Mukti is the annual FOSS festival organised by the GNU/Linux Users Group of NIT Durgapur. Mukti 2012 was held on 3-5th February 2012. I have attended every Mukti in NIT Durgapur from 2008 to 2011 as a student and this time (in 2012) as a speaker. My talk was on Localization and Transifex. NITDGPLUG, as always, put a lot of effort in making Mukti a grand FOSS event in the region. It was a packed with a plethora of events and had a large number of participants. Mukti serves as a great means to get together people interested in FOSS in the Eastern and North Eastern part of India. It helps newbies get more insight into FOSS.
Day 1, February 3, 2012
The first day of Mukti began with an inauguration programme. After the inauguration programme, students queued at the registration desk for registering themselves. Sayan and Gaurav came there with a small group of 1st year students (interested in FOSS) from Dr. B. C. Roy Engineering College. I spoke to them for a 1-2 hours on FOSS, how to contribute, my experience with FOSS and how I made to Transifex. After bidding good bye to the 1st year students from BCREC, we (me, Sayan, Gaurav and a few others) settled in my room at the Guest House, NIT Durgapur and started discussing on various stuff like Transifex, Django, unit testing, some college news, etc. There was also a workshop on KDE development that day by Smit Shah. After the workshop was over, the Transifex community guys from Durgapur crashed in my place and we kept hacking till late night.
Day 2, February 4, 2012
For the 1st half of the day, I came to BCREC to talk with the students on FOSS and meet my teachers and other friends. After returning to NIT Durgapur, I had a discussion with some folks interested in web development and Transifex. I discussed with them about Transifex, what it is, why it is created, how it works and how it is written. Also, we discussed on other stuffs like contributing to FOSS, python, Django, etc. We spent the entire evening hacking on Transifex. We fired our local Transifex instance and started discussing about bugs and areas of improvement. I also explained in details to the Transifex contributors on how to write unit tests for Transifex. I also showed to them how to write a handler for a file format in Transifex.
In between, I had a good conversation with Smit Shah. We shared our views on FOSS and contributing to it, and also our experience and excitement in working for a startup. We also discussed on Manga: Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and One piece ;-) Even after dinner, we kept hacking, till midnight. The day was quite eventful. We triagged some tickets at trac.transifex.org, fixed some bugs, found new bugs to work on, etc.
Day 3, February 5, 2012
This was the final day of Mukti and my talk on Localization, Transifex and FOSS contribution in general was scheduled for this day. In this talk, I started with “What” and “Why” of localization and how it helps the global usage of a software. Also, I explained that localization is one of the easiest way to start contributing to FOSS and get the feet wet in community, learn new technologies, etc. Then, I discussed the workflow of localization and its pros and cons.
Then, I came to Transifex, why was it needed, how and when did it start, and how it takes localization to an all new level. I discussed the technologies used behind Transifex and gave the audience a tour through Transifex. Transifex is no small thing now. It has grown over the years and it takes a lot to explain its features. Enough with technical jargon. To make it interactive, I called Sayan to share his experiences about his contribution to Transifex. Also, I shared our story that how a group of 3 newbie translators made http://www.transifex.net available in Hindi just in a few days.
Then, I told the people that how they can start contributing to Transifex and any open source project in general. But, still there was the impression that contributing is a VERY DIFFICULT task. So, I decided to hack live in front of all the audience and fix a few Transifex bugs (bugs on which we worked on the previous day, during the hackfest). I fixed 2-3 small bugs, showed what is a patch and how to commit a patch. The patches had just 1-2 lines of change. I hope the audience got my point, that fixing bugs is not a very difficult job.
Then, I shared my experiences with FOSS, how I came into the FOSS community, how I started contributing and how I made into Transifex. With this, I concluded my talk. After the session, a few students came to me with queries and we had a kind of group discussion with them.
You can find the slide deck I used for my talk at http://rtnpro.fedorapeople.org/Transifex-Mukti2012/presentation.pdf
After the talk, we headed back to the guest house and had some gossip and masti with my college juniors. In the evening, we attended the prize distribution function and then headed back to the guest room. After dinner, we started discussing about things like how to boys should proceed in their open source endeavours, brainstormed some crazy project ideas, etc.
It was an awesome experience at Mukti this year. Met with many people, made new friends, had lots of fun and a lot of hacking.