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Maker Party and MDN Day at Bhubaneshwar

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 6:47 AM in , , , , ,
Public speaking and Evangelism is now getting a hang on me. I am loving the travelling, the interactions and the feeling of being able to enlighten someone with the little knowledge in my mind's bank. This time it was Bhubaneshwar that I got a chance of visiting.
A student of the CET college, Bhubaneshwar, had contacted Kaustav (a Mozilla Rep) for hosting a Mozilla event in their college. When Kaustav shared the idea of hosting an event in Bhubaneshwar, the offer was too tempting for me to refuse. Bhubaneshwar is a small city in Orissa where there are quite a few renowned colleges. These colleges hosts some of the tetchiest minds of India. The city never had much exposure to Open Source in general. It was a platinum opportunity (golden is surely an understatement here) for us to introduce the Mozilla world to these techy minds. 21st and 22nd of December were chosen as the dates of the event.

The Webmaker table-cloth....shot best


Pre-event preparations:

Kaustav and I were planning for a MDN event in India for quite a long time. MDN is probably one of those rarely touched topics in Mozilla events (speaking of the scenario witnessed in India). After the new look of the MDN site, we thought it was the perfect time to introduce this Mozilla project to the Indian developers. We had never hosted MDN events before...rather the two of us ourselves are pretty new to MDN. The best way of delivering this topic, the crowd's reaction to this topic...everything were our points of observation for this experiment event. We had a thorough discussion with the MDN team (Luke, Ali, Maris) and formed a rough structure for this.
Since MDN was a bit risky factor (the chances of a flop show was pretty high), we couldn't have had only MDN track. We came up with the idea of having a 2 day event, where day 1 could have some Mozilla introduction and Webmaking and day 2 could focus on MDN.

Travel to Bhubaneshwar:

Generally, for most of the Mozilla events, we fly down to the venue...but this time we decided to take the train. The journey from Kolkata to Bhubaneshwar is of around 8 hours by train.
Sayak (Mozilla rep, Mozilla mentor and currently a council member), Nayanika (a newbie in the Mozilla world) and I decided to travel together. The entire 8 hours of this train trip was more like a training and induction session for Nayanika (ya, we had to torture her...after all when two passionate Mozillians meet, that is what they can do best). It was great to see how Nayanika was already aware of most of the Mozilla projects. She has been contributing to Mozilla for the last few months and have also volunteered for a few local events in Kolkata.

Event Day 1:


Me...trying to teach the crowd about Mozilla products


The fun began on the 21st of December 2013. I began the event with an interactive session on the Mozilla introduction followed by a short talk on the different Mozilla projects and the products. Once the crowd had a brief idea about what Mozilla is and what Mozilla does, Sayak took over to turn the 'users of the web' to 'makers of the web' through his session on Webmaker. Kaustav, Nayanika and I did assist Sayak through this session for the rest of the day. We concluded day one by giving away prizes against the best makes of the day. Some of the awesome makes of this day can be found here.

Event Day 2:


The second day was for some 'MDN'ness. Kaustav began the day with a small introduction about what MDN is. Following the introduction, we divided the crowd into two halves. One was being led by Kaustav where he conducted the Code Sprint and I, along with the other group, started the Doc Sprint. There were a few things which went wrong here, like:
  • The developers were not exactly at their 'pro' level and thus, Kuma was not a very easy food on their plates.
  • We didn't have a list of untagged pages and the task list we had, was a bit too heavy for our target audience.


Post lunch, Sayak took the stage again and this time, it was his favourite topic that he got to talk about - Firefox OS. The session was so great that we had to stay back for an extra hour (after the official end of the event), to interact with the enthusiastic crowd and resolve their queries.

Things surely went wrong and many things could have been done better, but I would count this event as one of our biggest learning, mainly as we are planning 2014 to be highly MDN focused.

Coders...trying their hands on KUMA


Other blog posts of this event: 
1)Kaustav's blog post




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The story of my first Mozilla Festival


I remember rushing through my paper which got over by 4.30pm and I had a cab booked for the airport which was to pick me up by 5pm. Well, that was the level of adrenalin rush I had faced throughout my MozFest.
After a not so uncomfortable journey of about 9.5 hours from Mumbai, I finally landed in London in the morning at around 6.45am (from here on, all the mentioned times are going to be London's local time). Well, after the immigration check and luggage check out, now the challenging job began.

Initially had thought of not sharing this part of the story, but then again, why not! While trying to find the station from where I could get a train to Green park, I kind of got lost at the airport. I went to the wrong station and almost boarded a wrong train! Phew! A timely realization just saved my day. Finally after finding the RIGHT path, I did manage to check into the hotel.
Didn't get much time to explore my room or the hotel though, had to immediately leave for the venue as I was already running late by an hour.

Day 1 begins: 
It was such a relief to finally meet the rest of the team at the Ravensbourne. The day began with loads of excitement but the schedule didn't look much heavy initially. The first half of the day mostly consisted of a few meetings and strategy building sessions. We also had a super fun T-shirt designing session where we did hack some Webmaker T-shirt did actually wear those hacked stuff on the following Sunday.

My hacked T-Shirt!!!


It was fun dressing the venue up for the big event that morning. Sooo many creative people with their artistic gloves on were doing an awesome job at making the place look super cool.

The SCRUM wall is being prepared!
The actual fun began in the evening with the science fair. It was like awesomeness all around me! There were so many creative stuff all around the place. Some of my very favourite ones were (sorry, should have noted the real names down...these are the names I have given them as per their characteristics):
  • Save the kittens game
  • Painting robot
  • The glowing T-shirt
The robot...completing his painting job!
After an amazing day, it was time for an amazing dinner. The Brazilian Grill it was on our plate that night.

Day 2 begins:
The second day was more of 'making'. We reps were all over the place, no doubt about that, but there were a few places where I was seen a bit too much (well, other than the coffee stalls). In the morning, I was mostly hovering all around the 'Green Screen' to learn the art of making those awesome popcorn videos with live memes. Some of the awesome work of this booth can be found here. 

Another place where I was probably expected to be found a lot and yes I was there, was at the table where "Girls in Technology" teaching kit was being prepared (well, yes I am a feminist and everyone knows that by now :P ). The kit we had built that day can be found here. This is one of my favourite contributions (that I could give) to MozFest.

The amazing Mozilla Reps at the MozFest

Other than these, we had the Reps group photo taken, we (all the reps) did play the Ware-fox (some game similar to the Ware-wolves game that we play a lot).
That night it was Japanese food that was served on our plates for dinner. Post dinner we did even join the Karaoke night party (though for a really small amount of time).

Oh ya...this time I got hold of Mr.Foxy when the camera was around ;)

Day 3 begins:
I knew it was my last day in London and last day at the MozFest...so from the very beginning I was determined to make the most of the day. On this day, I was all over the place. I made badges, I gave an interview for the MozFest documentary, I did paint T-shirt and I also played the recently learned Ware-fox game with a group of kids.
Wow! What a day it was. Even before I realized, the clock had turned and it was time to say good bye to all. Here I shouldn't forget to thank Christos for the swags that I received as the departing gift. I wish I could stay back longer....I wish MozFest was celebrated for a month (I know the Mozilla accountant will kill me at this demand :P ).
I headed back to the airport with a heavy heart. Departing after awesome 3 days is never easy...but like every other great things, this also had come to an end.

  
Thats me at the MozFest!
 
I did return to India. Trust me when I say, I gave the remaining two papers and to my surprise they didn't go that bad :P


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Mozilla Summit 2013....through my glasses!

This one is gonna be long as I have too much to write this time.
Mozilla Summit 2013 was my first International Mozilla event. The summit venue for me was Santa Clara, California.
It was still 2nd of October 2013 when I did meet my fellow Mozillians at Mumbai International Airport. Though we were together at the airport, we were not traveling together. Mine was a flight to SFO via Amsterdam. After a long restless wait at the Mumbai airport, I did board the flight for Amsterdam. Well, it was a long flight indeed but somehow was not as tiring as I had thought it to be. I did get the first glance of Summit at the waiting lobby of Amsterdam airport. There were some 30+ Mozillians there....all heading to the Summit. Oh my god! Wearing a Firefox/ Mozilla T-Shirt made so much sense. It was like several members of the Mozilla family, who didn't know each other, did recognize each other instantly by the Family mark they were in. Another long flight took us to San Francisco. At the airport, there were several volunteers who were enthusiastically waiting to receive us. A shuttle took us to the hotel. Tired we were...no doubt about that. But the moment I entered the venue, energy of several hundred Mozillians present there somehow did fill me up with energy and washed all the tiredness away.
We went ahead, completed the check in process at the hotel, completed our Summit registrations, collected the cool goodies which was waiting for us and finally headed to our respective rooms.

The super cool welcome kit...

All the Mozilla India community members did meet before the Welcome reception to discuss about the next morning's country fair. The Welcome reception hall was my first realization of how huge the Mozilla family was and how little I was exposed to this family. I didn't even know 20% members present in that Hall that evening.
It was so awesome an experience to have unknown Mozillians walk up to me to say 'Hello' and how those small conversations did turn into huge important discussions.

Day 1 (Friday):
The next morning began with Tristan Nitot's welcome speech. Mitchell Baker's speech about Nature of Mozilla was really encouraging. When Mitchell explains-"What makes Mozilla 'Mozilla' "....you cannot but listen to her in all attention.
The World fair was so awesome that I have no words to describe it. The Indians were all in their traditional dresses and even if I sound really biased, I will have to say that the Mozilla India's booth was the most attractive one. Though more than Mozilla India's booth, I did spend my time in the WoMoz booth with Michelle and Faye. More than responsibility, it was the fun I was having making those wax seals that kept me glued to this spot.
The one question which I get a lot from my friends whenever I show them my Keon-" Whats the Future of Firefox OS?" This question was best answered by Sandip Kamat and Christian Heilmann during their session.
Post these sessions, we had the panel discussion session followed by the Group photo session. It was Firefox OS dinner party that night followed by awesome Karaoke performances.

Day 2 (Saturday):
The morning began with Anderson, Jim and Patric's session presentation on the Health report of the web.
Woooow!!!! Open web apps is completely and totally awesome.
That morning's most fun part was the Innovation fair. Well, since the Innovation fair was a "Shh!!!Secret Zone" I will avoid writing much about that.
The sessions I attended that day were:
  • Understanding web developers
  • Defining and Packaging a "Mozilla Core" experience for onboarding
     
Both the above stated sessions were awesomely enlightening. They were very different from each other, the discussions that took place were very different but the impact from each one was equally huge on me.

Mozillians from India and Bangladesh....at Santa Clara

That night we had a trip to the Great America amusement park. We were waiting at the lounge for the team to gather before departing to the amusement park. I remember watching a guy standing a few feet from us, a beer glass in hand. We exchanged smiles and it was then that he walked up to us. It was the usual introduction with which the conversation began. I guess it was in his 3rd sentence of the conversation, he casually said-"Do you use JSFiddle? Ya...thats one tool I have built!" We were like speechless and awestruck! We didn't know exactly how to react. I guess it was the awe stuck me that made my brains not remember his name. Well, for me, he is the 'JSFiddle God'!
We then headed to the amusement park (already sufficiently amused :P ). It was my first visit to a Halloween theme party. If I had to describe this trip in a single word, the word would be "THRILL". Starting from dangerous Roller coaster rides to 100 meter free falls....we did it all. Well, needless to say, Mozillians are awesome in every domain ;)

Day 3 (Sunday):
This morning was a bit different from the other two. This time, we were no more passive listeners. We gathered in groups and pitched in our ideas about different Mozilla products and how we could make them better. Fun it was! Sooo many brains...sooo many ideas! Ever thought about the different Community Tools - What do we currently have? What are our top needs?- Honestly I had never given it a genuine thought before attending Pierros and Soumya Deb's session. It was a brain storming session where the participants initially came out with all the problems of the present community tools followed by some probable solutions.
This evening was like a dream come true evening for me. We visited the Mozilla Head quarters in Mountain View followed by the Google office. Wow! Simply simply awesome.

At Mozilla HQ....with Mr.FOXY!!!!


The evening ended with the Dinner and dance party and that was the official end of the summit.
This evening, I chose to spend my time in the Hacker Space instead of the dance floor. Well, I was kind of tempted to be a part of the MDN Code Sprint discussion. It was at the hacker space where I met David Walsh and Luke Crouch. I had seem them around in the past two days but it was my first MEETING with them. I have been a huge fan of David ever since the first blog of his that I had read a few years back. It was like meeting the celebrity you always admired. The moment was as if not sufficiently magical, when suddenly David came up to me and asked if I would like to help him with the front-end of MDN! Well, it was a moment when I had to literally ask my friend (Kaustav) to actually pinch me so that I could believe it was not a dream but reality!
After so much of awesomeness, you never feel like returning back. But like all other great things, this also had to come to and end. After another series of long flights, I finally reached back home.


P.S: I am sure I am missing out on a lot of important and interesting things here. This blog will thus undergo several updations.




