Sunday, December 14, 2008

A day with RMS

Today RMS visited Bangalore again. This is for the first time I am
seeing him. I am bit tired after today's programs. So, I will try to
proide a brief summary of the program. I hope you know what RMS will
be talking about, so I am not going to those details :)

His talk was at NMKRV college in Jayanagar (Bangalore) which was very
near to our office. I reached there with Jayesh around 10 am. I
have seen his talks in video and today also it was a typical RMS
talk. At the end of session, during questions time, I also asked one
question :) I asked him: "Many free software follows release early,
release often philosophy...". He interupted me, "No, that is not the
case, and that is just a development methodology...". I continued my
question like "Why GNU Emacs releases taking so much time...". He
said, "That is due to technical reasons, you can also come and fix it
(laugh) as it is free software and all the code is available in
Savannah..." (Discaimer: This is not his exact wording)

Jayesh left earlier due to some important office works. I was also
about to return home, then, Anivar suggested to go to the second
program of RMS. After lunch we went to the Ambedkar Community
Computing Center. This is a place where many poor people live. They
were using free software for all their computing needs. All the
peoples gathered there was really celebrating his visit.

After this program, my friends Sujith and Anivar was accompanying RMS
to his hotel, they arranged some interview with press persons there.
Again, as I had no other option, I also joined them. While
travelling RMS' friend, Hareesh, Anivar & Sujith was talking about
Dalits, Hiduism, Politcs etc. RMS also expressed his opinions

We stopped in one hotel for tea and net browsing. He was sitting
opposite to me. I was surprised to see that he was ordering an Indian
cool drink very easily, "One cold badam milk" :) Hmm.. he had come to
India many times, so he must be familiar with it. We spend almost
one hour there. Later, I returned to my home and they proceeded to
their hotel.

Here are few pictures I have taken today:

1. RMS just Arrived at RV college

2. Welcome talk by Renuka Prasad

3. "Free as in Freedom"

4. St. iGNUcious is getting ready!

5. With common Indians

6. Ambedkar smiling at Stallman from wall.

7. RMS releasing a book

8. Tea with a song

9. Hacking after a cold Badam milk at hotel

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Python workshop at RVCE

Oh, it's almost 5 months I have written anything in my journal! Well, there
is no specific reason for that :) But, now I can't stop writing this.
I am just coming back from a two day Python workshop conducted at R.V
College of Engineering, Bangalore

More than 50+ students attended this program. This was my first
experience conducting a workshop. Thanks to Renuka Prasad and his
students for organizing this workshop. Five of my colleagues and
my friend Jayesh accompanied me, thanks to all.

The program was well organized. Students were sitting in two near
by computer labs. The labs also was well equipped. They provided
projectors and audio support in both halls. My friends were walking
from one desktop to another, without them it won't be impossible
for me to conduct this. Thanks to ZeOmega for allowing 5 persons
to accompany me for this workshop.

I have some pictures also:

1. Ready to start !

2. In action.

3. Ok, everything is fine.

4. With Jayesh.

5. My right and left wings.

6. With Renuka Prasad and Jayesh.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Open source" software production in India

In India some organizations say that they are "producing open
source software" and follow a cathedral style development model !
People who produce these so-called "open source" in India presume,
"code" is everything and it can be released once everything is
ready. But they fail to understand that free software is not only
code but also a community of developers and users around it.
How to build & sustain this community is very crucial to the
success of any free software project.

Well, this may be true in other countries also. But recently I noticed
this in some organizations especially few government funded

Recently when I was traveling from Calicut to Bangalore
in a night bus. I happened to meet an old fried of mine
who is working with a government funded organization.
Most of his work was software projects which they release
under some free software license. One interesting thing I
noticed is that they do a lot of duplicate works and unnecessary
forks of existing free software projects.

Another thing which I inferred from our conversation is
about their development model. The couldn't yet adapt the style of
free software projects, which follows release often and release
early culture, building a community around the software etc.

Update: One of my friend asked me whether I am targeting free software
based custom software. No, I am not. A custom software may not be released
at all.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A challenge for Malayalee programmers !

There is a bug in GNOME bugzilla regarding a rendering bug in
Malayalam ( ). This is
the last major rendering bug in GNOME related to Malayalam. If any
programmers can fix it, that would be a great contribution to
Malayalam computing. Please go through the bug and see if you can

Behdad, the mantainer of Pango is looking for a good explanation of
current patch. Otherwise a better patch is required based on his

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Buildout and setuptools

(A comment to blog post by Tres Seavor -- I can't figure out how to add comment there, so this post.)

Buildout is build tool which can be used for any Python packages and
not something only for Zope. Since it is created Jim Fulton, the Zope
Pope, naturally there are many early adopters from Zope community.
Buildout itself may not be enough for all purposes, but it can be
extended using "recipes", the extension mechanism provided by
Buildout. Buildout use setuptools, but it's not for replacing it.
You can make use all features of setuptools while using Buildout. So,
all the strengths of setuptools are available for Buildout also.

A buildout.cfg of a Python need not to have duplicate information
given in . For example, a typical configuration file for a
package will be like this:

develop = .
parts =

As you can see above there is no additional detail, the only
information given is the packages required to be developed.
(Here . means package in the current directory)

As you know any build system should have some kind of configuration,
if you think its a clutter, well I don't know what to say.

Most of the packages are setuptools based and so you can run any
command provided by setuptools. But if you want to get the benefits
of using Buildout you should learn the Buildout system. Then you will
be able to overcome the "foreign feeling".

As I said, Buildout doesn't prevent you from running any setuptools
command. For example if your package's is configured to run
'test' command, you can run it. There are some buildout recipe which
helps you to run tests in some weired way, but that is not a problem
of buildout ! That recipe may have it's own reason for doing it that
way, like handle extra dependencies, be more explicit, use a
particular test runner etc.. If you don't want this recipe, it's OK,
use your old setuptools test mechanism.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Unicode may destroy Malayalam language in computer :(

This is for the first time I am writing about Malayalam language in my
blog. Unfortunately, this is about a catastrophe going to happen for
our language :( . I created this blog for writing about my interests
(Python,Zope etc.). I hope you will excuse this cross posted blog.

By breaking Unicode's basic principle, that, it will only inlclude
basic characters of a language, now they are going to add charaters
which are formed from other basic characters in Malayalam. You can
read more about the issue here:
and in this document: .
The changes are added to draft version of Unicode 5.1.0, so we still have some
hope that it can be reverted. Please support us !

Some background: I started the Swathanthra Malayalam Computing project
almost 7 years back while studying at NIT Calicut. Later, when Free
Software Foundation of India started working on this project, I joined
them to work on this project (as a Job). After I left FSF India, some
others continued that project. Two years back a
new team started working on this project, you can see details
about this team at their wiki: . This
is such a great team with good leaders. Now they are touching all areas
of Malayalam computing: i18n,l10n and other software tools for
Malayalam. I am no more involved in this project, but I used to follow
up the developments.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Yesterday's BangPypers meeting

After a long time, we had a BangPypers meet yesterday at ThoughtWorks
office (thanks to ThoughtWorks for hosting us). Pradeep gave us an
excellent introduction to Django using a TODO list application he
created. This application used SQLite (RDBMS), jQuery (JS framework)
and BluePrint (CSS framework). He will publish this code soon in his

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Partial content in planets (A Request)

Philipp, Martin & Kevin: I used to read using an
offline feed agregator. I really like your blog posts (I never
missed a single one). I have one request, could you add full
content to your feeds for planets ?

I could have asked this question offline, but I thought other
bloggers who only give a link or part of content to planets may
add their full content to their feeds.

I wonder whether there is any other aspect which I don't
see which prevents them from adding full content to feeds.
One issue which I can see is that, very long posts may clutter
the planets, but I think planets can fix it with a new design
which only shows a part of the content and a link to view full

(Feel free to make comments here)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Congratulations to Grok team for new site !

Grok project created a new simple,informative and great looking website:

Congratulations to the team !

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

ZCA Book listed in - Case study chapter

Thanks to Alan Runyan for adding the ZCA book in
I hope this will help to increase the readership of the book.

Recently I started working on a case study chapter.
The source of application can be downloaded from here:

This is a PyGTK application which use PySQLite & ZODB as pluggable storages.
Looking forward to your suggestions and feedbacks :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I got my ZCA book !

Last month I purchased my ZCA book from Lulu. Today it arrived in my
desk. Print quality, cover design and paper are very good. So far I am
the only purchaser of my book ;) The cost of book is $8.75 and
shipping cost to India will be another 6 USD. The book's PDF is available
from my site. If you want to purchase is it for some reason, you can
get it from here.