09 December, 2012

Interview with Tobias at FOSS.in 2012

At FOSS.in 2012, Bengaluru, I interviewed Tobias (of GNOME) and Muthu. Hope you find some useful information.

Interview with Tobias 

Tobias gave talks on "Triaging Bug Reports in GNOME" and GNOME 3.6 talk.

GNOME Bug Triaging Talk by Tobias

First part of interview I tried to find out Tobias's role/relationship with GNOME. I was under impression that since he is core member of GNOME Bugsquad team, he would be a full time employee at GNOME. I was curious to know how many such full times employees work for GNOME and how GNOME financially supports them.
Second part of interview focuses on bug reports and contributing to GNOME development.

Part I: Business/Financial Model

Q. Vijay: Who uses GNOME? (Background: GNOME consists of many interesting projects that could be used for variety of purposes)
A. Tobias: Linux distributions use GNOME projects (as packages), but not all projects are used by the distributions. A particular distribution (like Ubuntu) may have their own replacement project for a GNOME project.
For gnomy distribution would be Fedora.

Q. Vijay:  How does GNOME earn money, specifically how does it pay salaries of full times employees like you?
A. Tobias: I am not a full time employee of GNOME, I am a student. GNOME has may be couple of few time staff and does not have a significant revenue stream. Most of people (bug squad team, project developers/maintainers etc.) are employed by companies like RedHat etc.

Q. Vijay: In India although people (students, software developers working at various IT companies) are enthusiastic about contributing to a free software project, they soon give up, as their day jobs sucks out all the time (thanks notorious traffic) and energy. So wouldn't it be nice if someone pays them to work on free software project and to attend conferences like FOSS.in?
A. Tobias: Yes, they would work at Linux friendly companies like Redhat. They have office in Pune.

Q. Vijay: What if someone sets a small company or forms a group of engineers fresh out of colleges who might not easily get a jobs this year (see news) and guide them to work on free software projects? Would that work?
A. Tobias: How much would it cost to hire such engineer, fresh out of college?
A. Vijay: At least Rs. 20,000 a month i.e. 300 Euros a month for work that involve simple bug triaging etc. (not software developers).

A. Tobias: Who will pay for this salary?
A. Vijay: Initially someone who has some spare money and is passionate about free software and has benefited from it could sponsor such initiative. Of course, later a revenue stream should be identified to continue support the work. Individual contributors (however small in number) in India would continue to contribute, but with this approach we remove some obstacles that prevent young engineers to contribute to free software projects. Since they work as a group (preferably in same office), knowledge sharing etc. would be quick and effective.

Part II: Contributing to GNOME

Second part of interview we discussed how anyone interested in GNOME technology and applications could become individual contributor and help this free software project go forward maintaining good quality.

Q. Vijay:  You mentioned that there are about 25 thousand bugs (with status = UNCONFIRMED) on the GNOME bugs database. You also mentioned that bug reports on only latest 2 GNOME releases are accepted (any release before it is not supported), so my question is should we try to see if those old bug reports are still re-producible on latest 2 GNOME releases. Many of them would not be and that way we could close them.

A. Tobias: Yes this is a good idea. Scenarios for old bug reports should be carried out on new GNOME releases and if they are OK, bug reports could be closed as OBSOLETE, reducing no. of counts of old bug reports. Otherwise they should be opened as NEW on the latest release.

Q. Vijay: You said no. of new bugs reported per week in GNOME bugzilla is going down (current no. is 500). That is because some users now report a bug in distribution's bugzilla (like https://launchpad.net/ubuntu). How does co-ordination work?
A. Tobias: This is bit challenging to manage. Someone looking at distribution's bugzilla has to do a search in GNOME bugzilla and check if the issue is already reported there, and if yes put a link to the bug report. Then check again if it is fixed and then change the status of in the distribution's bugzilla. As you can see, this involves lots of work and needs a better idea.

Q. Vijay: For bug reports we maintain a fun statistics about 'Top Opener' and 'Top closer' based on no. of bug reports opened or closed by a person. How come there are some common names in the list that you showed. Does developer closes a bug report after he applied a patch to fix it?
A. Tobias: Usually developers just fix the bug with some patch and but they do not close the bug report. Bug is usually closed by person who originally changed its status from UNCONFIRMED to NEW gets to close the bug report and chance to become 'Top Closer'.

Q. Vijay: When does a project become part of GNOME? Is Inkscape part of GNOME? How about LibreOffice?
A. Tobias: Inkscape uses GNOME projects like libxml and hence a GNOME application. What does it even mean for a project to be part of GNOME? It is bit a gray area. But usually it becomes gradually clear if a project should be part of GNOME.

Rest of the interview, we talked about how having a good IDE is important for attracting new applications in GNOME and Linux distributions.

Interview with Muthu
Muthu has been hacking on LibreOffice and told me lots of interesting stuff. Stay tuned to this blog ...

26 October, 2012

Why do I blog often

Ten reasons why I write blog posts more often that you (looking at you):
  1. I have a leisurely lifestyle (side effect of being Single?)
  2. I live close to my work place and don't have to spend hours in traffic
  3. I don't have a TV. Long live Internet (Broadband) !
  4. I do not waste my money and time on Bollywood movies (where scripts are written only in 6 days).
  5. I want to be a Internet Contributor.
  6. I often fantasize that someday my soul mate will read my blog and finally we will meet.
  7. I type fast (not fastest).
  8. Thanks to Google data centers, my online blog posts will be indestructible and immortal.
  9. When not in front of computer I do interesting things and blog about them later.
  10. See reason #6.

10 October, 2012

Things I loved about Paris

  • Grandiose
  • Ancient
  • Artistic and Inspiring

  • Beautiful
  • Fashionable
  • Passionate, emotional, expressive (Kissing and hugging in public)
  • Courteous and hard working
  • Talkative 
  • Friendly once they like you

  • Eternal 
  • Mother nature
  • God's gift
  • Tall and Strong
  • Mysterious

  • Sophisticated 
  • Clean
  • Rubbing shoulders with Parisians
  • Scent of fellow passengers
  • Musicians in metro stations
  • Decent behavior
  • Very well dressed men and women as bus drivers
  • Fast
  • Spacious
  • Warm and clean
  • GPS based Passenger Information System

  • Fast
  • Expanding
  • Fun, Fast
  • Cheap
Food and Wine
Paris: Epitome of engineering, art, beauty and passion

15 September, 2012

Fun Trip and Team Work

Have you recently taken out your team (colleagues at work) out on nature trail and adventure trip?

We did recently. It is really fun way to open everyone and have social interaction. Most work places usually have some type of monotony and repetitive activities. Such trip help break that pattern and bring in some freshness and enthusiasm.

Here are some pictures from recent trip with my colleagues.

Mi and Mini Kayaking

Climbing Down Rocks

I learned an important lesson while we were playing a team game called Bricks". Sometimes you focus/think/worry too much on what/how others in the team should do and forget about your own individual contribution. I did a stupid mistake while thinking too much about what others should do and that put our team out of he contest. 

Next first do your jobs right and then advice others, it is like instructions given on airplane, first put oxygen mask on YOU and then help others.

So where are you taking your team out?

26 August, 2012

Classical Music meets Engineers

Rhythm Workshop at 3DPLM, July 2012
It is believed that our LEFT brain powers logical thinking, rational thought and enables us humans to work with order, numbers, and logic. RIGHT brain is all about creativity, emotion and free spirit that lead to creation of art like paintings, composition of music and sound. A good balance and joined efforts of LEFT and RIGHT brain produces most inspiring things in the world. Usually a person is believed to have either LEFT or RIGHT brain more active.

At work places like our software company 3DPLM, we pre-dominantly engage and exercise our LEFT brain while our RIGHT brain stays inactive or idle. Creativity and fun start to dis-appear from the work place and even drinking lot of coffee does not help.

With objective to engage our RIGHT brain, I (who can't play or sing) along with colleague and friend Shivraj (who can play Tabla) arranged a three hour workshop “Rhythm in Indian Music” on 12th July, 2012. The artist was young Tabla player Anup Joshi, disciple of Late Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain. He was accompanied by a talented team Amit Khare (Flute) and classical singer Pradnya

What is Rhythm in Indian music? Simply put it is a cycle (a repeated pattern) of certain number periodic beats (sounds) used set the tempo of a musical (vocal, dance etc.) performance. Based on numbers of beats there are fundamental types of rhythms (like Tintal, Rupak Tal etc.) used in Hindustani classical music. So it was a delight for LEFT brained people at 3DPLM Software to know that counting, loops etc. form the basis of rhythm in Indian classical music. Each type of rhythm was illustrated with a piece of  Tabla and vocal performance. Thus workshop demonstrated that it is possible and is quite enjoyable experience for engineers to learn and listen to classical music.

On popular demand, Amit Khare talked about fundamentals of Ragas (composed on musical notes) in Indian classical and general music. Why only certain sequence of notes sounds good? How Indian classical music have different Ragas for different times of day and different seasons of a year. Illustrates by Flute performance were just incredible. The work shop was attended by enthusiastic 3DPLM employees including many who perform in our company band (Guitar and Drums).

Climax of the workshop of combined music performance by Anup and all the artists. A joyful and divine experience that power of LEFT brain and RIGHT brain can create. This workshop will surely help engineers to collaborate and create beautiful pieces of art, looks at things differently with more passion, leveraging and honoring long tradition of Indian classical music.

If you believe that art can ignite passion among engineers working at your company I strongly recommend you contact Anup for similar workshop/performance at your company.

15 August, 2012

Internet Users in India : 2012 to 2015

Just watched a video from Google India:  Happy Independence Day from Google India - Lalitesh Katragadda. This is part of series of videos posted by Google India to celebrate India's 65th Independence Day.

Latitesh mentions number of Indians online using Internet:
  Year 2012 = 120 million
  Year 2015 = 420 million
No doubt this is a huge and impressive number of people, many of them would be new to Internet and would be definitely benefits tremendously thanks to advertisement based models of Internet applications (e-mail, chat, online storage of pictures, videos and news).

I think of Internet users into two broad categories, based on what activity user predominantly (most of times) does on Internet.

Passive Internet User Internet Contributor
Searches for job, house and spouse Buys and sells on Internet market places
Reads e-mails for personal purpose Writes e-mails for all purposes, uses online tools for creating documents
Reads news, blogs, celebrity twits Writes articles on topics of interest, reports local news, citizen journalism.
Reads articles on wiki Writes, edits wiki articles on familiar/local topics
Watches Online videos Uses educational videos and courses on classrooms/training etc.
Uses Online maps Adds missing data to local maps using online tools

It is going to be interesting to watch how those of 420 millions people fall into above two categories. We all would hope for greater percentage of Internet contributors that would make Internet a decent and fun place to visit in 2015.
Few of Interesting factors to think about future of Internet in India:
  • What kind of connection (slow, broadband, 2G, 3G) will user have to Internet?
  • Will users restrain themselves from creating hateful/obscene content that will give Indian government a very good excuse to curtain/control freedom that Internet users currently enjoy?

22 July, 2012

पुणेकर आणि पावसाळा

पु. ल. चे "पुणेकर, मुंबईकर, नागपूरकर" हे तुम्ही वाचल किवां ऐकलं असेल. नसेल तर युटूब वर बघुन घ्या.

यापूर्वी ही मी "खरा पुणेकर" या विषयावर लिहले आहे. "खरा पुणेकर" कसा होता किवां कसा आहे याही पेक्षा तो "खरा पुणेकर" कसा असावा यामध्ये मला जास्त रस आहे .

आता पावसाला चालू आहे. "खरा पुणेकर" कितीही कामाच्या व्यापात असला तरी निसर्गातील या सुंदर बदलाला तो अनभिज्ञ/उदासीन नसतो. "पाउस आला आता वर्षभर पिण्याच्या पाण्याची सोय झाली" अश्या व्यावहारिक दृष्टीकोनापुरत्या  त्याच्या भावना/विचार मर्यादित नसतात.

पावसाला आला की "खरा पुणेकर" कवी होतो आणि आपल्या भावना तो शब्दांमध्ये उतरवण्याचा प्रयत्न करतो. मग ती कविता असेल किंवा एखादा लेख. तो आकाशातील सौदर्य रंगांच्या साह्याने कागदावर उमटवतो आणि चित्र चांगल जमलच तर ते प्रदर्शनात ठेवतो. घराच्या आजूबाजूला एखादा सुंदर पक्षी दिसला तर तो उत्साहाने फोटो घेतो.

एका निवांत संध्याकाळी कोणी आणखीन एका  पुणेकराने आयोजीत केलेली संगीताची मैफील तो चुकवत नाही, कारण पावसाळा चालु झाल्यानंतर "राग मल्हार" ऐकण्याची मजा त्याला ठाऊक असते. याच्यासाठी तो पैसेही मोजायला तयार असतो.

एकंदर त्याची भावना निसर्गाने दिलेल्या या प्रेमाबद्दल कृतज्ञनेची असते आणि तो राग मल्हार जमावा म्हणून कलाकाराने केलेल्या तपशर्ये/मेहेनती विषयीच्या आदराची असते.
पावसाला आला की "खरा पुणेकर" ...

16 June, 2012

you are missing something

you don't know what you are missing on
my heart is singing this song

stars and lights in the sky
I tell you reasons why
soft kisses on the cheek
I listen while you speak

you don't know what you are missing on
my love for you will last long

flowers and candle light
just for your delight
what you say is always right
I will love you every night

you don't know what you are missing on
together our hearts should belong

*** Vijay ***

11 June, 2012

Poem about love and passion

love, it's so hard to find

love, it's so hard to find
even after thousand tries

maybe something's wrong with me
maybe something's wrong with this world

love, it's so hard to find
i want it thousand times

maybe time is not right
maybe place is not just right

love, it's so hard to find
i look for it every sight

maybe i am too busy
maybe she is too shy

love, it's so hard to find
it needs a cupid's arrow

love, it's so hard to find
it needs a fool's heart

love, it's so hard to find
it needs a bottle of wine

love, it's so hard to find
it needs beats of salsa

love, it's so hard to find
it needs two bodies and one mind !

*** Vijay ***

05 June, 2012

A TV Channel Based on User Created Content

 Two facts :

Fact #1 
YouTube and other video hosting sites have some real gems that educate you (like that video from Khan academy about Greek debt), make you laugh (so many of them). However not everyone has access to high speed Internet needed to watch high quality videos, not do people have time to search and find those gems buried under tons other not so good videos.

Fact #2 
For whatever reasons there is not much original content on Indian TV channels, especially content that appeals to young people. News channel s are worst, with very little of genuine journalism and research.

So LET there be a TV channel that picks gems (good video and photo content) from youtube etc and broadcast to TV channel audience. Of course copyright issue needs to be studied & addressed, but if these TV channels could give some financial incentive for anyone, anywhere in India to produce a good content and upload it, then it is win (creator) - win (TV channel) - win channel audience) situation.

For example: Imagine some thing like Kolavari, before it became sensation gets picked by the TV channel and broadcasted. It would be a super sensation.

In other words, TV channel acts as a filter (that will pick good content) and then amplifier/booster (broadcasting to those who do not have hi speed Internet, but have TV). As more and more people have access to good quality cameras and camcorders there will be lot of gems waiting to be discovered.

For example: Some house wife somewhere in India might have a really great recipe, her husband could video record and upload it. However it is unlikely to reach large no. of people. TV channel could pick it up and make it a popular.

04 June, 2012

You don't say anything

*** You don't say anything ***

You look so great
but you don't say anything
I see you everyday  
your eyes meet my eyes 
but you don't say anything

I wait and can't wait 
till you say a thing
wrote you a stupid mail
still you don't say anything
I like you very much
even you don't say anything
let something happen between us, anything !

*** Vijay ***

23 March, 2012

Flyover Design

Few months back newly built flyover on Solapur road, at Mega center and Sahyadri Hospital corner (see location in map below) was opened for public.

View Larger Map

Simple observation of the flyover design would create lots of doubts and questions in anyone's mind.

Most shocking observation is that vehicles cross paths on the top of flyover. Very strange and unsettling, because common sense tells that flyover should make it possible for vehicles to travel without having to stop (for signal or pedestrians crossings etc.) anywhere. In other words, flyover should help move the vehicle fast (this does not always reduce traffic congestion, but that is another topic for discussion).

Is this flyover design correct?
Note: Above picture stitched image created using 2 different photos taken from top of nearby building. An object was blocking the middle portion of flyover, so I had to remove it and re-create flyover using photo editing.

You can easily see in above picture that vehicles have to be very careful or else collision can easily occur on the flyover (area marked in red circle). Also vehicles must slow down and stop on the flyover to allow other vehicles to pass. As of now, there is NO traffic signal on the flyover. Are they (Pune Municipal Corporation) going to install one? I don't know. If they do that would some kind of world record "A flyover with traffic signal".