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MDN Doc Sprint and Firefox OS phone demo

When the India trip was being planned, it was Vineel's idea to have an event in Pune as well. This offer could never have been rejected. As the plans started taking shape, 24th of September was the date chosen for a MDN documentation sprint event in Pune.
After Bangalore, I met Ali again on the 23rd, in Pune. Whenever it comes to taking an international guest out for food, we need to do some extra thinking on the food place options. Well, when I took my guest out, I thought I would need to make sure about the spice level in my ordered food. I did need to. But, instead of having to request the chef to decrease the spice level, I had to request him to make the food even spicier.
Well, when I am the event organizer, being on time is the first requirement! With all my efforts, I did manage to get the event started by 10.30am (though delayed by half an hour, keeping the past event records in mind, I wasn't much disappointed). I began the event with a brief introduction to Mozilla as an organization and the mission of Mozilla and then handed it over to Soumya Deb, who addressed the audience with his usual mesmerizing speech on Mozilla India community and the different Mozilla projects. After we novice speakers were done with our sessions, we handed the stage over to Ali. Its then that we had the first official presentation on Firefox OS and the first ever Firefox OS phone demo in Pune. Innumerable questions were being bombarded at us from the super enthusiastic audience. Phew! Thanks to Ali and Deb's awesomeness that none of the questions had to be left unanswered.

Keon being demonstrated

Lunch was simple. To Ali's disappointment, I couldn't manage to get anything spicy this time! Well...MY BAD!
Post lunch we began with our MDN sessions. Ali first introduced the MDN project to our audience and then taught them the different ways in which they could contribute to MDN. When all was said, it was time to get some real work done. The tagging and code writing began in full force. To our surprise, more than 350 tags were added to the documents in MDN.
The event was more successful than I had thought it would be. Like all Mozilla event, we all Mozillians met for dinner that evening to celebrate the success of the event as well as decide on our future prospects and plans.
Saying goodbye is possibly the worst thing on earth and I totally HATE it...but luckily, it wasn't very bad this time as we are all meeting Ali again in a week's time during the summit.

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Maker Party@SIMCA

Webmaking is fun but teaching others to make the web is even more fun. This is the exact reason why I couldn't deny the invitation to be a presenter at Maker party which was held at SIMCA on the 21st of September 2013, officially the fourth Maker Party of the season in Pune. I wasn't sure if I could be a good facilitator at this event as I was down with fever and had a real bad throat infection just a night before the event. Somehow I did manage to bring my voice out while standing on the stage and to my surprise, my speech was so clear, no one got any hint of my ill health.

I began the session introducing the crowd to the idea of Open Source, Mozilla as an organization, ways of getting involved with Mozilla and the different Mozilla products.
The tough job was taking the crowd through localization project as being one of the best ways to start contribution. It was not that I was not aware of the topic. Localization had been my first project under Mozilla as well. But the slide being used was supposed to be Ankit's slide for his talk. But unfortunately when he got delayed (due to some unavoidable reasons), I had to fill in. Well, not knowing what the next slide contained and trying to talk on the stage...surprise at every slide change, is not a very comfortable situation to be in. But my being well versed with the topic someone did let me pull it off well...and I hope I didn't let the crowd realize the mess of the situation!
Ankit took the stage next and spoke in details about the Webmaker projects and a bit more in detail about the concept of open web.
Post lunch we did move into the labs for some realtime webmaking and remixing.
The fun part of the remix sessions are the projects in their 'Under construction' phase. I mean, just imagine the sight of someone remixing an Independence day page and trying to make some 'Titanic' page....there comes one hilarious moment when your background is that of the Independence day, with the image of the Indian national flag in background and someone just inserts a picture of 'Jack' and 'Rose' on top of that! Well, couldn't help but break into laughter.
We had some awesome makes by the end of the event and we closed the event by giving out some goodies to the best makers of the day.

My ill health did resume after coming back home....but somehow these events are so very tempting, I cannot say a "NO" to any of these invitations.

1

Evangelism Reps Training in Bangalore

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 4:34 AM in , , ,
I had just returned from Bangalore and the Banglore fever was yet not completely out of my head when one morning I got a call from Galaxy asking me about my travel preferences to Bangalore. I was kind of confused till Galaxy went ahead to explain me about the Reps Evangelism training which was scheduled on the 17th and 18th of September in RedHat,Bangalore. Yipeeee!!! RedHat office was sufficient a reason for me to start packing my bags again :P

As usual, it was the last flight that I took to Bangalore and reached my hotel at around 2am on 17th night (or some people might like to call it morning).
On 17th, we reached RedHat office by 10.30am. It was a campus worth working in! The office was on the 11th floor and the view from the cafeteria of the office was simply breadth taking.

Our session for the day began with  Chris Heilmann's smiling face and warm welcome note. Along with Chris, Robert Nyam and Ali Spivak's presence in the room did fill the room up with life.
Learning has no limits! I must have had made some 30+ presentations in my life, but watching Chris on the stage and hearning him talk made me realize how much in the alpha stage I still am in.
It was not a series of boring lectures, it was one of the most interactive sessions I have ever been a part of. We didn't play the role of passive listeners only, we also did act as active presenters, occupying the stage, one group at a time. Well, when off the stage we made an awesome team, our group didn't need extra effort to be the best on stage. Thanks to Kaustav Das Modak and Sayak Sarkar for being the awesomest possible team-mates.

At RedHat office, Bangalore....attendees of Evangelism Reps training

I have been going around with a Keon for some 3+ months now, but never knew the best way it could be displayed to friends. After Ali's session, I guess I will do a better job at showing off my new possession to the world.
When the session finally came to an end on 18th, I didn't feel like packing my back up for getting back!

I feel lucky to have been able to attend this training and am eagerly waiting to meet Ali again in Pune on the 23rd :)

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Maker Party Bangalore - Hive Pop-up 2013

When I reached Bangalore, it was 12.30am. When I had boarded the flight, it was 5th of September, but by the time I had landed, it was 6th already. Whenever it comes to some Mozilla event, I don't know from where, some unknown energy seems to hit us all. At this late hour of night, no one seemed to be tired. By the time I did reach my room, it was 2.30am.
Our morning started at 6am. We were at the venue by 8.30am. It was at Jaaga (our hangout destination for the next two days) that I met Michelle for the first time. A lady whose enthusiasm, energy and smile seemed to be spreading like a viral among all the Mozillians present for the 'Train the trainer session' of 6th. We began the day with a small ice-breaking session where each Mozillian introduced himself (or herself) and wrote a small note about what he (or she) expected to take back after these two days event. Well, when it comes to writing, I somehow get a bit too much charged up which ended up making my note the lengthiest of the lot.
I have always loved to teach, but being a good teaching is not very easy. And thus, for me, each moment of Train the trainer session was very important. The teaching part began with Ankit Gadgil's session on Thimble, followed by Sayak Sarkar's session on X-ray goggles and finally ended with Gauthamraj's session on pop-corn maker. Each community was responsible for making a small popcorn video through which the community was to state its story.
In the afternoon, we met all our partners who were to be a part of the Hive initiatives and interacted with them in groups. There ideas, there motto, their presentations...everything was so mesmerizing.
The evening was super-fun when the super-mentors tried teaching 'Webmaking' to their mentees and then the mentees tried teaching 'Webmaking' to each other. It was during this session that I did have the devilish idea of spoiling(remixing) the very site of our super-mentor,Sayak ;)
The fun loaded day ended with a great dinner. While getting into bed that night, I had absolutely no idea that the next morning had even more fun awaiting us.

Mozilla India community....with Michelle at Jaaga


The weather of Bangalore on the 7th was so very pleasant,it felt as if nature had also decided to join the Hive India party. An early start it was. The partners did arrive by 9am and Jaaga's doors were opened for public by 10am. There were stalls put up by our partners as well as stalls of the Mozillians were we were trying to teach 'Webmaking' to our guests. It was on this day that I realized how much fun teaching can be. It was like teaching to build and remix the web to everyone....starting from a kid who was as young as 5 years old to his teacher who was probably in her late 50s. It was AMAZING! Every moment was an experience which is guaranteed to last for a lifetime.

@Cutney Chang....post event dinner party


Well, I will preferably end my blog here and not get into the after event moments. As Vineel says-"What Happens at Bangalore, Stays at Bangalore".


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RMySQL troubleshooting in Ubuntu

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 3:25 AM in , , ,
RMySQL package installation is no longer as easy as it used to be with the previous versions. The simple install.packages("RMySQL") no longer works like a magic! 
If you try this command on your latest R version, you are likely to get the following errors:

Configuration error:
"could not find the MySQL installation include and/or library directories. Manually specify the location of the MySQL libraries and the header files and re-run R CMD INSTALL."


I have found the solution to this problem. You can also try this and see if your problem is being solved.

Some simple steps are:
  • Get mysql-connector-c-6.0.2-linux-glibc2.3-x86-64bit from this link here
  • Un-tar the contents in your downloaded folder.
  • There you will get two folders- 'library' and 'include'.  
  • on your /usr/local/include folder you will need to copy the contents of the 'library' and 'include' folder (copy the contents in the 'include' and 'library' folders respectively). 
  • inside your /usr/local/include folder, you will need to make a new directory "mysql" and there need to run the following commands:
    • cp -R '/home/username/Downloads/mysql-connector-c-6.0.2-linux-glibc2.3-x86-64bit/include/.' '/usr/local/lib64/R/include/.'  
    • cp -R '/home/username/Downloads/mysql-connector-c-6.0.2-linux-glibc2.3-x86-64bit/lib/.' '/usr/local/lib64/R/lib/.'
  •  After this, try the command  R CMD INSTALL MySQL_0.9-3.tar.gz (or whichever version you have downloaded.
  • After all of these processes are done, switch to your R console and try library(RMySQL). If you get the "Loading required package: DBI", your job is done!
Notes: 
You will need to install these other packages as well:
  • sudo apt-get install r-cran-rmysql
  • sudo apt-get install r-cran-dbi
Hope this helps. If there are errors in this or if you have a better solution to this, please share that in comments.

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MakerParty ,SKNCOE

The first time we were having lunch together, Aman had enquired, out of shear curiosity, if it was possible to have a Mozilla event in his college? The next time we had lunch together, it was in his college...during the lunch break of the first Mozilla event at SMT.KASHIBAI NAVALE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING (SKNCOE), Pune. Thats how events are planned here....online, through chats and whatApp messages.

On the last day of the month of August, the Pune Mozillians had gathered at SKNCOE's IT department to address the third year students, introducing them to Open Source, to Mozilla and finally to Webmaker.

These days, whenever I go down to different colleges as a speaker, I kind of get surprised (rather should say SHOCKED) by the amount of hospitality I receive from the organizers.

The event began with Aman's (the event coordinator from SKNCOE) opening speech and felicitation of the Mozillians. Well, the red roses did immediately light up my day ;)

The morning session mainly consisted of talks where the students were first introduced to Open Source and Mozilla as an organization by Ankit Gadgil. I went ahead to share with the crowd the different Mozilla products, the projects and the ways to get involved with Mozilla. Next it was Aniket who told the crowd about the Firefox Student Ambassador program. Well, sadly, this time I didn't get a chance to talk on my favourite topic but Diwanshi Pandey actually did an awesome job talking about WoMoz, so no regrets.


The afternoon session was conducted in the labs. We were given two labs. It was during lunch that suddenly this idea clicked me, to have all the ladies gathered in one lab and work together. What could be better for the ladies than experiencing the very purpose of WoMoz!
All the participants actually did a great job. Some of the awesome makes can be found here
This is amazing how at every Webmaker event, I kind of find it difficult to end the event. We always go beyond the scheduled time and the participants never want to stop! Thimble is that addictive!
But, unfortunately, every good thing need to come to an end, so did our event. Some goodies were distributed to the candidates who made some awesome remixes and also to the volunteers whose help and untiring efforts made the event a grand success.

From the feedback of the event, I am expecting a Firefox club to be coming up in this college very soon. We already have a Firefox Student Ambassador from the college, Aman Sehgal, who will be taking care of the Firefox Club here.
Expecting to get some awesome Mozillians from SKNCOE.

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Being a Firefox evangelist at a FOSS event in Wagholi

People now a days address me as a 'Mozilla fan' which is indeed very true. Its not even one complete year that I have started contributing to Mozilla, and within this short time, the kind of involvement I have with this FOSS organization is a big surprise for me too!
In less than one year, I have been involved in several Mozilla organized events, somewhere as a volunteer, somewhere as just a participant and somewhere as an organizer and speaker. The experience had every time been awesome as well as a great learning. The day I got an invitation to be a Mozilla evangelist in an event which was being organized by a few FOSS enthusiasts in the city I am presently situated in, I felt pride, honour as well as loads of nervousness.
I did immediately pull my socks and took this challenge up!
The entire experience was not a fairy tale of-course. The journey from my residence to the event venue was a tough one. Private buses in rush hours and that too in the rainy season is not exactly a very pleasant experience but that couldn't get my enthusiasm down.
Things got tougher when I took the stage and fired the first question to the audience-"Is anyone here aware of Firefox?" I got a very disappointing answer from the audience that Firefox, like Chrome is a Google product. Now this was the ultimate challenge. I knew I had to work harder this time to make my audience knowledgeable about Mozilla as an Organization, the different Mozilla products and the different ways of contributing to Mozilla. This was also my first event where I did take the entire session in the local regional language instead of English (well, English is the language I am mostly comfortable in).

