FOSS.IN/08: Summary

30 Nov 2008

As a developer, I have to say that FOSS.IN/08 is possibly the most productive conference I’ve been to until now! In just 5 days, I’ve got more things done than I have in the last 5 months ;)

Let’s start with the Beacon workout: Nandeep joined us via VoIP and we got started almost immediately, thanks to the dynamic nature and small size of our project - we didn’t have any infrastructural trouble as a few other C/C++ projects with huge codebases and complex build systems did. We had a list of 6 tasks in mind, and we managed to complete 3 of them. Salil Kothadia got started with writing a PDO data backend, and promptly submitted the patch to us next day. Thanks Salil, hope you continue to contribute to the development of Beacon (thereby increasing the development team size by 25%)!

I also attended Philip’s workout on porting HTML::Template to Javascript. As mentioned on the Wiki page, we mostly worked on the design during the first half or so, and then moved on to writing a skeleton for the whole framework. I think this is an extremely interesting project, and am very happy to be associated with its birth. Hope we can continue the momentum and work until it is finished.

Perhaps the biggest take-away from the conference for me was the ability to give a lightning talk about Glendix, with several kernel hackers present in the audience. Christoph then kindly offered to review some of the patches during the workout. Even the possibility of Plan 9 binary emulation being considered for inclusion into the main kernel tree is amazing, let alone the fact that I got the guidance of an experienced kernel hacker for a good 2 hours! I think the effort was largely successful - I now have a better idea of what I need to do in order to get a kernel patch in order, and also got a few hints as to how I can implement the missing bits.

My primary focus at the conference was to give a talk on Mozilla Labs and Innovation. I think I managed to stir up a decent amount of interest in the various Labs initiatives. I covered the different ways in which members of the community can contribute, specifically focussing on Weave, Ubiquity and the Concept Series. We even covered how easy it is to actually write an Ubiquity command. I now look forward to increased participation by the Indian Mozilla community in Labs projects. Don’t forget to thank Mary for all the goodies!

All this, apart from regular conference happenings like catching up with old friends, making new ones and free swag (great mugs and t-shirts this time around) makes FOSS.IN/08 one of the most successful conferences I’ve been to so far! I can’t wait for the 2009 edition.