OSIDays 2012

Open Source India 2012: Post Show Report

The huge turnout at Asia’s largest open source convention shows how FOSS has evolved from being a niche concept to the mindset of the masses.
The future of technology lies in being free and open source. This was the unanimous call raised by the participants and the community members present at the event. FOSS is not just about making the source code of the software freely available, it’s about opening up of the mindset. Open Source India 2012 concluded on this positive note, promising to come back next year with much more power and increased involvement of the community.

The three-day affair proved to be an apt platform for the re-union of the FOSS community and sharing of FOSS concepts. The jam-packed sessions and huge turnout at Asia’s largest open source convention prove how FOSS has evolved from being a niche concept to the mindset of the masses.

The event witnessed a major turnout of the industry professionals, the community folks and a lot of newbies who came to have a close look and feel of the FOSS environment. Open Source India 2012, which concluded in NIMHANS Convention Center, Bengaluru, yesterday, was full of enlightening content.

Sharing his insight on OSI 2012, Ramesh Chopra, Vice Chairman, EFY Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., said, “We are glad that we have been able to bring much bigger, better and improvised OSI Days this year. We aimed at offering something for all techies, including software developers, IT managers and heads of IT departments, project managers, delivery experts, academia, and the open source community.”

Praising the event, Dr. Pramod K Varma, Chief Architect and Technology Advisor to Unique Identification Authority of India, said, “India has become a huge consumer of open source technology. It’s about time that we also became a dominant contributor to the open source projects. I think OSI Days, being a leading open source event in India, is proving out to be a great platform for encouraging the community and increasing participation in open source projects.”

The three-day convention witnessed presence of over 70 speakers from the corporate world and the community. Companies like Oracle, Sify Technologies Limited, Intel, Acquia, HP, Dell and even Microsoft came forward to show their support for open source technology at this platform. Mandar Naik, Director – Platform Strategy, Microsoft, said, “It is always exciting to be a part of OSI Days and this year was no exception. The technology sessions were highly informative with some of the experts sharing their insights on a range of topics including mobile application development, kernel and the cloud. I feel the conference proved to be a great opportunity for engaging with technology enthusiasts from all over the country ranging from app developers and open source contributors to the students. Nothing beats a great technology debate over a coffee with like-minded friends from the community.”

FOSS For Developers!

OSI Days has always been known to be a platform where developers get a lot of opportunities to learn the futuristic technologies. This year’s convention had a special thrust on Google’s Android operating system, which was especially beneficial for the mobile app developers. Dushyantsinh Jadeja, Software Business Manager – APAC, Intel talked about Building Next Generation Applications For Android On Intel Architecture, which was much appreciated by the attendees. He said, “Android is the most preferred platform these days. The key behind making successful Android applications is to run them seamlessly on various hardware.” His talk focussed on one of such aspects called Overlay, where he explained about it and told how Overlay allows OEMs to customise applications on Android.”

Yet another interesting discussion was initiated by Anantharaman P N, director engineering, Adobe Systems, Bengaluru. He talked about ‘building compelling mobile applications- the open source way’. Ananth threw light on topics like what are compelling mobile applications, relationship between open source technology and mobile, open source landscape and how Adobe’s EdgeCode is helpful in building such apps.

Other sessions that proved helpful for the developers included ‘Kernel Performance Tuning’ by Varad Gupta, Keen & Able Computers Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, ‘Developing Offline Web Applications Using HTML5 Local Storage’ by Janardan Revuru, project manager, Hewlett Packard, Bengaluru, Test Driven Development And Automation, by Mahesh Salaria, technology evangelist, Kayako Support Systems, Gurgaon and ‘Testing Web Services’ by Dibya Prakash, technology consultant.

FOSS For IT Managers

OSI Days sees a great turnout of the IT managers, who attend the event to find out about the latest technology solutions that can be implemented in their organisations. This year was no different as IT managers and CXOs from across the nation attended the convention. A track called ‘Cloud Day’ was a major hit amongst one and all.

Gaurav Agarwal of Sify Technologies Limited, shared his insight on the topic ‘Opening The Doors Of Cloud‘. He talked about how cloud and open source come together to create innovation for customers to leverage the combined offering. The key takeaway was how a cloud service provider and the open source community can come together to create business propositions. He touched upon how cloud can help the open source community at every stage – right from the incubation stage, when they want to experiment with an idea, flexible models, to when the reach the inflexion mode with services stabilised, running and growing.”

Lux Rao, country lead – cloud consulting solutions, HP India, Bengaluru touched upon a very topic of discussion amongst the cloud users- “Public, Private or Hybrid – What is your Cloud?”. He talked on how should an organisation choose the best cloud solution.

The third day of the event saw an interesting track on Open Stack. Atul Jha of CSS Corp, who managed the session, ensured that there was something for all Open Stack users, be it the enterprises or the developers. Kavit Munshi from Aptira spoke about Openstack’s
identity and access management component, Keystone. Munshi emphasised that, “The community in India needs to focus on getting SMEs and students interested and involved with OpenStack. The community needs to assist developers and administrators to familiarise themselves with the technology with the help of the meetup group by organising demos and workshops.”

FOSS For Everyone!

Gone are the days when open source technology was a thing of the techies. It has now spread its wing amongst the common technology users and how! FOSS is now being used by everyone, be it the enterprises or the educational institutions. OSI 2012 did not miss out on touching upon the commoners’ needs related to FOSS. Right from discussion on topics like ‘The Past, Present And Future Of Open Source’ to ‘How to contribute to FOSS Without Programming’, this jam-packed track covered some thought-provoking issues.

The mention of Indian open source community is incomplete without the mention of Indian LINUX User Groups. OSI Days had representatives of the popular Chennai and Kolkata LUGs apart from the legendary contributors like Raj Mathur and Kingsley John. The group discussion also incorporated the policy issues that need to be dealt with to improve adoption of FOSS in public bodies.

FOSS for academia was yet another session which was looked forward to by the academic audience at the event. Charles Jayawardena, business consultant, Virtusa Corp, who came all the way from Colombo, Sri Lanka, delivered a talk on “Akura Open Source School Management System”, which is being deployed by his company in his nation. With his talk, he tried to show how open source technology can easily find place in the education space.

K Prabhakaran, Engineer, NRCFOSS, AU-KBC Research Centre, Anna University Chennai, talked about a very successful model of deploying open source in academia revolving around “Automation And Networking Of 33 Public Libraries Using FOSS In Tamil Nadu”.

Hands-on experience

Open Source India believes in sharing practical knowledge as much as sharing ideologies. Apart from knowledge-packed technology sessions, there were hands-on workshops on HTML5, SQL, OpenLDAP, JBoss among others from industry experts. An interesting workshop on App Development For Android gained a lot of traction on Day 1 of the event. Dibya Prakash, who conducted the workshop, talked about why should developers choose Android, basics of Android platform, development environment set-up, Android building blocks, Android user interface, resources framework, storage options, accessing Phone Components and publishing an application.

A live stream of updates was provided on Twitter and Facebook for the conference. This helped everyone stay updated about the discussions and sessions happening at the conference.

Celebrating the spirit of FOSS as always, OSI Days bids adieu this year only to come back with greater enthusiasm and information-packed sessions next year.

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