Once I began, things got easier and even before I had realized, I had already spoken for more than an hour....given out some goodies and also passed my Keon to the participants for a feel of how the Firefox OS looked like.

The awesome part was the unexpected response I got from my participants. Along with innumerable request to help them get started with Mozilla, I also got a few invitations from a few students who were present in that event and wanted similar Mozilla events in their respective colleges.


0

Mozilla India Work-Week

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 12:14 AM in , , , ,
The Mozilla India Work-week was held on the 29th and 30th of June 2013 but the planning and preparations had begun way back. This was the first big (from my perspective) Mozilla event where I played the role of being a co-host (rather played some signification role) in the entire execution of the event.
From planning the event, creating the event on the reps portal, planning the budget, sending down innumerable (mostly erroneous) mails...it was a learning at each step. Well, here I think I shouldn't forget to thank Soumya Deb for this opportunity as well as the awesome mentoring at each step.

28th June, Soumya da and I did reach the hotel before the rest of the reps to check the arrangements and be present to receive the rest of the participants. The best welcome that Mumbai could have given us was with its rains and it did it a bit too perfectly. Surprisingly, that was the only afternoon we got in Mumbai to actually go out and feel the drops.
By the evening, our participants were in the house and once we all were together, well, no one knows how time flew for the next two days. The best part of day 0 was the unpacking of the Mozilla India mascot. Million thanks to Vineel for getting Mr.Foxy to Mumbai. It was Soumya who went into the costume first. I don't know if it was the costume's effect or it was the hidden side of Soumya which somehow came out that evening, but either ways, the performance then given by Mr.Foxy was hilarious.

Serious work began from day 1. On 29th and 30th, we all did spend our day in the conference room. From 10am to 7pm....the awesome minds of Mozilla India were together in one room, finding multiple solutions to the tricky problems of the super fun Mozilla projects.
As rightly stated by Soumya Deb: "The Task Force leaders of Mozilla India gathered to sit together & brainstorm about the intra/inter-taskforce operations in our community, and thus to carve the foreseeable-future pathway of Mozilla India."

The crazy crazy crazy Mozillians...is Gauthamraj is missing? ;)


The awesome brains involved in the brainstorming sessions were brains of:
  • Debloper (Soumya Deb)
  • Yati
  • Sayak
  • Father of the Nation (Vineel)
  • God father (Faizal)
  • Santa (Galaxy)
  • Hasina (Gauthamraj)
  • Ankit
  •  Rajesh ji
  • Saurabh
  • Sankha
  • Swarnava
  • Komal ji Gandhi ji (Komal Gandhi)
  • me
If needed to write the outcomes and success of this event, I will end up writing an entire report in my blog post (which I will preferably avoid here and post in the Wiki).

All in all, I will declare it as an event which was super fun++

The event review through the organizer's glasses can be found here.


0

Maker Party, Pune 2013

Me...from behind the Firefox curtains during the show (Photo courtesy: Niraj Kasar)
When Mozilla decides to begin their Webmaker party from 15th June 2013, how can the Mozilla India community not abide by the date! 

The Mozilla India community began their Webmaker party with the MakerParty, Pune. This event was aimed at introducing the Mozilla World to the fresh batch of M.Sc(CA) students in Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research who are new to the FOSS world and are taking their first steps into the Open Source Communities.The event did serve its purpose right.
Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research is  like the unofficial event venue for most of the FOSS events taking place in Pune. The infrastructure is provided free of cost and thus the budget is never a concern. Getting permission to use this venue is again a very easy job when the Deputy director of the college is the chairman of OSI (Open Source Initiatives).

When my HOD said, he wanted me to host some FOSS event for the new batch of M.Sc(CA) on the 15th and 16th of June, I couldn't let this opportunity out of hand. 15th be it! Let the Webmaker party begin in India, the day it begins globally!
With that thought in mind, I quickly did send out invites to all the Mozillians in Pune for ideas and participations. The super charged Mozillians reacted super quick and the entire event was planned in less than one day.

The super awesome part was the India community's Webmaker super mentors' remote help and contribution. Even the event was named by one of our super-mentor, Sayak Sarkar.
Deciding the name of the event with Sayak Sarkar at 2.30am.


We began the day with a brief introduction about Mozilla by Ankit Gadgil. The introduction was followed by a talk on Mozilla projects and initiatives whose speaker was Jai Pradeesh (our new Mozilla Rep). After Jai, I took the stage to talk about the different Mozilla products, the different ways of getting involved with Mozilla and of-course my favorite topic, WoMoz. Aniket Deshpande gave a nice talk on the Mozilla Reps programme as well as the new Firefox Student Ambassador programme.

Unlike the morning slot, the afternoon slots consisted of 'No talks and only hacking'. We began the session with Sayak Sarkar's motivating speech on his journey from being a Mozillian to a Mozilla Intern. He joined us through google hangout. The very fact that a SICSR student is presently interning in Mozilla got the crowed charged up to do loads of great work.
After the hangout session, no more talks! The hacking began. Thimble to X-ray goggles and ending the day with pop-corn. With help and introduction on these topics by Ankit, the crowed did make some great projects by the end of the day. The work was collected in one etherpad and was evaluated by our super-mentors, Sayak Sarkar and Gauthamraj Elango.

We ended the day by giving out Mozilla swags as prizes to the best makes of the day and with Sayak's promise that he will send Webmaker goodies for the best makes and submissions of the week.

After the event, yesternight, I have got infinite calls, messages and facebook pings from my participants demanding more such Mozilla sessions in college soon! It was a great feeling to see their enthusiasm. You feel good about your work only when the you achieve your result, but in this case, the achievement was way more than I had expected.

Best pic of the day...a participant tweeted that she got engaged to Firefox



0

The anatomy of a Moodle system

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 7:41 AM in , ,

Moodle core provides all the infrastructure necessary to build a Learning Management System. It implements the key concepts that all the different plugins will need to work with. These include:

Courses and activities:
A Moodle course is a sequence of activities and resources grouped into sections. Courses themselves are organized into a hierarchical set of categories within a Moodle site.

