OKFestival – Berlin, 2014

For the first time, I actually attended the OKFestival. I didn’t get to attend many sessions, but the conversations I’ve had are spectacular.

For the first time, I actually attended the OKFestival. I didn’t get to attend many sessions, but the conversations I’ve had are spectacular.

The first surprise was meeting malev. A couple of years ago, we both worked together on the Ubuntu project. Now, he’s an Open News Fellow and I work at Open Knowledge. The FOSS world is truely small 🙂

I finally got to meet Christie! I’ve heard of Christie since right before she started at Mozilla, when I first heard of Open Source Bridge, and later she started at Mozilla Webdev, where I was closely involved back then.

Georg came over to say hi on Tuesday. When I realized that he was in Uganda for the Mozfest East Africa, I introduced him to Ketty who was also there, leading to an interesting conversation and great connection.

George Sattler works for XVT solutions in Australia and is our partner. He is fairly certain that I don’t sleep 😉 We’ve been having conversations over email for quite a long time and it was great to meet George in person.

The Venue

It’s been a long time since I’ve met Adam Green, the editor of Public Domain Review. It was nice catching up with him. Also, Joris! I hadn’t seen him since he moved on from OKF 🙂

I haven’t met Riju since he’s moved to Delhi and I met him in Berlin! Totally random and great running into him 🙂

The last I met Kaustubh was at Pranesh’s farewell party in October (?). We had a good time catching up.

Folks from local groups across OKF. As a part-time system, I talk to most of the OKF community folks at some point through RT. Additionally, I was going around asking feedback for the sysadmin team. It was great for me to put a face to names and I suspect vice versa as well.

The usual suspects who were great to meet, are of course, my lovely teammates. It’s nice to meet in person, grab a drink, and talk.

Congratulations again to Bea, Megan, Lou, and Naomi for making OKFestival happen!

Cutting the Cake


A couple of weeks ago, I requested L3 access as part of my Sheriffing work and my request was granted. I think I’ve totally jinxed things since then 😉

The tree. IT'S BURNING!

The first Sunday afterward, we had a patch that was landed into aurora inadvertently causing massive spike in crashes. I saw it myself and suspect that my copy was corrupt and downloaded the latest! Of course, to no avail. I finally noticed the right bug and Kairo was looking for someone to back it out. I backed it out and triggered a rebuild which fixed the issue.

The next Saturday, we had mobile imaging failures. This one was fun fixing, I talked to Nick Thomas and Chris Cooper on the phone. All it needed was one command, but it took us some time to get there 🙂 But hey, it got me mentioned under Friends of Mozilla.

Having more access to fix things somehow makes me feel responsible!

Training in Tanzania

On the last Monday of April, I found myself nervously standing in a room of about 15 people from the e-Government Agency and National Bureau of Statistics in Dar es Salaam. They were waiting for me to start training them in Python and CKAN. I’ve been programming in Python since 2011, but I’ve never actually trained people in Python. On the first day, I didn’t have any slides. All I had was one [PDF][pdf] from Wikibooks which I was using as material. I didn’t even cover the whole material. By the end of the day though, I could sense that it was sinking into the attendees a bit.

It all started with an email from my manager asking me if I was available to do a training in Tanzania in April. After lots of back and forth, we finalized on a date and a trainer to assist in the trainings, and I flew in. Dar es Salaam, strangely, reminded of growing up in Salalah. I got in a day early to prep for the week and settle in. The trainer looking groggy on a Monday does not bode well!

People who train often don’t tell you this – Trainings are exhausting. You’re most likely to be on your feet all day and walk around the room helping people who’re lagging behind. Looking back, the training was both fun and exhausting. I enjoyed talking about Python, though I feel like I need more practice to do it well. The CKAN training, I was pretty satisfied with the outcome, by the end of the week, the folks from e-Gov Agency went in and setup a server with CKAN!

Note to self: Write these posts immediately after the trip before I forget 🙂

Migration Update – 1

About 2 weeks ago, I kicked off my “evil” plan to move as many things as possible off Google Apps. I’ve managed to move my Contacts, Calendar, and files off Google services so far.

I setup ownCloud for contacts, calendar, and files. It was incredibly painless to setup. I have the owncloud, CalDAV-sync, and CardDAV-Sync apps installed on my Android phone and it seems to work great. Good enough that the only thing I’m syncing from my Google account is email.

The ownCloud app was straight forward. I checked the option to instantly upload pictures. This allowed me to disable picture syncing with Google Photos.

The next app I tried was CardDAV-Sync. I tried the free one first. It didn’t actually sync anything to my server. Searching around a bit suggested that I might have to import the contacts to the server first. So, I backed up the contacts to a file and synced that to the ownCloud instance. When I clicked on the VCF file on the ownCloud server, it let me import the contacts from it immediately. The problem with Google syncing all my contacts it that there were 1000+ contacts that I had to clean up, purge, and finally arrive at close to

  1. I should delete more, but I haven’t had spare time to do that.

CalDAV was fairly easy, exported the calendars, imported them into ownCloud, installed the app, and removed the Google calendars from being displayed.

Here’s the status so far on my roadmap:

  1. [Done] Sign up for fastmail.
  2. [Ongoing] Move all the Gtalk contacts to Jabber on fastmail.
  3. [Done] Set up ownCloud for docs, contacts, and calendar.
  4. [Done] Copy documents, contacts, and calendar entries to ownCloud.
  5. [Todo] Setup mutt to use with fastmail.
  6. [Todo] Archive emails from gmail.
  7. [Todo] Turn lights off at Google Apps account.
  8. [Todo] Set reply-to headers for gmail.com account to fastmail account.
  9. [Todo] Regular backup/archiving strategy for ownCloud.

I’m using a Google Spreadsheet to track my budget and this is where I anticipate trouble. I haven’t found an online tool that I can use as well I have managed with this spreadsheet that I’ve perfected over the last few years. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.

Additionally, this is not cheaper than using Google for sure. I’m definitely paying more in terms of server space and backup space for this.

Mozcamp India

I signed up for MozCamp India just before the deadline and now I’ve emailed the organizers that I will not be attending.

I signed up for MozCamp India just before the deadline and now I’ve emailed the organizers that I will not be attending.

Primarily, the event is focused on increasing the numbers of the Mozilla community to 1 million. While this seems exciting, actually going about the process of making it happen doesn’t excite me. The event, as far as I can see, is heavily targeted at Mozilla Reps. At my first Mozcamp, multiple people suggested that I should join Mozilla Reps. I have same the answer to that question now as I had back then – with the limited amount of time I have, I prefer to code or watch trees. These are activities that I enjoy doing.

Mozcamp Asia, Singapore 2014

The last few months have involved quite a bit of travel. For instance, I’m writing this in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where I’m talking to folks at the National Bureau of Statistics and e-Government Agency about CKAN. I think I would want a few weekends to myself so that I don’t burn out.

Ultimately, I’m a bit disappointed that I won’t be attending the Mozilla event in my city and I do hope it’s a successful event. All the best to Mozilla India and events team!

MozCamp Asia 2012 by Benny Chandra on Flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND.