Archive for January, 2007

FOSS 2007

Posted: January 13, 2007 in FOSS, Techstuff

FOSS2007-a six day Seminar on FOSS tools started on 8th of January.The flying start of this seminar was by Mr.JoeSteeve – an alumni of our college and a foss enthusiast.The first question he posed to the students was “What is Free Open Source Software”. Many answered some thing. But the way he gave his own explanation was marvelous. He related the free software with a spoon. He related our rights to mould a spoon to our needs and modifying a software to our needs. He put his words in simple terms giving very simple exemplifications that everyone can understand. In that way he explained the License. He said from a single spoon we cannot make a copy or create another similar spoon. But its possible to create many copies of a software. There by he said about the unique feature of a free software. He then compared the GPL License with the License of proprietary softwares EULA(Microsoft).He then said that the FOSS will be very helpful for the students to learn the core concepts of an operating system since they can go through the source code of each process and understand the control mechanism of each process. Then he gave the difference between copyleft(protecting the user) and copyright(protecting the vendor). The difference between FS(Free Software),OS(Open Source),FOSS(Free Open Source Software), FLOSS(Free/Libre Open Source Software) were discussed.Then he specified the two categories of Open Source Development—Cathedral and Bazaar .The the tools needed for developing a open source software—the mailing list and the bug tracker, their importance and the usage were explained. But unfortunately he got some urgent work in his place and he was not able the next day.So on the second day there was a session by Mr.Praveen my senior. But we missed that.
Then on 10th –the third day of seminar there was a session by Mr.Bharathi subrmanian who ellucidated on embedded development tools. But we missed that session also since we didn’t get permission to cut our maths internal exam.
The fourth day was the most memorable day.Mr.Ananth Shrinivas –another alumni from Sun MicroSystems came there and explained about the debugging tools and also gave demo on it. He started with the list of common problems that we face during programming. He then splendidly explained the structure of a program in disk and in memory. Brief explanation on tools like gcc, gdb were given. Finally he threw lights on a really cool tool valgrind showing some examples. He was really enthusiastic in introducing us to such tools.He finally ended the session saying DTrace from SUN Microsystems can track all such bugs. He said he has found some bugs in emacs and ls command using DTrace. He distributed belinix cds. He then met us personally and gave some suggestions as what projects can be done in OpenSolaris. I was really inspired by his talks. He is simply great and a simple man with lot techno stuffs.I booted the belenix cd he gave and found a cool environment there. I also have Solaris 11 on my grub after many attempts. I have to explore a lot in solaris environment and especially learn the tools like Dtrace.
On the fifth day of FOSS seminar there was session handled by Mr.Senthilkumaran (Stylesen)-another alumni who completed his course in 2006 and now working in Spikesource. He spoke on database tools like MySql ,Postgres and on ApacheDerby and SQLite those which have small footprint.He also spoke on some Web programming tools.
Today the sixth day and last day of FOSS seminar, Stylesen would have spoke on Content Management System(CMS) and unfortunately I was not able to attend that session.I expect many such programs to be held in our college to get more knowledge.Awaiting for such rocking seminars.Hats off to these FOSS geeks.
This was really a productive week.But i didnt do any of my internal well.I didnt learn anything.Had no mood of learning and just left it off and expecting very poor marks this time.