Users:
In moodle, users are anyone who uses the moodle system. There are several categories or roles into which the moodle users can be categorized like:

  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Administrator (More types of users can be created in moodle but these are the default ones)
User functionality in moodle:
  • User roles in moodle: A role is an identifier of the user's status in some context. For example: Teacher, Student and Forum moderator are examples of roles.
  • User's capabilities in moodle: A capability is a description of some particular Moodle feature. Capabilities are associated with roles. For example, mod/forum:replypost is a capability.
  • Context: A context is a "space" in the Moodle, such as courses, activity modules, blocks etc.
  • Permissions: A permission is some value that is assigned for a capability for a particular role. For example, allow or prevent. 

Added facilities provided by moodle:  
  • Creation and editing of user profiles: In moodle, the moment an user creates his account, a profile is created for that user. The user needs to fill in his initial details for completing his profile. The user generally always have the permission to edit his own profile anytime on moodle.
  • Groups and cohorts: Cohorts, or site-wide groups, enable all members of a cohort to be enrolled in a course in one action, either manually or synchronised automatically.
  • Enrolments and access control: Users are generally enrolled into some courses and according to their permission settings and the groups to which they belong, they have limited access on moodle.
A bit more about moodle:
  • Activity and course completion:
    The activity completion system allows activities such as Quizzes, SCORM modules, etc. to be marked complete when specified conditions are met.
  • Navigation, settings and configuration:
    The Navigation block provide easy access to view various sections of the Moodle site and includes:
    •  My home - a personalised home page displaying links to the courses a user is associated with and activity information (such as unread forum posts and upcoming assignments)
    • Site pages - links to site pages and resources from the front page of Moodle
    • My profile - quick links allowing a user to view their profile, forums posts, blogs and messages as well as manage their private files
    • My courses - lists (by course shortname) and links to courses the user is associated with. Click the course's shortname to view the front page of the course or use the arrows to navigate quickly to a specific section, resource or activity.
  • JavaScript library:
    Moodle has adopted the Yahoo User Interface library. There is also a nice system for loading the additional JavaScript files required by each page.

Upgradation of moodle
Moodle can be upgraded in four simple steps:
  1. Make sure that your server can run the lates Moodle version
  2. You should always be prepared to "roll back" if there's an issue with your data or some custom code you've     added. So before comitting, create a test install and always make backups.
  3. At this stage you can replace the Moodle code on your server with the version you downloaded and check for     the plugins.
  4. Perform the upgrade by triggering the upgrade from the admin page.
    (More information abour upgradation can be found here : http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Upgrade_overview)
Logs and statistics in moodle:
  • Statistics in moodle: The statistics graphs and tables show how many hits there have been on various parts of your site during various time frames. They do not show how many distinct users there have been. They are processed daily at a time you specify. You must enable statistics before you will see anything.
  • Log in moodle: Logs in Moodle are activity reports. Logs are available at site level and course level.

0

An awesome day...in the most imperfect way!!

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 12:52 PM
You can never call a day to be a happy one when your closest friend is leaving the town and moving out. But my day, today, had more challenges for me, than dealing with this emotional stress.

The morning seemed to be going great initially. My best friend had his train at 3.15pm....he was leaving the town forever and I was all set to bid him a happy farewell with a sweet goodbye. I had booked him a cab at 2.15pm and had decided to help him out with his horribly large amount of luggage. Well, my first mistake- should have booked the cab at 2pm instead of 2.15pm and not waited till 2.30pm before realizing that the cab was never going to arrive!
When the cab didn't arrive till 2.30pm, restlessly I did rush out to get two autos (one auto couldn't have had accommodated the huge number of bags and their awesome sizes). Well, thanks to Pune auto drivers. They never seem to be ready to go where the passenger  wants to go, they have their own choice of travel destination! After a good struggle of 15 mins, I finally did manage to get two autos. 
2.50pm...luggage loaded and off we went for station. The journey from Model Colony to Pune Railway station is that of 30 mins (average)....and we had some 25 mins in hands before the scheduled time of the train's departure. I could feel every throb of my heart! Tension was building up. There was kind of a mixed feeling here. Will not disagree to the fact that one selfish part of me really wanted him to miss his train, so that I could get to spend some more time with him in Pune. But then again, the practical and good side of me didn't want him to suffer (well, mostly a waste of time and a huge loss of money would be the highest degree of suffer I am referring to here). My friend and I were in separate autos and I didn't have the guts to call him up and ask him his state of mind at that moment. Every time our auto would get stuck in a traffic jam, my heart would miss a few beats!
3.12pm....still stuck in at the entrance of the railway station. The train leaves in 3 mins. I had almost given up on all hopes of catching the train. 
3.13pm....just reached the station. The train was on platform 2 and we needed to travel till there (rather till the right coach), with all the bags. Hired two coolies and ran. I hardly remember the journey from the entrance of the Railway station till the train's entrance. We declined the staircase....coach number B5...needed to reach A3. B4, B3, B2, B1, H1, H2, Pantry Car, A1, A2 and then A3. It was 3.14pm.
This was one of those rare moments when you wished your train would get delayed by 5 mins. 
3.15pm....we had somehow managed to reach till A2, just a few more steps, when the train started to move. I suggested my friend to hop up. The experienced coolies managed to get the luggage up on a moving train. I almost threw all the luggage I had in my hands into the moving train. Well, the first breath of 'phew..its over' just made me realize that my friend's laptop sack (with his laptop still inside) was on my shoulder. I surely couldn't throw this one in. It was a struggle to hand the bag ALMOST safely to a passenger at the gate and request him to pass the bag over to my friend.
No goodbye, no time for sweet-talks. By the time the entire drama ended, the train had already started to speed up. All I could manage to scream was- 'Call me once you settle down in your seat!'

Part one ended. Part two begins:
The coolies had to be paid. Thanks to all the commotion in which I had already spent out all the possible liquid cash I had in my wallet, I didn't have a single penny left in my wallet. I asked the coolies to follow me till the ATM so that I could withdraw some cash and pay them. As goes the famous saying -"It never rains, it pours." The Axis bank atm machine was out of service and the SBI one would give out only 1000rs notes (nothing less than that). I didn't have an option but to accept a 1000rs note. Now needed change to pay the coolies. I handed the note over to one of the two coolies and asked him to get a change. Well, here I needed to use THE weapon, which I generally don't like using much. I had to make a puppy face with a sweet smile before I could convince him. Sometimes I need to accept, had I not being a girl, the coolie would have only abused me with some slang instead of helping me out. In this case, he asked me to wait in the shade and went someplace to get change. I paid them off. Phew over!

