Frederick Noronha (FN) on Sat, 12 Nov 2005 01:38:06 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> INDIA: FN'sEyeOnFLOSS *** Nov 10, 2005 * FreeBSD and India...

FN's Eye on FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) 10NOV05
Please forward this to FLOSS groups you know... help it grow -FN


FREEBSD ... AND INDIA: When FreeBSD 6.0 got recently
released, one thought of checking out its links with India.
Dru <> responded to a query to to say,
"While I don't know about Indian involvement with the FreeBSD
project, I know there is involvement with BSD Certification
( One of the members of the
bsdcert mailing list will be at FOSS India --
-- handing out 1500 copies of our brochure. We also have two
translators who are starting translations into Hindi,
Bengali, Tamil and Telegu. As the current chair of the BSD
Certification Group, I am interested in spreading the word
about BSD certification to India."

See mailing list. Their website was established in 1999 and has 111

Joseph Koshy <> says, "There are indian
programmers who have been working on FreeBSD since 1998."

Craig Rodrigues <> who's an old-time
friend in another context (Goa's first Usenet newsgroup
soc.culture.indian.goa) had this to say, 

          I am a FreeBSD committer, and PIO (Person of Indian
          Origin), with roots in Goa.  FreeBSD is an
          open-source project which produces a very
          high-quality, rock solid, operating system. 
          FreeBSD traces its roots to some of the earliest
          Unix work done at AT&T and the University of
          California, Berkeley, and is built on solid and
          proven technology.  You can see the history of BSD

Many people from around the world and from different
backgrounds contribute to the FreeBSD project, including

* Joseph Koshy ( ), in
Bangalore, contributed a Performance Measurement Framework --
--  to FreeBSD.  Joseph has also contributed other things to

* Mohan Srinivasan <> works at
Yahoo, and has contributed many fixes to the FreeBSD
networking code. FreeBSD is the primary platform that Yahoo
operates its servers on, so high performance networking code
in FreeBSD is very important to them.

          You should contact Joseph and Mohan directly, to
          get the most accurate information about their
          involvement in FreeBSD, since I might have made
          some mistakes.

          As for myself, Craig Rodrigues
          <>, I contribute to FreeBSD in
          different areas. For FreeBSD 6.0, I have
          contributed bugfixes to various areas of the
          FreeBSD code. For FreeBSD 7 (which has not been
          released), I am collaborating with Alexander Kabaev
          <> to port the high performance XFS
          filesystem to FreeBSD.

Unfortunately, we were not able to finish our work for
FreeBSD 6. XFS was originally written by SGI (Silicon
Graphics Inc.) for their IRIX operating system, but they have
ported their code to [GNU]Linux.  Alexander and I are working
to port this code to FreeBSD, and we have a project web page


Marco Fioretti <>
who has worked on the RULE project [1] says he is rebuilding
that site from scratch right now, but have also started in
another FLOSS-related project. It's the OpenDocument
fellowship, its mission and and its petition to add
OpenDocument support in Microsoft Office

Says Marco: "Please let me know your opinion, and let the
news circulate in India as much as possible if they already
haven't. You're obviously encouraged to tell people to
contact me, and to let me know anything OpenDocument related
happening in India."

          Marco Fioretti   OpenDocument Fellowship Committee Member

          Everybody's Guide to OpenDocument:

[1] What is the RULE Project about?

The problem: Hardware is not cheap. There are plenty of
single users, schools and non-profit organizations with null
or very little money for computers. Furthermore, PCs pollute
a lot, hence they should be used as long as possible. Not
with older Free Software, however, which is useless and
dangerous: null support, security holes, no IMAP, GPG,

          Our solution: Hardware is only as old as the
          software it runs. RULE wants to make modern Free
          Software useable even on 5 or more years old
          machines, on which current Linux distributions
          won't install or run too slowly.

Today we work on Fedora simply because the project started
among users of Red Hat Linux. To this purpose, M. Fratoni
wrote first Miniconda and later Slinky, two installers for
those distributions working in as little as 12 MB of RAM.


<> writes: You may remember me, Ajith
Kumar, did the GLUE CD earlier. Phoenix is a simple computer
interface that can be used for doing Physics experiments,
data acquisition and control implemented in the same box.

          The interesting part is the Phoenix Live CD
          variation of SLAX but packed with lot of software
          development tools and educational software. It can
          also be installed to a harddisk partition within
          three minutes (celeron 2.5 GHz). The downloadable
          ISO is there on our site. If your bandwidth is low
          send me your postal address. Our institue name has
          been changed to Inter-University Accelerator Centre
          (earlier Nuclear Science Centre).

This project is a part of the program by Inter University
Accelerator Centre to improve the laboratory facilities at
the universities. Unlike the other equipments developed in
for this purpose, phoenix is kept as an open ended project
where teaching community can contribute.


