Tuesday, December 16, 2008

FOSS.IN (part 2)

In continuation from FOSS.IN (part I)

Photo by Sony Phil

The first keynote was from Harald Welte. The keynote was about embedded devices, manufacturers and proprietary Linux trees and their complete ignorance or lack of enthusiasm to contribute upstream. The presentation had information about how vendors were still using old obsolete Linux trees, which had several security flaws and the fixes were not being provided to users. The last keynote was from Kalyan Verma. Unlike the first keynote that lacked a single illustration, this one was full of award winning pictures, FOSS principles applied to other professions and life and also about the environment. How a cup of tea is playing its part in hurting the environment and the stress that we as humans and our requirements is putting on nature. Kalyan also spoke about his previous job as a security expert at Yahoo. He spoke about how cryptography makes no sense and there were obvious security flaws in most implementations. I disagree with Kalyan on some of the things he said about cryptography (like it makes no sense). I think what Kalyan was alluding to, but failed to say was that, security is only as good as the weakest link (a fact known to almost all programmers by now).

Kalyan mentioned that putting up his photographs under creative commons has gone a long way in helping his career. Since the pictures were free to download, they were shared under creative commons, which lead to newer opportunities and work. He went on to say, Pictures are a remarkable form of art. The more you look at them, the more you admire them, which is why sharing his pictures brought in more work and money.

Do check his photographs, they are really cool! James has a good coverage of his keynote as well.

The FOSS.IN team put out a video documentary covering their aspiration for their event and what was achieved. I'd say with FOSS.IN 2008, we've headed in the right direction, probably lost a few people along the way, but we are headed in the right direction. A technical event such as FOSS.IN should focus on contributions and try to encourage and build the mind share for it. Such a direction requires time and patience and also a lot of will power from both attendees and the organizers. We had a drastic change in sponsors this year, but we had them nevertheless, without whom such a large scale operation is hard to carry out.

The food, lunch and snacks were excellent, again James covered it well with photographs and other photographs marked foss.in on flickr. Here are some more memories from FOSS.IN 2008

Photo by Sony Phil

Photo by James Morris

From mdemon

From Sony Phil, photograph from the libcgroup workout
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