Part two ended. Part three begins:
I boarded the bus from Pune station to get back to Model colony. The Pune afternoon heat makes it impossible for people to come out of their houses which resulted in an almost empty bus heading to its destination. My coolie had given me changes which contained only 100rs notes (of-course no one will ever give me change in currency value of 10s against a 1000rs note). I handed one of the 100 rupee notes to the conductor for the ticket. He asked me for change, I didn't have any. The conductor said -"Madam, mai kahase du aapko change. Fir aapko last stop tak jana padega. Wahase hi change karwa sakta hoon mai (translation- Madam, where do I give you change from? You have to travel till the last stop. I can get you change only from there). Well, probably that was the only thing left to have happened. I again had to make an innocent face and plead to get me the change somehow as I couldn't travel till the last stop at any cost. Again the girl factor worked. Before my destination arrived, he did get me the exact change and handed it over to me with a smile. Not only that, when I finally did get off the bus, he even did wave a good bye to me!

I had a few more things which I thought I would get done before returning home, but the entire experience told me that nothing doing was safe at the moment. Whatever I would do, would only mean another experience added to my day's list! I quietly headed home.

0

Why Mozilla?

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 9:36 PM in , , ,
Why did you choose to contribute to Mozilla? Do you get paid from Mozilla for doing all these work?.....there are several similar questions which we volunteers often come across during several events.
Today, I am gonna share my story of 'Why Mozilla'!


I still call myself a newbie in the FOSS world. Its been just some odd 7 months since I got involved with Mozilla. The college I belong to is one of the rare Indian colleges where students are always encouraged to become FOSS enthusiasts and FOSS contributors. My first instincts to contribute to the Open Source world came from and because of my college. It was through my college seniors (who were Mozilla Representatives) that I got my first chance to peep into the Mozilla world. 
The very first MozCafe meeting that I got a chance of attending was sufficient for me to know that this was one group I would surely like to work with. The style of work, the thought process of the people there and most importantly the intention of work, everything impressed me to a great level. That was just the beginning. The next big event I got to be a part of was the MozCarnival which was hosted in our college. Well, this was the first event for me, where my role was not that of an audience but that of an organizer. I got to meet several other Mozilla Reps and mentors during this event. The best thing that happened (to me) during MozCarnival was my introduction to the WoMoz community. I was asked to speak about WoMoz during the MozCarnival and my research on the topic got me involved with the WoMoz community in a way that after that one track that I hosted during MozCarnival, my friends started calling me a feminist (that intense was the effect on me) :P

Once I got involved with the community, I just couldn't keep myself away from it. Became a Rep, started working with other Mozillians and before I even realized, I was totally in love with Mozilla. My involvement with Mozilla is just seven months old, but within this little time, the attachment is so much that not being a part of Mozilla is something I cannot think of now.

2

Being a Wikimedia intern

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 1:22 AM in , , ,
Am almost at the end of my four months long journey with Wikimedia Foundation that began on the 2nd of January when I started my OPW internship under this organization. The summary of all my work, done in these 4 months can either be found on my earlier blogs. The links to all the documentation done during my work phase are here:

[1]Documentation against getting the 'Cite' option on your MediaWiki
[2]Documenting noteworthy local templates

I have had edited Wikipedia pages, translated content from English to Bengali Wikipedia, had contributed to Mozilla in several ways but never had done any prominent work in Open Source till before OPW. For me, OPW was the perfect platform where I got to upgrade myself from being a FOSS enthusiast to a FOSS contributor. 
We worked from different parts of the globe, but still worked together. I was here in India, my mentor in Israel and all the other Wikimedians who came to my help when I got stuck, I don't even know which place of the world were they helping me from. This awesome networking was something that impressed me most throughout these four months. The mailing list etiquette and IRC rules were known to me, but their implementation happened most in the last few months. 

My project was one that dealt with the fact that each Wikipedia has its own CSS styles, JS gadgets, and templates. It's most a good thing, because it gives each language community the freedom to customize and innovate. But there's also a problem: these things may be useful in other languages, too, and it's hard to port them. Most MediaWiki developers are aware of the customization in the language they speak - mostly English, and to a lesser extent German, Dutch, Russian and French. And they aren't even aware of the useful developments in other languages. And they may not be aware that a customization that works in their language is not available in other languages. I was to help Amir (my mentor) in achieving this goal of documenting some local templates so that irrespective of language, MediaWiki platform remained the same. I began my work with documentation, but soon when my mentor realized that my JavaScript knowledge was kind of stronger than he had expected, he wanted me to move from documentation to coding. Now, instead of simply stating which codes needed to be changed to change some feature, we moved to making the appropriate changes in the code. Though I started with coding, the documentation work was never forgotten. My mentor made sure that I documented each step during the process of making those changes. 

Its such an awesome feeling when we get to see our work taking live forms and our changes being used by innumerable users on any Wikipedia platform. Whenever I go to Bengali Wikipedia now and see that the Edit toolbar has the 'Cite' option working properly, I feel so good and so much encouraged to keep making such contributions to FOSS.

During the tenure of my internship, I also got an opportunity to work with Sumana and help her in the preparation of the Wikimedia engineering report for the month of February. That was another great learning. How these reports are generated, how the stats are obtained and all was fun to explore. I did struggle a bit at places and even the output was not a very impressive one, but the learning from it was really great.
The entire course of these four months were filled with learning, moments of success, moments of failure, getting to know people, getting a chance of working with people, getting to know the community structure of Wikimedia and how it works and so much more. Though the official tenure of my internship is at its end, I will never ever wanna miss a single opportunity of getting a chance to work with Wikimedia Foundation again :)



1

Finally getting the Citation feature up on Bengali Wikipedia

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 11:54 PM in , , , , , , ,
Well, I am happy to announce this good news for all my Bengali Wikipedians. 
After working on it for months, after several local implementations followed by User page implementation of the 'Cite' option, I have finally been successful in getting the option up on Bengali Wikipedia. 
Well, what this option is and how to get it up on any Wikipedia can be found here.
Here, I will talk about my experience of community interaction and getting the job done. Well, I began the community interaction (actually begging for help) through the community india mailing list. My idea initially was to get some response from someone who, even if unable to directly help, could guide me as to where to get help from. I actually needed either the admin rights to some Wikipedia to push this option up or needed help from some admin who could do this work on my behalf. Not waiting for the replies, I also started looking for the admins on different Wikipedia(s). Well the Special:ListAdmins option of Wikipedia did help me a lot here ;)

From the list of admins on Bengali Wikipedia I found Jayanta Nath, who came to my rescue! After a little bit of convincing, Jayanta da was all ready to help me get this job done. I sincerely thank him for all his help. Now, all Bengali Wikipedia users will get the 'Cite' option on the edit toolbar just like the English Wikipedia editors.