    * Improve the accuracy of existing experiments by
      redesigning them using the low cost interface.
    * Encourage students and teachers to design new
    * Learn science from the experimental data by
      constructing mathematical models governing various 
    * Create a synergy between engineering and physics
      students so that new physics experiments can be
      designed as the project works of the former.
    * Develop demonstrations that can be used in the
    * Student projects based on phoenix
    * Demos and science fare items for school students.

There can be achieved only with active collaboration of large
number of people at various levels. Contributions from
physicists, engineers,teachers and students are equally
important. The hardware for the basic interfacing circuit has
been done and all the details are available to anyone who is
interested. Those who are interested in manufacturing and
selling it commercially, see the vendors section. Those who
want to make it for educational purposes may contact us only
if they need some help. We need to develop more accessories
using various sensor elements to make the unit more

The software available at the moment are a device driver,
libraries accessible from C, Python and Scilab and some
application programs for some experiments. All of them are
distributed under GNU GPL. Phoenix Mailing List

To join the list send a mail to with the word subscribe
in the subject line. To post a message send it to List Archives at


<> says: "I'm a student of M.Sc.
Physics in DU, Delhi (India). I've been using {GNU]Linux for
the past five mounth in my projects and reserch work related
to astronomy. A few days back i was serching for some useful
softwares for astronomy that could be run on [GNULinux and
came to know about this OS "Linux for Astronomy". I would be
very thankful to u if anybody could suggest a place near
Delhi from where i could buy this OS.


          HELPING POSTGRESQL: Abhijit Menon-Sen
          <> says that he has volunteered to
          help with the PostgreSQL regional contact (a sort
          of press liaison) for India. His work includes
          forwarding press releases to press people. If you
          can put Abhijit with presspersons who would be
          interested, please do.


for Nov 29-Dec 2 FOSS.IN/2005 in Bangalore is now open.

Please remember -

    * you do not pay now - you register now
    * you pay at the venue
    * if you have registered online and have your delegate
      code with you you pay Rs.500, else you pay Rs.750.
    * read the instructions you will receive in email
    * read the delegate guidelines


INDLINUX, the network to promote FLOSS in Indic languages, is
planning its presence at FOSS.In, the end-November mega-event
at Bangalore. G Karunakar <> says
they'll be at the event for the fourth time in a row.

          IndLinux stall will yet again be the center point
          for all you want to know about Indic on FLOSS,
          localization etc. They are one of the oldest FOSS
          projects in India and have been in FLOSS
          localization area for last six years.

Their stall will feature demos, hands on and answer queries
on using Indic with FLOSS. Writes Karunakar, who recently
visited Goa too: "We would probably have couple of demo
machines and laptops (and obviously any other machine nearby
will be encroached upon and Indicized forever!). Those with
CD writers in your laptops, you are always welcome to the
Stall & will be treated as guests of honour, since the stall
will always be manned, you can leave those precious things
and go attend talks and while we will be busy burning CDs on
them!" Volunteers welcome.

          For more on Indic stuff at FOSS.IN keep tracking

          and the IndLinux blog


Kamath <> has this useful LinTux Newsletter
"Spreading the Spirit of GNU/Linux". Issue #51 is just out.


Subramanian <sbharathi@MidasComm.Com> puts out a very useful
One Day One GNU/Linux Command series. It's available at ODOC
LJ --

          Every day (or, almost), the commands are updated in
          the above link. Says Bharathi: "I am looking for
          contributors to ODOC. How you can contribute?? 
          Just take one command and prepare a mail in our
          ODOC format. Don't include hi-tech stuffs and
          target the newbies. Mail it to me. That ODOC will
          be posted with your name."

FN recommends this as a simple-yet-great tool to build
awareness about GNU/Linux and Free/Libre and Open Source
Software. You can request Bharathi and he'll post it to your
user-group regularly. A great tool to build your FSUG, GLUG
and LUG too! 


          <> informs via the FSF-Friends
          mailing list that KSTA, the school teachers' union
          in Kerala is distributing custom Debian CDs and
          installation manuals around Kerala. "More and more
          schools moving towards free software," he writes. 
          See the FSF-Friends mailing list at

<> reports what he calls some "very good
news for Tj FOSS community": A new IT curriculum for
secondary education was approved by the Ministry of Education
last week. It is platform independent unlike the former one
that was solely Microsoft-oriented.

FOR THOSE INTERESTED in Free Software and education, check

          Schoolforge's mission is to unify independent
          organizations that advocate, use, and develop open
          resources for primary and secondary education. 
          Schoolforge is intended to empower member
          organizations to make open educational resources
          more effective, efficient, and ubiquitous by
          enhancing communication, sharing resources, and
          increasing the transparency of development. 
          Schoolforge members advocate the use of open source
          and free software, open texts and lessons, and open
          curricula for the advancement of education and the
          betterment of humankind.


Copyleft verbatim copying, with credits is both allowed and
encouraged. We invite you to ILUG-Goa, the friendly GNU/Linux
user group


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