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GNUnify’09 day one

Hi all,
This is going to be a long long post as it would be putting up some of the more interesting talks/presentations which I were interesting to say the least.

The first talk/presentation of the day was given by Kenneth Gonsalves of NRCFOSS . Mr. Kenneth Gonsalve’s talk was on the openstreetmap project.

He talked about many things in his 45 minute talk/presentation. He started of with the state of mapping as general, then talked about the some of the issues related to google maps .

Kenneth narrated lot of anecdotes, controversies and issues surrounding the project. Right from copyright (OSM changed licenses twice I believe) and finally have got a creative common licenses.

He also shared a bit about custom renderers done by people and the various services one could make using, learning and giving it back to the community.

One of the interesting anecdotes/controversies that he talked about is the question for the Indian community about various bodies like NHAI, State Governments and Central Governments, Indian Arm as to what conventions should be used either while naming or showing some highway and classification of highways etc. Also individuals have their own opinion so its a mess.

He also shared about couple of European cities as to how far they have progressed as far as OSM is concerned and how abysmally low we are on the scale.

One of the more interesting things he showed about is checking out a remote branch (in this case part of a map), then do the mapping and finally uploading the data.

Lastly, he showed the GPS devices, a Nokia phone with GPS (something called an AGPS model whose correctness is between 10-50 metres) .

Another one he showed was a GARMIN GPS (there are now garmin distributors in India but costs a bit more than the Nokia series) . The only benefit is the accuracy increases to around 30 metres.

He showed a local solution made by some people of the Indian community and while its not as great to look at, it comes down on 7k.

The only hitch is how we get these devices and that’s the crux of the whole thing.

The next interesting one was of a project called ‘Koha‘ . He shared a bit about his needs for a library management software for his community library initiative, his travails, trials and then finally success in setting koha up.

He also talked of the various fields and types of institutions where Koha is and can be used. He also shared his experiences of going to American libraries and seeing them using Koha.

One of the tidbits he shared was about the Delhi Public Library and how its also been converted/converged to be on Koha. What was interesting to know its a multi-branch operation and how everything is integrated so data is accessible.

The backend is basically LAMP

All in all an interesting project to look at .

The third talk of the day was on wordpress which was given by Gaurav Pant. He showed the installation of wordpress (specifically 2.7) on a website.

Fortunately though, the webhost gave cpanelX so it was all GUI based.

After installation of wordpress, he showed around the Quickpress UI, talked about copyright, ethics and things to watch out for.

He also uploaded a few themes as well as showed couple of plugins. For somebody like me who loves wordpress it was cool :P

The last session of the day (which I wanted to attend didn’t happen) and that’s about it although pretty interesting day if one asks me.

Looking forward to day 2 of the same.

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