The job is yet not done, I need to get the same feature on a few other Indic Wikipedias. The convincing job is not always that easy. Some struggling is on to explain people that this actually works. Well, I hope I will soon be able to convince a few more admins and get this feature up on a few other Indic language Wikipedia(s).

0

Getting the Citation template in your own language's Wikipedia

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 1:07 PM in , , , , , , ,
There is a 'cite' option available in the English Wikipedia's Wiki-editor which is missing from most other language's Wikipedia. How to get this option on your own language's Wikipedia can be found here.
Once, you have the 'Cite' option placed, you will see that the options you are getting under the Cite-template are all in English. Now, its an obvious thing that in your language's Wikipedia, you will not want to have a Citation template which shows options in English, you will want the options to come in your own language. 
Now, I have done it for Bengali Wikipedia, and here is how I got the citation template and its options in Bengali for the Bengali Wikipedia.
There is one page which we will need to create under our userpage named: 
User:UserName/RefToolbarMessages-en.js. 

Well, instead of Messages-en.js, we are free to use anything else like Messages-bn.js etc but we just need to make sure that wherever this page is being called from, the name is rightly placed there.
In this file, there are the set of strings which needs to translated. Once all the strings of this page are translated into the local language, the Citation template in ready to go, in the local language. The work is this simple. No more modification is required anywhere else.



2

Successfully getting the 'citation' option on Bengali Wikipedia

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 12:18 PM in , , , , , , ,
Well, the struggle has been really long going but finally got it to work! Finally I did manage to pull the 'Cite' option (the one which exists in English Wikipedia and was missing from Bengali Wikipedia) into Bengali Wikipedia. Unfortunately, I do not have admin rights to bn.wikipedia.org, so I couldn't get it get in on the Edit toolbar for all users, but could obviously manage to get it for my own Edit toolbar and am surely in a state where I can help other users get it on their respective Edit toolbars by just adding one single line in their common.js files.

Well, what I did to get it up and running is as follows:

  • In my common.js file, I imported a few other js files like:
    • RefToolbar.js
    • RefToolbarMessages-en.js
    • RefToolbarBase.js
    • RefToolbarLegacy.js
  • I created all these js pages under my user-name like User:Priyanka Nag/Reftoolbar.js, User:Priyanka Nag/RefToolbarMessages-en.js, User:Priyanka Nag/RefToolbarBase.js and User:Priyanka Nag/RefToolbarLegacy.js.
    These pages are already present in most wikipedias and if that is so, we may not need to create them under our user-page separately. But, in either case, making sure that these files, which are dependent on each other, are being called properly i.e. if RefToolbar.js is calling RefToolbarBase.js, making sure that its calling User:Username/RefToolbarBase.js or MediaWiki:RefToolbar.js (as the case may be) is vital.
  •  Once all the pages are in place and called properly, we just need to do a hard refresh. If all works properly, we are expected to see the 'cite' option on our Edit toolbar.
  • Now, initially if all these JavaScript files are copied from English Wikipedia, the citation template is also expected to be in English. How to change these options to your own language can be found here.
If anyone wants to use the same option in Bengali Wikipedia, you need to simply do the following:
  • Under your common.js page (i.e. User:YourUserName/common.js), simply put the following line of code:
Once saved, this code will simply import my common.js file which in-turn will import all files necessary to get the citation template working. Now, since my common.js file already has all the other js files in place (in case of bn.wikipedia.org), one doesn't need to create them again separately. For all other Wikipedias but all the above steps will be required.

1

Mozilla South Asia Inter-Community Meet-up 2013

The first Mozilla South Asia Inter-Community meet-up took place in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 23-24 February 2013, with the coordination from Mozilla Nepal Regional community.
It brought together community leaders from the South Asia, including paid staff from across the SAARC countries, to meet for 3 days of presentations, breakout sessions and discussions to plan the implementation of the Mozilla South Asia community road map for 2013 and ensure that the regional community is fully aligned with greater engagement efforts across the Mozilla organization. The Wiki Link against this event is here.


Well, after the initial introduction (the above content is copied directly from the Wiki page), I will share my experience of this event though this blog.
Why not start from the top! I reached Nepal on the 22nd of February, 2013 by around 3pm. Well, to be honest, the Kathmandu airport is kind of messed up. It took me some time to even find the right Immigration form before actually queueing up for the immigration process. The blessing is, Indians do not need a visa for entering Nepal but those who needed it, did complain about how time consuming and messy that process was. The disaster but ended at the airport only. After coming out from the terminal, Kathmandu's beauty as well as the volunteer's warmth changed the entire mood and made me look forward to some great time in Kathmandu.

I met the rest of the team, the ones who were to tolerate me for the next 2 days, only for coffee at 6pm (from here on, we are in Nepal time zone i.e. 15mins ahead of IST). We began with a round of introduction, more like an ice-breaking session (though we all knew each other...but virtually).
I will definitely regret not being able to explore Nepal in this trip, but the dinner party that night was definitely a glimpse into the culture of Nepal in terms of food as well as the local dances during the dinner.

The next morning, post breakfast, was the official start to the event. This time we had a more formal introduction series than the ones we had the night before. There were three questions which were to be answered while introducing ourselves like:
  • Who am I?
  • What do I do in Mozilla?
  • What am I planning to do in 2013 for Mozilla? 
The introduction session was followed by intra-community discussions as to what are the things working for each community and what are not. Post lunch, we went out to the Open Data Day event where we addressed the crowed on different Mozilla projects. Well, my presence in the Open Data Day was that of a Mozilla Representative's, but somehow, I ended up being caught  by the Nepal Wikipedia team and having a conversation with them regarding several issues being faced by the Nepali team there.
Post Open Data Day, we continued with our brainstorming session and discussions but this time, instead of it being intra-community, it was inter-community.

Sunday morning didn't bring holiday mood along with it, rather it brought a sense of responsibility and a willingness to work. The problems discussed last day needed solutions and that was the agenda for the day. To make things work best, we decided to assign task and responsibilities to each volunteer present in the room so that each one there has some goal to work towards and some target to achieve.
Once tasks were assigned, each task force team had their part of the independent discussion and chalked  out some road map for the coming few months. The event did assign each member with a whole new set of responsibilities. If the year began with so much enthusiasm and planning and commitment from all the contributors, the year 2013 will undoubtedly be a great year for Mozilla!

If you like the blog, you may also want to checkout Priyanka's website