Some unanswered questions:
Q. If this flyover design safe? Is crossing on flyover a good idea? 
Q. If NOT, they who approved this design?
Q. Is it worth Crores of rupees (people's money) spent on building it? what benefits does it provide?
Q. If it is flawed design, wow can we avoid this in future.
Q. Would it be some kind of world record if traffic signal is installed on a flyover?

Any ideas?

Note: If you are civil engineering teacher/student, please feel free to use this post and photo for classroom discussion.

Update (26 Dec 2014): Here is news article about Pedestrian First's proposal to modify the flyover.

Orange Thing

I am extra careful about commitment to any object, especially big object in my life. So when it comes to "owning" something that is :
  • Big, heavy weighs more than 500 Kg.
  • will need lot of money to keep it going.
  • I will be responsible for carrying it around everywhere I go without feeling embarrassed.
  • I will be responsible any of it's mistake.
I had to do lot of research. Which I did.
I am now proud owner of Orange (not the fruit) TATA (let me complete) Nano (almost done) Small (finally) Car. Don't believe me, here is the proof:

Orange and Flowers, in Green Backdrop

First impressions:
  • Good choice as first car (when you are not sure of your driving skills and you are wondering how you really got the driving license).
  • Compact, easy to drive, park on narrow roads.
  • Spacious
  • Bit noisy (in first and second gear), but not annoying.
  • Brakes are not very quick, so you need keep extra distance at high speeds.
  • Suspension is OK, be ready to feel every pothole on the road.

Next episode (How did someone passionate about public transportation tuned into a car driving idiot, with no passengers, struck in traffic jam?), stay tuned ...

22 March, 2012

Daylight saving time for India

If you search for "Daylight saving time USA"in Google, it returns:

Daylight Saving Time (United States) began Sunday, 11 March 2012, 2:00, and ends Sunday, 4 November 2012, 2:00.Except Arizona and Hawaii. Move your clocks ahead 1 hour in spring and back 1 hour in fall ("Spring forward, fall back").

This got me thinking:

Q. In India, during summer (i.e. now) how much EXTRA sunlight do we get in the morning? Do we get equal no. of EXTRA hours in the evening? Of course not, so what is the difference? Is it significant?

Q. Secondly, how much % energy is spent on lighting (houses, offices, roads etc.)? Is it significant?

Following are some no. of New Delhi, I intentionally chose a city in North India, where difference will be more.

Date             SunriseSunsetThis dayDifferenceTimeAltitudeDistance

24 Feb 2012    06:52    18:17    11h 25m 03s    + 1m 38s    12:34    51.7°     148.031
25 Feb 2012    06:51    18:18    11h 26m 42s    + 1m 38s    12:34    52.1°     148.064
26 Feb 2012    06:50    18:19    11h 28m 21s    + 1m 39s    12:34    52.5°     148.098
27 Feb 2012    06:49    18:19    11h 30m 01s    + 1m 39s    12:34    52.9°     148.132
28 Feb 2012    06:48    18:20    11h 31m 41s    + 1m 40s    12:34    53.2°     148.167
29 Feb 2012    06:47    18:20    11h 33m 21s    + 1m 40s    12:34    53.6°     148.201

26 Mar 2012    06:18    18:36    12h 17m 52s    + 1m 43s    12:27    63.8°     149.244

27 Mar 2012    06:17    18:36    12h 19m 35s    + 1m 42s    12:26    64.2°     149.286
28 Mar 2012    06:16    18:37    12h 21m 18s    + 1m 42s    12:26    64.6°     149.328
29 Mar 2012    06:15    18:38    12h 23m 01s    + 1m 42s    12:26    65.0°     149.370
30 Mar 2012    06:13    18:38    12h 24m 43s    + 1m 42s    12:26    65.3°     149.412
31 Mar 2012    06:12    18:39    12h 26m 25s    + 1m 42s    12:25    65.7°     149.454

Source: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=176&month=3&year=2012&obj=sun&afl=-11&day=1

Remember North India are some really populous states (as big as some European countries) , so a serious study is needed to conclude is Daylight Saving Time for India will result into energy savings (which is scarce).

Also remember that typical Indian office, work starts after 9:30 AM so we are already NOT using morning sunlight. In summer, it is whopping 3 hours after sun rise. Of course assumption here majority buildings have architecture that uses sunlight.