150 and the second around 80. The organising team did a good job
      making the entire event run smoothly and successfully. Overall, the
      participants enjoyed the sessions and expressed interest in organising
      and being part of such sessions in the future.

      -- Vikram Vincent
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