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Fri, 02 Mar 2007:

Kerala's IT Mission is sponsoring FOSS Meet @ NITC, which is going to be kicked off tomorrow by the honourable Chief Minister of Kerala. I'd talked there last year and was planning to just drop by there on my way back to Bangalore.

Had to cancel that trip, mainly out of laziness - travelling 10 hours in a train to reach a strange town with nobody to pick me up and no accomodation confirmed isn't my idea of a fun weekend. Was planning to catch up with some folks from around India, who have talks at this event - doing that once a year at FOSS.IN isn't quite enough. But as Mr Pradeepto said, this isn't the only conference - and it isn't as if I've got something useful to add to this conference.

There were a couple of talks I wanted to attend - especially lawgon's "What went wrong with FOSS movement in INDIA ?". I suspect that this has something to do with the what is stopping indian contributors thread which hit nearly all LUG lists in India.

I think the real question asked in the mail is Why are there are no FOSS *Rockstars* from India - people who are larger than life (taj might qualify). And there are FOSS contributors to be found India, but as shres put it bluntly - "contributors are hard to find" - the whiteboard at foss.in is proof that there are enough.

If there is indeed a drought of new comers to the FOSS world, the general argument is that "You're not looking at the right place" to invest time and resources. For example, second tier colleges, with lack-lusture cookie cutter graduate programmes, produce more FOSS contributors than premier institutions (like the IITs). But I've had my own theories about why that happens and why it happened a lot during the post-Y2K bust. So I think that investing into these colleges in a big way might in fact upset the process that is producing hackers today.

So, I've got a feeling that this talk would be well worth attending - to throw more light on what's going wrong and to look at the solutions suggested. I'd be really interested in helping with any practical solution to the contribute-or-mentor problem that I've been fighting for a while (do you mentor or do you contribute directly ?). So if anybody attends it, please blog about it.

I've got fond memories of last year - preparing the slides at the last minute, walking about in that big campus, spending time at Calicut beach. We had a lot of fun and I mean, A LOT. And the conference is really good, the kids do use Fedora on the desktop in their labs. The XGL demos were a particular attraction last year.

Maybe next year.

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities."

posted at: 02:44 | path: /conferences | permalink | Tags: ,