FOSS.IN/2008: The once, and future king

October 30, 2008

Why I will be at FOSS.in/2008
There has been much verbiage expounded at the new directions taken by foss.in this year. While, in my opinion, there is much to be alarmed at in the direction that foss.in is seemingly heading in, I cannot but help feel that some of the most vehement opponents already had their axes sharpened. One can almost see the spittle flying over the remoteness of a glowing screen that brings the words of others to one.

From a personal perspective, I am tied foremost to community-driven events, and organisations, namely Freed.in, the Indian Linux Users’ Group, Delhi (ILUG-D), and Sarai, in no particular order. I have been a participant in FOSS.IN (or whatever name it passed under then), since 2005, and actively helped out at the event last year, but I do not have a dog in this particular fight. My goal is to build bridges, and not cultivate enemies. To quote the incomparable Emily Dickinson:

I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.
...

I must also acknowledge the fact that some of the people most actively involved in foss.in are either also part of Freed.in or have provided valuable input to the event. At the same time, this is not a weak-minded acquiescence with all aspects of foss.in. I would love to see the resurgence of a Bangalore Linux Users’ Group, and a community-driven event in Bangalore. It is also up to us to prove that a community-driven event in India can be as successful as foss.in. This means you. At least to my mind, this is possible—Freed.in being what I am putting my energies into—but it certainly remains to be proven. Unless one is expending effort in this regard, in my opinion, blatherings about foss.in 2008 seem to fall into the category of the Arabian saying: The dogs bark, but the caravan passes by.

So, philosophical musings aside (as the rallying cry goes, show me the code), the reason that I will be at foss.in 2008, and am pushing people in IndLinux to be there, is with the idea that let us set aside what we think is the right way to proceed, and engage with foss.in on their terms. IndLinux can have other meetings, on our own terms, and we will indeed do so in the near future, but at least for now, we will also be at the largest, and most successful FOSS event in India, personal misgivings firmly set aside for the moment. We are there with a serious purpose, and will address serious issues of software related to Indic computing, including:

  • Indic sorting
  • Spell-checking enhancements for Indian languages
  • Machine translation
  • Optical character recognition (OCR)

Bengaluru, or bust!

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One Response to “FOSS.IN/2008: The once, and future king”

  1. Nandeep said

    This is legendary…

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